Community Pharmacy is a licensed compounding pharmacy… and you might be wondering: what’s that? Well, you’re not alone. Many people can’t tell you the difference between a compounding pharmacy and a standard pharmacy, but it can be a crucial component to your health regimen. That’s why we want to take some time to explain just what a compounding pharmacy is, and why it matters.
What are compounding pharmacies?
The role of a compounding pharmacy is to make customized medications to better match the needs of their patients. This happens when a pharmacist combines drugs or alters a drug in any way.
Compounding is the process of combining, mixing, or altering ingredients to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient, that’s as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although compounded drugs are not FDA-approved, licensed compounding pharmacists must undergo a thorough certification process. Compounding facilities are also inspected in accordance with safety and quality standards; standards vary from state to state.
So what is a compounding pharmacy? Essentially, it’s a pharmacy that has the tools and licensure to customize drugs in an effort to better serve the needs of their patients.
Who do compounding pharmacies help?
You might be wondering “what’s the point?” We’re here to explain. Compounding provides unique access to certain medications, where it wouldn’t otherwise be possible. A great example of how this is tremendously beneficial is when it comes to allergens.
Commercially manufactured drugs may include ingredients harmful to those allergic to them. There have been documented cases of people taking a drug to feel better, only to feel much worse after experiencing adverse or allergic reactions. Compounding can prevent this by removing the allergen while keeping the integrity of the drug intact. That way people can still get the help they need, while avoiding suffering in the meantime.
Some other good examples of how compounding pharmacies help the communities they serve can be seen in discontinued medications. Many people find particular medications helpful and are devastated when the drug is discontinued by commercial manufacturers. Compounding pharmacies offer solutions by creating custom medicines, similar to those discontinued (an added bonus? These drugs are usually less expensive than their big-pharm counterparts).
A compounding pharmacy provides tailor-made solutions to these issues, not otherwise available. Some less obvious benefits: providing more pet-friendly or child-friendly medicines. Some of these pharmacies will offer to add a sweetener, or another kind of additive, to create a more appealing version of the drug your child or pet needs.
A compounding pharmacist may also provide the option to change the form your drug takes. For example if you don’t like swallowing large pills (or physically can’t), they may offer the same medicine in cream, powder or liquid formulations.
Why is it important for you to know?
Why is it important for you to understand what compounding pharmacies are and how they’re helping communities? Basically knowledge is power and that’s even more true when it comes to your health. It’s critical for you to understand the resources at your disposal.
You may find yourself, or someone you love, in desperate need of a medicine that’s been discontinued or backordered. Compounding pharmacists are the people who can help you through a scary, and possibly dangerous, situation. But not every circumstance is dire, maybe it would just be helpful to add your child’s favorite flavor to a particularly bitter medicine, or you might not like that giant pill you have to swallow each morning. Drug compounding is an option, and it’s one that is helping families nationwide.
Community Pharmacy wants to be the welcoming constant in your health care journey. A healthier community means a healthier you, and Community Pharmacy is the place to get your health back on track. Community Pharmacy is accredited in compounding by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), the most comprehensive compliance program in the industry. For questions on compounding services we provide and how it may benefit your family, contact us. We are here to help.