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Wrongful-death case against pharmacy dismissed
Swedesboro, N.J. - A wrongful-death suit alleging Wedgewood Pharmacy - the largest veterinary compounding pharmacy in the nation - improperly compounded drugs was dismissed by a U.S. district court after testing confirmed the administered product was made correctly.
SWEDESBORO, N.J. — A wrongful-death suit alleging Wedgewood Pharmacy — the largest veterinary compounding pharmacy in the nation — improperly compounded drugs was dismissed by a U.S. district court after testing confirmed the administered product was made correctly.
Filed by a group of Saratoga County Thoroughbred racehorse owners, the September 2005 case claimed that the use of an antimicrobial chloramphenicol palmitate, used to treat infections and supplied by Wedgewood, resulted in severe injury to one racehorse and the euthanasia of three others.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning plaintiffs Richlyn Farm; Grapestock, LLC; Rabbit Foot Stable, Inc.; John Peace; and Catherine and Donald Flanagan, cannot pursue the matter further in any court — relying on "testing confirming [that] the [Wedgewood] product was formulated to the labeled potency as advertised." Licensed throughout the United States, Wedgewood serves more than 17,000 prescribers of animal and human compounds and creates customized medications for individual patients based on a licensed practitioner's prescription.
"This dismissal clearly vindicates Wedgewood Pharmacy of any wrong doing," says George Malberg, pharmacist president and CEO. "We use industry-leading quality-control systems, including the strict record-keeping that allowed us to recall the medicine immediately and to submit samples of the actual batch administered to these animals for rigorous, third-party testing."
Compounding is important to the veterinary community, which often requires more flavors, dosages and potency levels than commercially available medications supply. Physicians and veterinarians prescribe compounded drugs for a variety of reasons, such as the needed medication is discontinued or generally unavailable; the patient is allergic to preservatives, dyes or binders in the shelved medications; when treatment requires tailored dosage strengths for patients with unique needs (e.g., an infant); when a pharmacist can combine several medications the patient is taking to increase compliance; and when the patient cannot ingest the medication in its commercially available form and a pharmacist can prepare the medication in cream, liquid or some other form that can be easily taken, among others.