Who Monitors Your Hospital's Pharmacy for Safety?

Mistakes made in your hospital's pharmacy can be fatal ones, a sad fact pointed out in a disturbing USA Today feature. Even worse, federal and state oversight in the making of special drugs and solutions for patients is sketchy at best.

The story revolves around an investigation into allegations at least 11 cardiac patients received solutions contaminated with bacteria injected into their hearts during their surgeries at a Virginia hospital. Over that 10-month period, spanning the past two years, three patients died at that single hospital. The lone reason we may have heard about this story at all is because the Maryland-based pharmacy that made cardioplegia (the blended cardiac surgery drug) was large enough to be governed by the FDA and CDC.

Some medications, including the high-risk sterile solutions used during the aforementioned heart surgeries, are formulated by pharmacies that follow less stringent guidelines than do drug companies. Unfortunately, few states require hospitals to test the potency of compounded drugs and only 12 states have adopted sterile compounding standards.

The Maryland company received a letter from the FDA last spring citing serious problems ranging from a lack of training in sterility techniques to little environmental monitoring inside pharmacies.

Considering all the medical mistakes medical workers observe every day, the unnecessary procedures doctors recommend and drugs not made to proper standards, it should be no surprise your best choice is to stay from hospitals altogether by taking better responsibility for your health today. Learning about my Total Health Program is a good start in the right direction.

USA Today August 8, 2006