Pharmacy Compounding is...
the long-established tradition in pharmacy practice that enables physicians to prescribe and patients to take medicines that are specially prepared by pharmacists to meet patients’ individual needs.
Compounded Medicines are a Vital Part of Quality Medical Care
A growing number of people have unique health needs that off-the-shelf prescription medicines cannot meet. For them, customized, compounded medications prescribed or ordered by licensed physicians or veterinarians and mixed safely by trained, licensed compounding pharmacists are the only way to better health. Compounding is in even greater demand for treating animals because of the relatively narrow selection of medicines that are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmacists are the only health care professionals that have studied chemical compatibilities and can 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 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 "triad," the patient-physician-pharmacist relationship. Through this relationship, patient needs are determined by a physician, who chooses a treatment regimen that may include a compounded medication. Physicians often prescribe compounded medications for reasons that include (but are not limited to) the following situations:
- When needed medications are discontinued by or generally unavailable from pharmaceutical companies, often because the medications are no longer profitable to manufacture;
- When the patient is allergic to certain preservatives, dyes or binders in available off-the shelf medications;
- When treatment requires tailored dosage strengths for patients with unique needs (for example, an infant);
- When a pharmacist can combine several medications the patient is taking 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 for some patients, most often children.
Also, compounding is extremely important to the veterinary community, which often requires more flavors, dosages and potency levels than commercially available medications supply.
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