If you've needed surgery lately, you may have spent weeks or months researching all available surgeons in the area before choosing a doctor and undergoing surgery. Like most patients, you probably had high hopes that your doctors would do everything possible to perform a successful surgery.
One of the great advances of modern medicine is the ability to access personalized medications, formulated and packaged specifically for you an your needs. The possibilities inherent in this type of individualized treatment can be life-giving for thousands of patients worldwide who have very specific needs and weaknesses.
A woman has been taking a common arthritis medication for a few months when she develops a persistent cough that grows worse with time. At first she thinks it's just a cold, then maybe allergies. She consults her doctor, but by then it has progressed. It turned out to be a deadly fungal infection called histoplasmosis that her arthritis medication allowed to grow. Who is at fault? An otherwise-healthy man taking a common diabetes medication dies from a sudden heart attack. Who is responsible? An active young woman taking a popular birth control pill suddenly collapses from life-threatening blood clots in her lungs. Who is to blame?
Sometimes getting your medication right can be a bit of a guessing game for your doctor and pharmacist. They need to balance out the benefits of a drug with potential side effects while dealing with other obstacles that are more patient specific, such as difficulty swallowing pills or being prone to allergies. In most cases the drugs that are ultimately prescribed are the same ones that were approved by the FDA and are used by thousands every day. For some people, the FDA drug doesn't seem to be the right choice, and they wind up working with their doctor and pharmacist on possible alternatives. One option they explore is compounded medication from a compounded pharmacy.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers have long asserted that preventable medical errors are rare, and that they usually have minimal impact on patient health. But is that true?