Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Take Action: Bill to restrict access to compounding pharmacy

Ackk! There's a lot of new legislation onboard to try to limit consumers' access to herbal supplements and compounded medicine--as if it's sooooo dangerous? I knew a few people a year die from stuff like ephedra overdose, but I don't think it's even in the same range as people dying or being debilitated from pharma meds. I mean, you can take all the vitamin C you want and you'll just get the runs...

So I don't know why thse senators are so bent ouf ot shape about compounded meds, which are PRESCRIBED by doctors (oh, wait, I know: $$$$ from the drug lobby, I forgot!). Many people are very sensitive to/have allergies to non-active substances in drugs (called "excipients"--includes plasticizers, weird colors, fillers, artificial sweeteners), and our son is in this category. The rare times he needs, say an anti-fungal, we have it compounded so it's pure, unflavored, maybe a little stevia sweetener.

This law, if passed, would also mean BIG TROUBLE to people doing natural hormone replacement (while artifical HRT gave all those women breast cancer--and docs can and still do prescribe it!).

I don't normally post twice in a day, so please note this is very, very important to keep this avenue open to consumers, now and later when you might need it. WRITE TO YOUR SENATOR NOW.

This is one of many announcements, but this one from the Health Freedom Foundation has an option for a quickie email (for those pressed for time--if not, a LETTER is much more effective).

AAHF/HFF rarely asks you to take action on a bill BEFORE it is even introduced, but occasionally we come across a piece of legislation that we consider so horrendous that we must act before it is even introduced. Unfortunately, Senators Kennedy (D/MA) Burr (R/NC) and Roberts (R/KS), among others are considering legislation that would severely restrict and possibly deny your access to critical medications. Act today to protect patient access to compounded medicines - tell Congress you will not support the Safe Compounding Drug Act of 2007.

Just as everybody has a unique fingerprint, so is our response to various pharmaceuticals and other healing modalities. No reasonable person can expect a mass produced pharmaceutical to address all the subtle nuances of varying human physiology – but that is not stopping Big Pharma, the FDA, and Congress from trying to take away your right to individualized medicine.

If this legislation passes, federal regulators, not your doctor, will decide what medicines you can take. Do you really want to leave your customized medicine needs in the hands of bureaucrats in the government? We cannot stand idly by while our pharmacists and doctors are forced to become mere dispensers of a few heavily-advertised, one-size-fits-all pharmaceutical products."
Click here to send a letter!


RandomThoughts said...

According to doctors in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they find that supplements and vitamins show no live expanding benefit and may actually cause a quicker death.


GreenFertility said...

I beg to differ: the study states that there is a *slightly* higher chance of death "from all causes"--this includes car accidents! In this study, it seems correlation does not imply causation.

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of hearing one side of this story. Go read the bill - then go read about the thousands of people who didn't ask or need a compounded drug. There are many pharmacy businesses who just decide to 'switch' a patient's FDA prescription to one that's "compounded". These people are acting just like manufacturers but are hiding under the umbrella of compounding and the pharmacists are letting them do it!!! Who cares if patients die or get sick as long as they can make their money. Check things out before you go defending an underground, unregulated industry that is out to make money off of sick people.

GreenFertility said...

Thanks for your comment. Personally, I do not know of a single person who's ever had this "switch" you speak of done. I find having medications compounded a huge pain, but we do it to keep the crap out of our son's meds.

Susan G said...

JAMA has published studies about the benefits of supplements and has editorially supported multivitamins.
Anonymous is confused: compounding pharmacies have plenty of valid business and do not do unethical rogue prescriptions. Opinions need to have basis in fact.

AlexZ said...

You are absolutely right. Compounding is an important medical service. There are thousands of people who couldn't live without it when its done in the triad of physician, patient and pharmacist working together. On the other hand, there are huge underground businesses that call themselves compounders so that can skirt the laws. These businesses send compounded medications to doctors and patients they don't even know - no triad in place. And unlike traditional compounding, they don't make one drug at a time for the patient, they make hundreds to millions of doses and send them out to people just like a big pharmaceutical company BUT they don't comply with any safety regulations like testing for safety, efficacy or sterility. For science and facts go to http://www.ppsinc.org/phcom/06morbidity.htm or just google compounding deaths or errors omisbranded/adulterated compounding. What's really scary is people don't know they have a compounded product. Ask a Medicare patient who uses nebulizer medication to check and see if the nebulzier medication is FDA-approved. Lincare/Reliant Pharmacy, Rotecha and CCS received warning letters last year for sending these medications to mostly Medicare patients and they didn't know they'd been switched to this stuff. Many of them were sicker with these medications and nobody knows how many people may have died, because compounding pharmacists are supposed to know their patients and don't have to keep records! Please, go read the bill. It's a draft and basically prevents mass manufacturers from putting patients at risk. Labeling and reporting of adverse events are highlighted in the bill. Patients have a right to know what the medicine is they are taking and all the benefits and risks that come with using that medication. The people who are spreading the word that everyone will lose their compounded medication are in actuality, the people mass manufacturing! You can check the FDA Warning letters and look who they are being sent to. They stand to lose millions of dollars and will tell you they are the "little guys". Check out their financial records, they are not.

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