The deaths of 64 people injected with contaminated drugs created by New England Compounding Center last year drew wide public attention because of the scale of the tragedy and the mistakes uncovered after the fact.
But the incident was by no means isolated.
• In 2007, three died after being injected with a compounded drug made in a Texas pharmacy. Inspectors discovered that drugs were six times as potent as the labels indicated. Tougher state oversight would have prevented the deaths, critics say.
• In 2005, a contaminated compounded medicine produced by a Maryland pharmacy for use in open-heart surgery caused severe infections and three deaths.
• In 2002, two people died after being injected with tainted steroids produced by a South Carolina pharmacy. After the fact, South Carolina inspectors found the pharmacy unsanitary and its sterilization practices falling abysmally short.
• A year before the NECC deaths, nine people died when they received contaminated intravenous solutions from an Alabama pharmacy. The contaminating bacteria were typically found in water and sometimes bathrooms. Investigators after the fact found the same kind of bacteria at the pharmacy, including at a faucet that dispensed tap water.
• In 2012, Franck's Compounding Lab in Ocala made sterile compounds it shipped to doctors in seven states for use during eye surgeries. The drugs were contaminated with mold. Thirty-three people lost some of their sight or needed surgeries to try and fix what the infections destroyed.
The common theme among these episodes was that, while investigations of the deadly mishaps revealed unsanitary or unsterile conditions, each compounding pharmacy had passed inspection by its state pharmacy board.