U.S. Illnesses and Deaths Associated With Compounded Medications or Repackaged Medications

2001-2013

U.S. Illnesses and Deaths Associated With Compounded Medications, 2001-2013

Note: Please click here for the most recent data on adverse events associated with compounded drugs.

The table below was updated on Nov. 19, 2015, to reflect newly reported events, but is no longer current.

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U.S. Illnesses and Deaths From Compounded Medications

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Pew’s drug safety project has identified 73 reported compounding errors or potential errors associated with more than 1,562 adverse events, including at least 116 deaths, from 2001 to 2019. However, a 2015 survey found that only 30 percent of states (13 of the 43 that responded) require sterile compounding pharmacies to report serious adverse events.1 Of the states that require reporting, the type of information that is required to be reported may vary, further contributing to an incomplete picture of adverse events associated with compounded medications. Even in states with strong adverse event reporting requirements, illnesses and deaths caused by compounded drugs are not always linked to the compounding error.2 Because many such events go unreported, this chart is an underestimation of the number of compounding errors since 2001. Contamination of sterile products was the most common error; others were the result of compounders’ miscalculations and mistakes in filling prescriptions.

Pew’s drug safety project has identified over 25 reported compounding errors or potential errors associated with 1,076 adverse events, including 90 deaths, since 2001. Because many such events may go unreported this list is probably an underestimation. Contamination of sterile products was the most common error, though others were the result of pharmacists’ and technicians’ miscalculations and mistakes in filling prescriptions.

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