Commercially available drugs are manufactured by drug companies in mass quantities for the general population with no specific patient in mind. Compounded medications are ordered by a physician, individually prepared by a compounding pharmacy, and made specifically for your unique medical needs.
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
For patients who find it difficult to swallow a capsule, a compounding pharmacist may prepare the drug as a flavored liquid suspension instead. Other medication forms include topical gels or creams that can be absorbed through the skin, suppositories, sublingual troches, or even lollipops.
Almost any medication can be compounded for a patient requiring unique dosages, forms, and/or delivery devices. Compounding applications can include:
Compounding has been part of healthcare since the origins of pharmacy. It is widely used today in all areas of the industry, from hospitals to nuclear medicine. Over the last few decades, the resurgence of compounding 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. In addition, compounding is regulated by state boards of pharmacy.
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 us. Through the triad relationship of patient, prescriber, and pharmacist, all three can work together to solve unique medical problems.
Yes! Children and the elderly are often the types of patients who benefit most from compounding. It is common for parents to have a tough time getting their children to take medicine because of the taste. A compounding pharmacist can work directly with the physician and the patient to select a flavoring agent, such as bubblegum, grape, chocolate, or tutti frutti, which provides both an appropriate match for the medication’s properties and the patient’s taste preferences. Just think – no more wasting medicine when a cranky patient spits it out! (This applies to veterinary patients, too.)
Compounding pharmacists also can help patients who experience chronic pain. For example, some arthritic patients cannot take certain medications due to gastrointestinal side effects. With a healthcare practitioner’s prescription, a compounding pharmacist may be able to provide these patients’ anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications with topical preparations that can be absorbed through the skin. Compounded prescriptions frequently are used to ease pain, nausea, and other symptoms for hospice patients as well.
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.
We provide universal claim forms for every compound that can be directly submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement. While some insurance companies will require additional forms or may reject reimbursement, we will do everything possible to help you receive reimbursement through your insurance company.
When you take a prescription to a traditional retail pharmacy, you can usually wait 20-minutes or so to have them fill the prescription. Compounded medicines are a little different. Because we formulate and prepare each prescription to the patient's individual needs at the time of order, the process to fill/make each individual prescription varies. It typically takes 24 to 48 hours for us to prepare a compounded medicine. In the case of especially complex formulations, additional time may be needed. However, emergencies do happen. In such situations, we make every effort to get your compounded prescription as soon as possible.
Upon receiving a prescription/refill from your doctor, we will first get your approval before filling the prescription since it is made specifically for you. In addition, we will obtain some basic information and discuss payment/shipping options with you. If you have not heard from us, please feel free to call us to review your medication needs.