WHAT IS COMPOUNDING?
Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. It was how pharmacy originally began, but has changed over the years. In the 1930′s and 40′s, approximately 60 percent of all medications were compounded. In the 1950′s and 60′s drug manufacturing began, which led to a rapid decline in compounding. Over the last 20-30 years, compounding has become more popular again as research and technology reveal the need for more customized medications in certain situations.
WHY WOULD SOMETHING NEED TO BE COMPOUNDED?
There are a myriad of reasons why a medication may need to be compounded. The most common is because the patient cannot tolerate the medication as it is mass produced by the drug manufacturer. There could be a need for a higher or lower dose, the commercial product may contain a dye or preservative that the patient is allergic to, or it may only be available in a capsule or tablet that the person is unable to swallow. Working with the physician and patient, the compounding pharmacist can change the medication to fit the patient’s needs. The medication delivery form can also be changed, such as a sublingual troche or lozenge, liquid suspension, suppository, or transdermal cream or gel that can be absorbed through the skin.
CAN ANY PHARMACY COMPOUND MEDICATIONS?
Not really. Most pharmacies can mix 2 creams together when the doctor orders it, but few have the resources that Moreland & Devitt Pharmacy has. We are a member of PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America), which grants us access to consultants, resources, and supplies that enable us to take compounding to the next level. The next nearest compounding pharmacies to Rushville are in Peoria and Springfield.
Compounding was made possible becuase three decades ago, a physician encountered a patient who required an anti-nausea medication that was no longer commercially available. The physician challenged a Houston-area pharmacist to compound the medication, so the pharmacist consulted with his peers and procured the chemicals necessary to prepare it.
The prescription was a success, and the pharmacist realized that others in his field faced similar demands to help patients who require compounded medications. This network of pharmacists, united by a commitment to meet patient needs, was the foundation of PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America), which was incorporated in 1981.
Today, PCCA has become the independent compounding pharmacist’s complete resource for fine chemicals, equipment, devices, flavors, ACPE-accredited training and education, pharmacy software, marketing, business and pharmacy consulting assistance. Our membership includes more than 3,900 independent community pharmacists in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries around the world.
HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPOUNDING?
Sarah Brockhouse, PharmD., would be more than happy to answer your compounding questions at Moreland & Devitt Pharmacy.