A recall and production shutdown at a Woburn compounding pharmacy last month left about 100 patients treated for bladder conditions at Boston Children’s Hospital without a product they need to keep catheters clear of infection.
Speaking at a legislative hearing Tuesday, Children’s Hospital pharmacy director Al Patterson said Pallimed Solutions, Inc., made an antibiotic solution that these patients need to flush their catheters regularly. But state regulators ordered the compounder to stop making products that require sterile production processes after inspectors found visible contaminants in several vials in the facility, and Pallimed issued a recall of about two dozen drugs.
Health care providers need greater assurances that compounding pharmacies they rely on are producing safe and reliable products, Patterson said before a joint legislative committee reviewing proposals to better regulate the industry after tainted drugs from New England Compounding Center in Framingham caused a national outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections.
Outside the hearing room, Patterson said patients’ families are struggling to find another pharmacy to provide the solution, which is prescribed by doctors and typically shipped by the pharmacy directly to a patient. Given upheaval in the industry, he said, other compounders are reluctant to take on new patients.
“This is a public health potential disaster,” he said.