Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong was recently joined by Representative Clay Ingram in a tour of Pensacola Apothecary, a compounding pharmacy in Pensacola. The local pharmacy provides services to Northwest Florida physicians and specializes in formulating and customizing medications to meet the special health needs of patients and to assist where certain medications are not available. With recent discussions regarding compounding practices in the state and across the nation, this tour presented a unique opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the practice and to work with the Board of Pharmacy in its ongoing discussions of changes to best protect all Floridians.
“Pensacola Apothecary serves as an industry standard for quality of service and safe practices,” said Dr. Armstrong. “These strict quality standards should be the benchmark for all compounding pharmacies so that patients in Florida receive safe compounded medications.”
Supervising pharmacist Christopher Schulte manages Pensacola Apothecary, a community and special parenteral and enteral pharmacy. A parenteral and enteral pharmacy is licensed to compound sterile medications such as intravenous “IV” therapy and nutrition, irrigation solutions, feeding tubes and other sterile products such as eye drops. Pensacola Apothecary opened its doors in 2003 and is Northwest Florida’s only Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) accredited pharmacy, the highest quality and safety standards in the profession.
“Pensacola is fortunate to be served by one of the state’s leaders in safe, high-quality compounding,” said Rep. Clay Ingram. “I personally saw the extraordinary measures taken by Pensacola Apothecary to ensure that patients are protected, and that kind of commitment to safety sets a wonderful example for other compounding pharmacies in Florida.”
National conversations have emerged regarding the safety of compounded medications as the result of the fungal meningitis caused by contaminated injectable products compounded at the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass. The Florida Department of Health, along with the Florida Board of Pharmacy will continue to review current regulation of Florida’s pharmacies to identify measures for improvement. Results from a mandatory compounding practice survey have recently been released and will serve as a guide to future rulemaking in order to protect patients without creating unduly burdensome regulation.