Compounding Pharmacies Fail Inspection after Meningitis Outbreak

Unsafe at any dose

In 1965, after learning how car manufacturers were stubbornly refusing to make their products safer, consumer advocate Ralph Nader labeled the American automobile “unsafe at any speed.”

Well, after a new report out of Massachusetts, it may be time to label Big Pharma “unsafe at any dose.”

Remember that fungal meningitis outbreak last year that killed 45 people and was linked to a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy mixing tainted steroids under unsanitary conditions?

Well, state health officials decided to see how big a problem they had on their hands — and it was worse than anyone could have imagined.

Massachusetts state inspectors conducted surprise inspections at 37 compounding pharmacies, and only four passed. That’s right — four.

And it only gets worse from there. Eleven compounding pharmacies had such serious violations that inspectors temporarily shut down all or part of their operations.

What does that mean? Well, it means that if you bought a drug that was custom blended at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, there was a nearly 90% chance it came from a facility that wasn’t following basic measures designed to keep us safe.

Now, granted, a 90% failure rate is abysmal — but compared to what we might see from other states, Massachusetts may be our A student.

“I am sure the same things would be found in other states, not just Massachusetts,” Michael Cohen, president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, told the Boston Globe.

And he’s right. Turns out, compared to other states, safety measures in Massachusetts are downright rigorous. Many states don’t even require their compounding pharmacies to follow federal safety guidelines.

And as compounding pharmacies step in more and more often these days to help fill “traditional” drug shortages, this means that more and more of us could be exposed.

Here’s the upshot — you have an absolute right to know where your prescription drugs come from before you swallow that first pill or take that first injection. And if your prescriptions came from a compounding pharmacy, which mixes custom blends and dosages, you have a very good reason to be suspicious.

It’s time to start asking serious questions — including whether we need some of these drugs in the first place. Stick with us, and we’ll continue to share safe, natural solutions that may get you off the Big Pharma crazy train once and for all.


Just 4 of 37 Massachusetts compounding pharmacies passed surprise health inspections: (

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