When most people go to the hospital, whether for an emergency or for a scheduled procedure, they probably do not spend much time thinking about how their medications get to them. However, the hospital prescription medication process is not quite the same as it is when you pick up your prescriptions at the local pharmacy. In some cases, medications will be compounded to create the right formula for your needs. Unfortunately, mistakes can also be made during this process. At the Weitz Firm, our Philadelphia medication errors attorneys want to discuss the compounding of medications and what you can do if you are injured by a medical mistake at the hospital.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drug compounding is the process of “combining, mixing, or altering ingredients to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient.”
Compounding medications include combining two or more drugs together, and compounded drugs are not FDA-approved.
Drug compounding in the hospital is necessary if a patient cannot be treated with an FDA-approved medication. There are various reasons why this may be the case, including a patient that has a certain allergy something in the medication and needs a medication to be made without the ingredient. Medications in the hospital may need to be compounded for a child or elderly patient that is not able to swallow capsules or tablets. The compounding process could provide the medication in liquid form.
In these situations and others, compounding can serve important needs for the patient. However, this is a highly technical process, and medication compounders could put the patients’ lives at risk.
According to the FDA, compounded drugs do not have the same quality, safety, and effectiveness assurances as approved drugs. The agency says that the unnecessary use of compounding can expose patients to serious health risks. Compounding drugs in a hospital is often done by pharmacists or pharmacy technicians.
The main risks associated with drug compounding are inappropriately prepared compound medicines. Because this practice involves altering medications to fit an individual patient’s needs, this is not a standardized process. A simple measuring mistake made by the person compounding the medication could lead to serious adverse risks for a patient.
If you or somebody you love has been injured by a medical error during a hospital stay, please contact an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit, and to the team at the Weitz Firm is ready to help you today. We will complete a full investigation into your claim in order to secure any compensation you may be entitled to, which could include: