Why Pharmacy Compounding Is Making a Comeback
Pharmacy compounding has started to make a comeback as it has become more popular and an effective way to produce medications that are customized for each patient. Personalized medicine that is based on each patient’s individual needs, genetics, health condition, medication tolerance, and other factors is increasing in popularity, and pharmacy compounding is an effective way for patients to obtain customized medications that meet their unique needs.
At compounding pharmacies, pharmacists can create medications from scratch using sterile production methods and raw materials. Modern compounding pharmacies have the proper safety and sterile equipment to safely produce compounded medications, so quality and purity is not a concern as long as the facility is modern, licensed to produce medications in its state, and staffed by pharmacists.
Before modern commercial medications, compounded medications were the major method of medication production. Pharmaceutical companies use mass drug production methods to create large shipments of branded drugs throughout the country, however each shipment of medication has very specific ingredients that cannot normally be adjusted, and they are designed to meet the needs of as many different people as possible.
In many cases commercialized medications are effective, but it falls short in several different circumstances as well. Physicians and medical professionals in many different fields of medicine are finding that compounded medications are just as effective or more effective than commercial medications, and as a result there has been an increased usage of compounding pharmacies.
Compounded medications are more versatile than commercial medications
Although a pharmaceutical company can create a huge quantity of one particular medication, there may be a large number of patients who are unable to use that particular medication for several reasons including: allergies to a particular ingredient, difficulties taking the medication in its form, too high of a dosage, or other issues.
At a compounding pharmacy the active ingredient can be added into a different format such as a lozenge, cream, gel, or drops. Allergies can be avoided by creating customized forms that are free of dyes, preservatives or other chemicals that may trigger allergies. The dosage can also be carefully controlled at a compounding pharmacy for patients that need lower doses or customized doses.
The applications for pharmaceutical compounding are almost endless, and many patients have experienced the benefits of personalized medicine, making it much more popular and increasingly requested by patients in fields like dermatology, sports medicine, geriatrics, endocrinology, and several others.
Compounded medications are usually covered by insurance, and if they are not covered by insurance they are usually affordable, costing almost the same or less as commercial medications. They can be produced with a relatively low cost as the raw ingredients used to make compounded medications can be purchased in bulk. Also, multiple active ingredients can be combined if necessary, reducing the total number of medications needed by a patient and possibly reducing their cost as well.
Medicine forms can be customized to be more effective
One area where compounding pharmacies have had a higher demand is for the creation of customized medicine forms. Medication forms are a major consideration because some forms can be much more effective than others. For instance, pain medications are often prescribed as oral medications, and they make take two hours or more to go into effect.
However, at compounding pharmacies topical medications can be created that are effective immediately and offer faster relief. This is of particular importance in fields like sports medicine where the speed of delivery of the medication is a major consideration. In other fields like veterinary medicine or pediatric medicine compounding pharmacies play a major role in creating medications that are tolerable for the patient in a form that is easy for them to take.
This increased usage of compounding medications has resulted in a larger percentage of the annual prescriptions in the United States being created at compounding pharmacies, and that percentage continues to grow as patients have shown to benefit from customized medicine.
Compounding pharmacies are also a relatively unknown option for both patients and medical practitioners in spite of their long history and popularity prior to commercial pharmacies, and as more patients become aware of their benefits, the use of compounding pharmacies will likely continue to increase. Many compounding pharmacies work individually with each patient or medical provider to find out their specific needs and offer suggestions as to which types of compounding medications may work the best for their unique situation.
Compounding pharmacies are safe as long as they are regulated by the State Board of Pharmacy
The FDA does not directly oversee compounding pharmacies because there are so many of them and because each pharmacy serves a wide range of different purposes, and the FDA leaves compounding pharmacy regulation to each state’s Board of Pharmacy. The Board of Pharmacy for each state has their own regulations and requirements for compounding pharmacies.
Also, compounding pharmacies are often required to carry the proper equipment to produce sterile medications, and they are required to produce medications in a cleanroom. Some medications that may be more susceptible to contamination must be produced with a stricter protocol. Contamination of medications at compounding pharmacies is rare and the vast majority of contamination has occurred at pharmacies that were not licensed or regulated by state boards.
Compounded medications have a wide range of clinical applications
With the several different clinical applications that compounded medications have in dozens of medical fields, they have become an increasingly popular alternative to commercial medications. Commercial medications simply cannot offer the same level of customization and versatility that compounded medications can offer, and although they may work for many people, there are always some patient that need more individualized medication formats for their unique needs.
Compounding pharmacies can safely produce medications that make the lives of their patients much easier, and medical providers all over the United States have started to use them much more often in their practice. If you are a medical provider interested in signing up with Absolute Pharmacy or if you would like to request more information about our pharmacy, click here.