Compounding: A Brief Overview

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What is compounding? In a nutshell it’s personalized pharmaceutical solutions for a patient’s particular medication needs. Some patients need drugs that can’t be fulfilled with cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf, manufactured medicines. That’s where compounding comes in. The compounding of prescribed, custom solutions by licensed and experienced pharmacists helps these patients find personal resolutions to their unique needs.


Some of these individual requirements may be a medication that doesn’t have an ingredient to which a patient is allergic. Or a patient may want or need a different type of dosage or strength.


More Reasons for Compounding:

  • Compounding can come into play when the medication a patient needs is no longer manufactured or is hard to come by.
  • The patient is allergic to dyes, binders or preservatives found in the medicine.
  • A pharmacist can put several medications together in one in order to grow compliance.
  • A patient needs a specific dosage not found in the manufactured medicine, such as a drug for an infant.
  • The patient can’t ingest the commercially available form of the medicine and needs it compounded into a medication he or she can take more easily.

Compounding is regulated by individual State Boards of Pharmacy. The standards of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) also are incorporated into compounding practice, and the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) has created nationwide standards that accredit compounding pharmacies.


Compounding Facts (from the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists):

  • Compounding makes up about 1-3 percent of the prescription market in the United States, a $300 billion market overall.
  • More than 75 percent of independent pharmacists surveyed said that they compound pharmaceuticals for patients while almost all hospitals compound medications, as well.
  • All nuclear pharmacies compound, as do almost all home-health specialty pharmacies.

Some compounding resources for pharmacists:

If you’re a pharmacist or pharmacy technician looking for new opportunities, don’t hesitate to send your resume/CV to a recruiter at Rx relief®. We’d be happy to discuss our many open pharmacy positions with you. Contact us today.

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