NPR Investigation: Web Of ‘Wellness’ Doctors Push Unproven COVID-19 Treatment : NPR

An NPR investigation has identified a web of more than 30 medical practices and compounding pharmacies in over a dozen states that have made claims about thymosin alpha-1 online and on social media.

Continue full story at Source: >NPR Investigation: Web Of ‘Wellness’ Doctors Push Unproven COVID-19 Treatment : NPR

“An NPR investigation has found that Fradin-Read’s practice is one of more than 30 medical practices and compounding pharmacies across more than a dozen states that have made unproven claims about this drug on their websites and on social media. It remains unclear how many Americans may have taken the drug since the pandemic began, though one doctor told NPR that she had prescribed it to more than 100 patients. The cost of the drug can run up to $400 for a month’s supply — all out of pocket.

“The term “pharmacy” can bring to mind CVS or Walgreens, but compounding pharmacies are often more like small drug manufacturers that mix and sell customized drugs.

“The FDA has said they play an important role in the health care system. A compounding pharmacy might make a version of a drug for a patient with an allergy to one of the regular ingredients, for example. But the FDA does not test or evaluate drugs made in those pharmacies. So even though those drugs may be legally prescribed, they are never considered “FDA approved.”

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned that compounding pharmacies, while an important part of the health care system, can present serious risks to American consumers.

“For years, experts have warned that drugs made in compounding pharmacies can be dangerous, especially since lax lab standards can heighten the risk of contamination. In the most well-known incident linked to compounding pharmacies, in 2012, mold-tainted drugs from the New England Compounding Center sickened more than 700 people with meningitis, killing 64.

They are subject to a lower quality standard, and so it’s very important that they really only be used when medically necessary,” said Julie Dohm, a former FDA official, who led the agency’s work on compounding pharmacies. Some of these pharmacies actively promote drugs that may not be medically necessary.

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