What exactly is a compounding pharmacy? What do they do differently than chain pharmacies? The answer can be simplified down to one word: personalization. A compounding pharmacy is defined as a pharmacy that prepares personalized medications by mixing, combining, or altering ingredients of a drug to create a tailored medication to meet a patient’s specific needs.
Taking one or more active ingredients, a customized treatment is created to precisely fit a doctor’s prescription or to create drug that is no longer available. This essential “triad” relationship – doctor, physician, and compounding pharmacist – is the basis of all compounding pharmacies.
A History of Compounding
Before the boom of mass drug manufacturing during the 1950’s and 60’s, nearly all prescription medications were compounded. In fact, during the 1930’s and 40’s, nearly 60% of all medications were custom created in a compounding pharmacy. The pharmacist played a vital role in the filling of prescriptions as the actual preparer of medications during these times.
Nowadays, he or she has become simply a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms and is no longer trained in the compounding of medications. In the 1980’s and 90’s, however, patients and doctors began to realize the incredible benefits that compounding pharmacies and compounded medications had to offer and compounding became more popular and utilized.
What are the Benefits of Pharmacy Compounding?
There are many reasons why patients have their prescriptions filled at a compounding pharmacy – the most important being patient non-compliance. A large percentage of the population is sensitive or allergic to many inactive ingredients, preservatives, dyes, or overall drug strengths used in mass-produced pharmaceuticals. With a prescription from a doctor or physician, a compounding pharmacist is able to add flavor to a drug to make it more acceptable, change the strength of active ingredients, or alter its form for easier ingestion.
Compounding pharmacies are a favorite of parents with children who do not like the less-than-tasty flavors or forms of traditional medications. Medications can be transformed into something that tastes more like ice cream and less like torture with custom flavorings. Compounding pharmacists are able to fill prescriptions with medicines in forms such as a lozenge, lollipop, sublingual troche, or even a gel or cream. Pills or tablets can also be turned into a suspension liquid for those who have a difficult time swallowing.
Pharmacists also help those who are experiencing chronic pain or those who have special needs. Injections, creams, and other forms of pain therapy may be administered in the most comfortable and effective way to meet a patient’s needs or sensitivities. An example of this would be a patient suffering from chronic pain being given a topical cream instead of a pill due to gastro-intestinal side effects.
The bottom line is simple – compounding pharmacies remove the one-size-fits-all aspect of everyday pharmacies, while putting personalization first for a better final outcome for each individual patient. At Hoye’s Pharmacy, our compounding pharmacists and helpful staff members work closely with patients and doctors alike to ensure that their needs and specifications are met in every prescription we fill.
Contact us at (800) 788-8123 for more information on how we can help personalize your prescriptions.