The widening outbreak of infections linked to a potentially tainted steroid produced by a Framingham compounding pharmacy has abruptly thrust a niche area of drug preparation into public view. But even as scrutiny has focused on the oversight and operations of such businesses, much about how compounding pharmacies normally function has remained obscure. Compounders say the business is predominantly made up of shops that serve a limited geographic region, who fill individual prescriptions for patients.
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