November 10, 2023

Bad journalism, ketamine studies, and scammers

I don’t have a clever theme to unite the three things I want to share this week, so I’ll just dive in…

1. Our CEO ranted in a previous column about the laziness and ignorance of some recent media reporting about pharmacy compounding.

This piece in the New York Post this week is just another example of exactly that. Old data, one-sided, swallowing without question what FDA and drug manufacturers say about compounding. As we look to 2024, APC staff will be recommending to our board of directors tactics for taking on the lopsided way reporters are portraying our profession.

2. Two stories this week offer conflicting views on ketamine therapies for mental health issues. Both are worth your time. This one, in STAT News, focuses on the lack of research on the use of ketamine, and references a Duke study of ketamine IV therapy in which researchers “tracked 300 patients receiving ketamine at Duke, [and] more than a third of them reported significant side effects that required professional attention, such as hallucinations, troubling thoughts and visual disturbances.”

This one, released by Mindbloom, reports on “a landmark peer-reviewed study” of at-home ketamine therapy using a compounded rapid-dissolve tablet. The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, “shows that the therapy drove significant improvements in anxiety and depression,” Mindbloom’s statement said.

3. Take a good look at the flyer inset here. In recent weeks, it’s been faxed to thousands of physician offices. Some of those prescribers have phoned APC to ask if it’s legit. Well it’s not. It’s a scam — but a clever one in the sense that they seem to associate themselves with an alliance that sounds a lot like APC. Oh, and they don’t really have PCAB accreditation. Fact is, we’re not even sure it’s a pharmacy at all. We’ve shared the flyer with FDA in hopes that it might be helpful in shutting down what is in effect a criminal enterprise.

Stuff like this doesn’t help the image of compounding, and it’s important for us to note the distinction between a scam and legitimate compounding when we see it.


Anthony Grzib is VP of quality and compliance, state-regulated pharmacies at Wedgewood Pharmacy in Swedesboro, New Jersey. You can reach him at