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    UCLA’s Compounding Pharmacy Faces Sanctions

    The pharmacy faces sanctions after nearly 1,000 IV bags were made with expired ingredients.

    The California Board of Pharmacy is seeking sanctions against a UCLA Health system compounding pharmacy that was shut down last year over potentially adulterated medications.

    While the pharmacy—UCLA Medical Center Pharmaceutical Technology—quietly shut its doors in October 2016, the problems there are coming to light only now, after the board filed a formal accusation in July.

    Possible sanctions include license revocation, suspension, or “further action as deemed necessary and proper,” according to a Los Angeles Times article.

    Related article: FDA Considers Compounding Pharmacy Regulations

    A pharmacy inspector found that around 1,000 bags of sterile IV medications for heart patients and other seriously ill patients were made with expired and potentially dangerous ingredients, according to California Board of Pharmacy records.

    The compounding pharmacy used expired drugs in compounding sterile medications, failed to meet state standards for quality assurance and product testing, and lacked the proper licensing, according to the board.

    In addition, Richard C. Graul, the pharmacist who headed up Pharmaceutical Technology, quit and declared his license inactive, according to the LA Times.

    UCLA Health representatives did not return emails from Drug Topics. UCLA Health includes Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica.

    However, in a statement, UCLA Health said it voluntarily closed the off-campus compounding pharmacy following an annual site visit by the California Board of Pharmacy.

    “It was a business decision that does not affect UCLA Health’s other pharmacies or ability to provide exceptional patient care. UCLA Health is committed to compliance with pharmacy board regulations designed to ensure high-quality care.”

    UCLA Health also said that “there were no allegations or findings that outdated ingredients were administered to patients” and that “no adulterated ingredients were identified.”

    Related article: How the NECC Case Changed Compounding Pharmacy

    In addition, the outdated compound identified by the Board of Pharmacy was never intended for use “because we were no longer compounding that product and had found other suppliers,” UCLA Health said.

    The primary role of Pharmaceutical Technology was to compound nonsterile-to-sterile medications. “Like many medical centers, UCLA Health now no longer compounds such medications,” the organization said.

    At the time of the Board of Pharmacy inspection, UCLA Health had already begun to use other suppliers for the nonsterile-to-sterile compounding products produced by the pharmacy, with the goal being to stop producing all such compounds, according to the statement.

    Meanwhile, UCLA Health said it removed and destroyed outdated ingredients identified by the pharmacy board.

    Christine Blank
    Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.

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