Dr. David F. Chang Reminds Ophthalmologists of Importance of Compounding Pharmacies

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David F. Chang interviews Charles Leiter regarding the state of compounding and how pharmacies, such as Leiter’s, maintain high standards of quality when compounding medications.

compounding pharmacy, custom medications, compounds

Dr. Chang and Mr. Leiter

In the March 2013 issue of EyeWorld magazine, Dr. David F. Chang interviewed CEO of Leiter’s Compounding Pharmacy, Charles Leiter. As compounding pharmacies continue to reel from the devastating Meningitis outbreak caused by the negligence of New England Compounding Center, Dr. David F. Chang reminds the industry of the importance of quality compounding in “Compounding pharmacies: Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

In the op-ed and interview, Dr. Chang discusses what happened in Massachusetts, the state of the industry, the results of the Meningitis outbreak, and the utmost need for quality medication from reliable compounding pharmacies such as Leiter’s.

Dr Chang said, “The disastrous fungal infections caused by contaminated medications from the New England Compounding Center(NECC) have rocked the pharmaceutical compounding industry. As a result of this horrible outbreak, the confidence of many physicians and their patients in compounded medications has been shaken.” Leiter expands, “What happened at NECC was a disaster. They were operating under horrific, unsafe conditions, and they never should have been in business. They’ve unfairly tarnished our entire industry. No responsible doctor should have ever ordered from NECC. The FDA and pharmacy boards should have shut them down years ago, and the owners should never have allowed product to ship.”

Dr. Chang follows by explaining the continued need for high quality medication from compounding pharmacies. He said, “Of course, drug compounding has always filled important and otherwise unmet pharmaceutical needs.” Leiter reiterates this point, saying “The role of compounding drugs is paramount in the U.S. because compounding meets very tangible and very serious medical needs that cannot be met anywhere else.”

As scrutiny intensifies on compounding pharmacies, Chang reminds industry professionals of the compounding pharmacies that are producing quality medications and the distinction of a PCAB accredited pharmacy. “As you will see, there is only a small minority of compounding pharmacies that are accredited, and this is a very important distinction.” Leiter expands on the accreditation and the importance of not distinguishing based on cost. “NECC was not PCAB accredited. The number one rule for doctors when ordering a compounded medication is to verify that the pharmacy is PCAB accredited. Doctors or buyers at their clinics or ASCs should know and trust who they are doing business with and should not procure on the basis of selecting the lowest cost provider.”

Dr. Chang summarizes, “With the increased scrutiny and regulation that are sure to follow in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak, we must heed the idiom in this column’s title and preserve patient access to appropriate and properly compounded medications.”

About Dr. David F. Chang:

David F. Chang, MD is clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and the current president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is also Chairman of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Cataract Preferred Practice Pattern Committee, and is considered a leading expert in cataract surgery. Dr. Chang is the chief medical editor of EyeWorld and was previously co-chief medical editor for Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today.

About Leiter’s Compounding Pharmacy:

Leiter’s Compounding Pharmacy is located in San Jose, California and is a full walk-in pharmacy, retail store, and compounding facility. Leiter’s has state-of-the-art sterile and non-sterile clean rooms and compounds over 11,000 custom prescriptions. It is the industry leader in ophthalmic compounds and solutions. It is currently operated by President and CEO Charles Leiter, Pharm. D. Leiter’s Compounding Pharmacy has compounded more than 1 million sterile doses in the last 25 years. Visit Leiter’s Compounding Pharmacy online at http://www.leiterrx.com.

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