What is pharmacy compounding?
Pharmacy compounding is the customized preparation of a medicine that is not otherwise commercially available. These medications are prescribed by a physician, veterinarian, or other prescribing practitioner, and compounded by a state-licensed pharmacist. A growing number of people and animals have unique health needs that off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all prescription medicines cannot meet. For them, customized medications are the only way to better health.
Who are compounding pharmacists?
Pharmacy compounding is a centuries-old, well-regulated and common practice. Pharmacy is one of the most respected and trusted professions in the United States. In a recent survey, pharmacists ranked second (only behind nurses) as the most trusted professionals in our society. Compounding has evolved into a specialty practice within the pharmacy community today. New applications to meet today’s patient needs require additional education, equipment and processes that not all pharmacies possess.
How are compounding pharmacies and pharmacists regulated? Should there be increased federal oversight?
All pharmacies and pharmacists are licensed and strictly regulated at the state level. Compounding is a core component of pharmacy and has always been regulated by state boards, which are constantly updating their standards and regulations. In addition, standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) are integrated into the practice of pharmacy compounding. The Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) has developed national standards to accredit pharmacies that perform a significant amount of compounding.