HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- All 39 patients in Connecticut who may have received 'tainted' steroid shots were contacted, and so far no cases of fungal meningitis have been reported. There are more than a dozen compounding pharmacies in our state which are regulated by the state's Department of Consumer Protection.
What happened at The New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts, is not likely to happen in compounding pharmacies in Connecticut.
"We are not actually making batches of medications," said Rick Carbray, Apex Pharmacy. "We're doing each individual prescription for that patient. Obviously we have the chemicals, they're essayed and they're tested, but we're only making one specific product for one specific patient."
Apex Pharmacy in Hamden does not compound steroids, but does fill an average of 40 compounding prescriptions a day.
It's a special dose, a doctor wants for that specific patient.
"We have a lot of patients, believe it or not, can not take a commercial product because of the inert ingredients, whether it be a dye or a filler or something in there that they react to," Carbray said.
The chemicals used are regulated by the FDA. And pharmacies like Apex are licensed by the State Department of Consumer Protection.
Nothing compounded there is shipped out, which Carbray says could have been a factor in the fungal meningitis outbreak.
"I think you've got a facility that is calling themselves a compounding pharmacy, but yet the volume going out of there is way above any patient specific type of compounding that we see," he said, "so certainly you have to have things in place to guarantee sterility."
Patients who are concerned should ask questions.
"If they're dealing with a pharmacy on a regular basis that compounds and have any concerns ask the pharmacist about the chemicals they receive, how they're processed, to make sure they are comfortable with that," Carbray said.
Carbray says there are specialty compounding pharmacies in Connecticut that compound steroids, but they too are required to be patient specific.
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