Pharmacies that custom-make drugs are soliciting physician investors in Texas and other states for potentially lucrative deals in which the doctors refer patients to the pharmacy and share in any profits.
In addition, some compounding pharmacies are asking the doctors to refer patients to a clinical trial to test a pain cream or other compound the pharmacy provides, officials familiar with the proposals said.
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Mary Ann Roser has provided in-depth coverage of Central Texas health and medical issues since 2000. Her training includes national fellowships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Library of Medicine.
Experts’ tips for consumers
• If your doctor prescribes a compounded drug and directs you to a pharmacy, ask if he or she has a financial interest in the pharmacy.
• If so, consider asking if there are other options for obtaining the drug. Consumers have the right to choose where to buy their medications.
• If a clinical trial is proposed with a compounded drug, ask if the trial is being overseen by an institutional review board, which is required to protect patients.
• Also ask about the drug’s effectiveness and side effects.