TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Fifteen people are dead and more than 230 are sick after a meningitis outbreak.
That outbreak killed two people in Indiana and made 30 more sick. This, after a Massachusetts pharmacy recalled a tainted steroid shot.
That pharmacy claimed the shot became tainted after lab workers compounded the drug.
From pills to injections, every medication holds the key to fighting an illness. However, for some conditions, unlocking the combination can be more difficult.
"Compounding is a specialized, customized medication for the patient's need. That's not available on the market," said Ashok Patel, a pharmacist at Hoosier Prescription Shop.
Ashok Patel compounds 40 to 50 prescriptions every month at Hoosier Prescription shop in Terre Haute.
Unlike the pharmacy in Massachusetts, each compound here is engineered specifically to the patient's needs.
"Local pharmacy makes for individual person for individual dose for individual quantity just for that person. that does not impact any contamination to the other compounding or other chemicals to anything else," said Patel.
While all pharmacies have the options to compound prescriptions, not all of them have the capabilities. You need the right tools and equipment. All of which help the medicines to get mixed correctly.
Hoosier Prescription Shop and other compounding pharmacies each receive FDA approved chemicals.
In addition, state health officials make unscheduled rounds, checking to make sure guidelines are being followed.
"They tell us if there is anything that needs to be correct, and we correct and we change the policy. We follow the policy. We always update the rules and the policies and formulas," said Patel.
However, while everything might be up to code at the pharmacy, it's also important to know that medications must be taken care of at home.
"It does not store in the right place and keep in good temperature that will go bad and get contaminated."
Dr. Patel says if you notice your medication changing colors or consistency, contact your pharmacist immediately.
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