What is Compounding?

What is Compounding?

Compounding is the traditional method of preparing customized medications to help meet unique physician and patient needs.

Compounding pharmacists focus on providing innovative patient care.  This may involve compounding an eye drop in a sterile compounding lab, an injection for impotency, preparing medications for veterinarians, or providing natural, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.  Also know as a problem solver, a compounding pharmacist’s ultimate goal in preparing customized medications is to help the physician and patient achieve a more positive therapeutic outcome.

Let’s take a closer look at some commonly used words, and their definitions:

Pharmacy:  “The art or profession of preparing and preserving drugs, and of compounding and dispensing medication according to the prescriptions of physicians.” – Early 20th Century Webster Dictionary

Compounding:  “The preparation, mixing, assembling, packaging, or labeling of a drug or device (i) as a result of a practitioner’s prescription drug order or initiative based on the Practitioner / Patient / Pharmacist relationship in the course of professional practice, or (ii) for the purpose of or as an incident to research, teaching, or chemical analysis, and not for resale or dispensing.  Compounding also includes the preparation of drugs or devices in anticipation of prescription drug orders based on routine, observed patterns.” – NABP Model State Pharmacy Act

Manufacturing:  “The production, preparation, conversion, or processing of a drug or device…and includes any packaging, or repacking of the substance(s) or labeling or relabeling of its container, and the promotion and marketing of such Drugs or Devices.  Manufacturing also includes the preparation and promotion of commercially available products from bulk compounds for resale by the pharmacies, practitioners, or other persons.” – NABP Model State Pharmacy Act

So, what’s the difference between Compounding and Manufacturing?

Manufactured Medications:

  • There’s no specific patient in mind when the drug is produced
  • Prescribers must match the patients to the available products on the market
  • Economic considerations limit choices in drug dosages and dosage forms

Compounded Medications:

  • The formula is made to match the patient’s needs
  • The drug can be administered to the sight of action in the most effective dosage form available

Compounded medications are developed with a specific patient’s needs in mind, verses the traditional bulk manufactured medications.  You are probably wondering, what specific benefits can a compounded medication give me that a manufactured medication cannot?  As mentioned before, the goal of compounding is to improve the therapeutic outcome, by solving the problem.  Problems, such as:

  • Need to avoid dyes, preservatives, fillers, or actives
  • Need a palatable liquid medication
  • Need an administrable dosage form
  • Need to avoid specific side effects
  • The dose, dosage form, or medication is not commercially available
  • Need combination therapy to improve compliance
  • Need a unique dosage form designed for a specific problem

Horst Pharmacy can help solve these problems, and many more.  We will work closely with you and your physician to develop the right compound to meet your specific need.  We believe the foundation of the compounding profession is “The Triad” relationship between the patient, the pharmacist, and the physician.  Contact us today to learn more.

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