In-Store Drug Compounding
Pharmaceutical Compounding is a long-established tradition in pharmacy practice that enables physicians to prescribe medications that are specifically designed and tailored by a pharmacist to meet patients’ individual healthcare needs.
A growing number of people have unique healthcare needs that commercially available prescription medications cannot meet. For them, custom compounded medications prescribed by licensed physicians or veterinarians and mixed safely by trained, licensed compounding pharmacists are the only way to optimized therapy and treatment. Compounding is in even greater demand for treating animals because of the relatively narrow selection of medications that are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmacists are the only health care professionals that have in depth knowledge of chemical compatibilities and can in turn prepare alternate dosage forms. In fact, each state requires that pharmacy schools must, as part of their core curriculum, instruct students on the compounding of pharmaceutical ingredients. Compounding has been part of healthcare since the origins of pharmacy, and is widely used today in all areas of the industry, from retail to hospitals to nuclear medicine. Over the last few decades, compounding’s resurgence has benefited largely from advances in technology, quality control and research methodology. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that compounded prescriptions are both ethical and legal as long as they are prescribed by a licensed practitioner for a specific patient and compounded by a licensed pharmacy.Compounding pharmacies are licensed and regulated in the 50 states and the District of Columbia by their respective state boards of pharmacy.
Because every patient is different and has different needs, customized compounded medications are a vital part of quality medical care.
The basis of the profession of pharmacy has always been the Physician-Patient-Pharmacist Triad relationship. Through this relationship, patient needs are determined by a physician, who chooses a treatment regimen that may include a compounded medication. Physicians often choose compounded medications for reasons that may include, but are not limited to the following situations:
- When needed medications are discontinued by or generally unavailable from pharmaceutical companies;
- When the patient has an allergy to certain preservatives, dyes or binders in commercially available medications;
- When treatment requires tailored dosage strengths for patients with unique needs (for example, an infant);
- When a pharmacist can combine several medications to increase compliance;
- When the patient cannot ingest the medication in its commercially available form and a pharmacist can prepare the medication in cream, liquid or other form that the patient can easily take; and
- When medications require flavor additives to make them more palatable.
Also, compounding is extremely important to the veterinary community, which often requires more flavors, dosages and potency levels than commercially available medications supply.
For more information, call or visit your local Medicine Chest Pharmacy.
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