Following a recent precautionary drug recall, the Maine Board of Pharmacy has requested that Massachusetts-based Ameridose Sterile Admixing Services relinquish its license to do business in the state within 30 days. The Westborough, Massachusetts compounding pharmacy reportedly issued a recall for approximately 2,200 drug products and stopped all manufacturing operations pending both state and federal inspections.
Compounding facilities are specialized pharmacies that normally create custom drug formulations on a case-by-case basis. Such pharmacies typically remove potential allergens, alter drug dosage, or modify the physical format of a drug. The Ameridose drug recall occurred not long after another Massachusetts compounding facility, the New England Compounding Center (NECC), made national news for distributing injectable steroids that were allegedly tainted with fungal meningitis. At least 29 people died and hundreds more were reportedly sickened by the contaminated drugs. In that case, all products manufactured at NECC’s Framingham facility since May 2012 were recalled. Additionally, NECC’s license to operate was suspended in Maine and revoked in Massachusetts as a result of the rare disease outbreak. Both NECC and Ameridose are reportedly owned by the same individuals.
According to Ameridose, none of the drugs manufactured by the company have tested positive for contamination and the recall was issued out of extreme caution. The company also claims no adverse events were reported by patients who used Ameridose products. The recall reportedly occurred after the nation’s Food and Drug Administration expressed concerns regarding drug sterility measures undertaken at Ameridose’s Westborough facility.
Although it is unclear how much of the drug market in Maine is supplied by Ameridose, the company is allegedly a major supplier of injectable medications throughout the nation. According to Barbara Crowley, Executive Vice-President at MaineGeneral Health, organization hospitals in both Augusta and Waterville have removed all Ameridose products from use. Although the company is reportedly not a major supplier for MaineGeneral Health, alternative medications may be used by hospital physicians in order to compensate for those drugs that are no longer available. Likewise, a spokesperson for Bangor’s Eastern Maine Medical Center, Jill McDonald, stated all Ameridose products were removed from the hospital’s shelves. According to McDonald, the hospital will now begin performing all drug compounding in-house.
Each year, nearly 800,000 people suffer illness or other adverse effects after taking prescription medications. Problems may be caused by patient or caregiver error, allergic reactions, and healthcare provider, pharmacist, or manufacturer negligence. If you or a family member was hurt by a prescription medication, you should contact a competent Maine personal injury attorney.
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