WHAT IS COMPOUNDING?
COMPOUNDING IS THE ART AND SCIENCE OF CREATING PERSONALIZED MEDICATIONS
Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are “made from scratch” – individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient. This method allows the compounding pharmacist to work with the patient and the prescriber to customize a medication to meet the patient’s specific needs.
Find out more about compounded medications:
Specialty Compounding: Compounding is a useful tool in varied areas of medicine
Alternative Medication Forms: Making medications more effective and easier to take
Compounding Answers: Answers to common compounding questions.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF COMPOUNDING
At one time, nearly all prescriptions were compounded. With the advent of mass drug manufacturing in the 1950s and ‘60s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms, and most pharmacists no longer were trained to compound medications. However, the “one-size-fits-all” nature of many mass-produced medications meant that some patients’ needs were not being met.
HOW DOES COMPOUNDING BENEFIT ME?
There are several reasons why prescribers and pharmacists provide compounded medications for patients. The primary reason for compounding is to avoid patient non-compliance, which means the patient is either unable or unwilling to use the medication as directed. Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or require a dosage that is different from the standard drug strengths.
With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can:
- Adjust the strength of a medication
- Avoid unwanted ingredients, such as dyes, preservative, lactose, gluten, or sugar.
- Add flavor to make the medication more palatable
- Prepare medications using unique delivery systems. (ie: liquid suspensions, topical gels/cream, suppositories, sublingual troches, or lollipops.
WHAT KINDS OF PRESCRIPTIONS CAN BE COMPOUNDED?
Almost any kind! Compounded prescriptions are ideal for any patient requiring unique dosages and/or delivery devices.
Compounding applications can include:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Pain management
- Otic (for the ear)
- Medication flavoring
- Sports medicine
- Wound therapy
- and many more!
INNOVATIVE COMPOUNDING TECHNOLOGY & TECHNIQUES MEET PATIENT NEEDS
Fortunately, compounding has experienced a resurgence as modern technology and innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet specific patient needs.
Trained pharmacists can now personalize medicine for patients who need specific:
- Dosage forms
- Ingredients excluded from medications due to allergies or other sensitivities
IS COMPOUNDING EXPENSIVE?
Compounding may or may not cost more than conventional medication. Its cost depends on factors such as the type of ingredients and equipment required, plus the time the pharmacist spends researching and preparing the medication. Fortunately, compounding pharmacists have access to pure-grade quality chemicals which dramatically lower overall costs and allow them to be very competitive with commercially manufactured products.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER MY COMPOUNDED MEDICATIONS?
Some insurance plans allow the patient to be reimbursed by sending in claim forms. While you may be paying a pharmacy directly for a compounded prescription, many insurance plans may cover the final cost.
DOES MY PRESCRIBER KNOW ABOUT COMPOUNDING?
Prescription compounding is a rapidly growing component of many physicians’ practices, but some may not realize the extent of compounding’s resurgence in recent years due to today’s climate of aggressive marketing by drug manufacturers. Ask your healthcare practitioner about compounding, or get in touch with a compounding pharmacy – one that is committed to providing high-quality compounded medications in the dosage form and strength prescribed by the practitioner. Through the triad relationship of patient, prescriber, and pharmacist, all three can work together to solve unique medical problems..
*all information provided through PCCA via pccarx.com
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