Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are made based on a practitioners prescription in which individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient. This method allows the compounding pharmacist to work with the patient and the prescriber to customize a medication to meet the patient’s specific needs.
Benefits of Compounding
There are several reasons why prescribers and pharmacists provide compounded medications for patients. The primary reason for compounding is to avoid patient non-compliance, which means the patient is either unable or unwilling to use the medication as directed. Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or require a dosage that is different from the standard drug strengths.
With a physician’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can:
Adjust the strength of a medication
Avoid unwanted ingredients, such as dyes, preservative, lactose, gluten, or sugar.
Add flavor to make the medication more palatable
Prepare medications using unique delivery systems. For patients who find it
difficult to swallow a capsule, a compounding pharmacist may prepare the drug as a flavored liquid suspension instead. Other medication forms include topical gels or creams that can be absorbed through the skin, suppositories, sublingual troches, or even lollipops.
Is compounding expensive?
Compounding may or may not cost more than conventional medication. Its cost depends on factors such as the type of ingredients and equipment required, plus the time the pharmacist spends researching and preparing the medication. Fortunately, compounding pharmacists have access to pure-grade quality chemicals which dramatically lower overall costs and allow them to be very competitive with commercially manufactured products.
Will my insurance cover my compounded medication?
Some insurance plans allow the patient to be reimbursed by sending in claim forms. While you may be paying a pharmacy directly for a compounded prescription, many insurance plans may cover the final cost.