Compounding Pharmacies: A Tailored Approach to Medication

The availability of over-the-counter medications does not always address the needs of those with unique sensitivities or health conditions. How do we accommodate those who are allergic to common additives in medications or patients who need discontinued medications? This is where compounding pharmacies step in to provide personalized solutions, offering an array of advantages worth exploring.

What Are Compounding Pharmacies?

Compounding pharmacies specialize in crafting customized solutions for patients, catering to a wide range of requirements. Here are some of the most common applications:

  1. Allergies and Sensitivities: Patients who are allergic or sensitive to certain ingredients in commercially available medications can benefit from compounding. Compounding pharmacists can create formulations without specific allergens, dyes, or preservatives.
  2. Discontinued Medications: If a pharmaceutical company discontinues a medication, a compounding pharmacy may be able to recreate it for patients who still require that specific treatment.
  3. Dermatological Compounds: Compounding pharmacies can create specialized topical creams, gels, or ointments for dermatological conditions. This is useful when a commercially available product is not suitable or effective.

While these are just a few examples, compounding pharmacies offer a wide array of solutions, ranging from pediatric compounds to veterinary medications. The essence of their service lies in enhancing the palatability and effectiveness of medications, focusing on the individual's unique needs.

Are Compounding Pharmacies Safe?

In the United States, there are state pharmacy boards that fall under FDA regulation and create the daily operation guidelines for compounding pharmacies. Here are some factors that contribute to the safety of compounding pharmacies:

  1. Compliance with Standards: Reputable compounding pharmacies adhere to strict standards and guidelines in the compounding process. This includes using high-quality ingredients, following proper procedures, and maintaining a clean and controlled environment.
  2. Trained and Qualified Pharmacists: Compounding pharmacists should be appropriately trained, qualified, and experienced in compounding practices. They play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy and safety of compounded medications.
  3. Documentation and Record-Keeping: Good compounding practices involve thorough documentation and record-keeping. This helps track the sourcing of ingredients, the compounding process, and quality control measures, contributing to transparency and accountability.
  4. Communication with Healthcare Providers: Compounding pharmacists work closely with healthcare providers to understand the specific needs of patients. This collaboration helps ensure that the compounded medications are tailored appropriately and safely for individual patients.

Many state boards have established stringent facility and compounding procedure standards to ensure the delivery of safe products to consumers. Many of these boards have adopted the United States Pharmacopeia's (USP) guidance on compounding. The three most common chapters are: sterile (797), nonsterile (795), and hazardous (800). These chapters provide facility and design requirements to ensure safety.

Mystaire, for instance, offers USP-compliant solutions, such as our USP 800-compliant Latitude Series C Filtered Hood, to protect compounding pharmacists and their compounded prescriptions. For USP 797 compliance, a great solution is our Vertical Laminar Flow Workstation or our CleanPrep Plus+ Horizontal Laminar Flow Clean Bench. These solutions ensure ISO 5 clean environments, safeguarding samples from contamination.

Compounding pharmacies are dedicated to creating and developing products tailored to individual needs. These local businesses strive to meet their community's unique requirements. In addition, they uphold safety standards aligned with state pharmacy boards and the FDA. By supporting local compounding pharmacies, you contribute to fostering local businesses while ensuring access to personalized healthcare solutions. Keep them in mind for your next prescription, and experience the advantages of a tailored approach to medication.