Is a Compounding Pharmacy Right for Me?

It usually begins with a problem of some sort. For instance, a child can’t take a medicine because it’s too bitter. Maybe a patient has trouble swallowing a pill, or a particular strength that the doctor prescribes is not available commercially. This is where compounding enters the equation.

The United States Pharmacopeia Convention, or USP, defines compounding as:

“The preparation, mixing, assembling, altering, packaging, and labeling of the drug, drug delivery service, or device in accordance with a licensed practitioner’s prescription, medication order, or initiative based on the practitioner/patient/pharmacist/compound a relationship in the course of professional practice.”

Typically, compounded medications are prepared by a pharmacy like IPS Compounding. The compounding pharmacist will customize medicine based on your doctor’s prescription to meet your needs. These include the following:

    = Custom strength or dosage
    = Improve the taste of medication by adding flavoring
    = Reformulate a particular drug to exclude ingredients that might cause issues with patients due to allergies or intolerance.
    = Change medicinal form for patients who may have trouble swallowing traditional medication or experience stomach discomfort after taking oral medicine.

As such, pharmacists can add drugs to all sorts of things in an effort to meet your needs. Medicine can be put into topical creams, flavored liquids, suppositories, transdermal gels or other dosage forms as needed. However, compounding excludes copying commercially available medicine. The law will not allow it.

How Compounding Differs from Drug Manufacturing

First off, there are two types of compounding. Traditional compounding involves preparing a medication in order to meet exact specifications of the prescriber so the resulting product can be dispensed directly to the consumer. Pharmaceutical compounding is either performed or supervised by a licensed pharmacist through a state Board of pharmacy. On the contrary, manufacturing is simply mass production of medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. Afterwards, these medicines are sold to healthcare practitioners, pharmacies or others authorized under federal and state laws as resellers.

Do Compound Pharmacists Have Specific Training?

Understand, asking this question is like asking do five-star chefs know how to cook steak? Compounding is central to the pharmacy practice. In pharmacy school, pharmacists are taught how to compound medications properly. In addition, many states will test pharmacist’s knowledge of compounding and other skills before issuing a license to practice.

However, any pharmacist who practices in the 7,500 or so pharmacies specializing in compounding services have generally received advanced compound training after graduating from pharmacy school.

Even so, currently no states require specific training and there are no nationally recognized specialties that exist for pharmaceutical compounding. However, IPS compounding pharmacists are a bit different.

They are skilled, knowledgeable and able to answer any questions you may have regarding your medication.

How Do I Know if I Need a Compounding Pharmacy?

The simple answer to this is consult with your doctor or healthcare practitioner. They will typically prescribe a compounded medicine only when commercially available products do not adequately meet your needs. If you are uncertain as to why you have been prescribed a compounded medicine, talk with your doctor. Furthermore, if you have concerns about your medication, you have two options. First, you can speak with your doctor. Second, you can speak with one of our pharmacy staff. They are knowledgeable, experienced and ready to answer any questions you might have regarding side effects, administration and effectiveness. At IPS Compounding, our pharmacists exist for one reason only. That reason is to provide real solutions with real value to real people every day.