Tuesday, March 26, 2013

VOL. 128 | NO. 60 | Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Shortages Impact Compounding Pharmacies

By Jennifer Johnson Backer

 Updated 2:49PM
In recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported an increase in the number of drug shortages and discontinuations.
The number of drug shortages reported to the FDA gained 41 percent to 251 shortages in 2011, compared to 178 shortages reported in 2010. The agency says it continues to see an increasing number of shortages, including drugs used to treat cancer, anesthetics used for patients undergoing surgery, drugs needed for emergency medicine and injectable drugs. The FDA also has reported a spike in the number of medications that have been discontinued.
Brett Wright, the owner of Benevere Pharmacy in Collierville, says he’s noticed an increase in the number of his clients requesting medications that are no longer commercially available.
Wright, who is a pharmacist by training, opened Benevere Pharmacy in May. The pharmacy specializes in custom-making medications that are tailored to meet the medical needs of an individual patient. Sometimes compounding is needed because a patient may be allergic to a certain dye, or an elderly patient may need a medicine in a liquid or suppository form that is not available. In other cases, compounding is necessary because a drug has been discontinued altogether.
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