Many of us are too young to remember that prior to 1950, when a prescription was written and handed to a patient, it was brought to the local pharmacy to be prepared by the pharmacist. This process, called compounding, is the ageless art and science of formulating personalized, prescription formulas on-demand and from scratch. Pharmacists would create salves, capsules, oral suspensions, suppositories and many other medication types to treat everything from the common cold to life threatening illnesses. Pharmacists were revered for their in-depth knowledge of the human condition and they were relied upon for advice and guidance.
Then, around 1950 the United States experienced the advent of factory-made medicine by who we now refer to as Big Pharma. Pharmacists were relied upon less and less to create customized medication for patients because pharmaceutical companies were manufacturing drugs to take their place. In fact, large pharmaceutical companies have impacted the training and curriculum in schools of pharmacy so that compounding is less of a focus. Today, a degree in pharmacy is less about the art of physically making (or compounding) actual medication and more about filling prescriptions for commercially available drugs.
How Does This Impact Me?
Commercially available drugs are limited in what they offer. For example, certain doses are not produced because they are considered unnecessary by drug manufacturers. If you have an allergy to an ingredient in the medication, or if you find the medication hard to take (i.e, cannot swallow pills or capsules), it is quite common that there is no alternative. In short, commercial drugs are a one-size-fits all approach to medicine and often fall short in meeting the demands of patients who want to feel they are being given a personalized approach in their care.
Compounded medications allow prescribers to treat the individual patient as just that, an individual!
What’s Possible With Compounding?
Almost anything is possible when you have the right compounding partner. Compounding pharmacists are experts at collaborating with prescribing doctors, nurses and physician assistants so that the medication a patient receives is easy to take, accurately dosed and in some cases, delicious!
Allergens, sensitivities or lifestyle preference may be addressed with formulas that are kosher or free from lactose, gluten, soy, dairy, fragrances and dyes. Tailor-made medical doses and strengths that work with each patient’s physical size, age and medical history are a possibility. Drugs can be reformulated to meet unique medical needs such as preparing intravenous preparations, sustained release thyroid medications or alternative delivery formats including sprays, transdermal applications, oral capsules, topical creams, ointments, gels, powders, oral suspensions (a liquid with the viscosity to cough syrup), gummy bears, and more. All patients’ need is a valid prescription from a prescriber and the possibilities for new medical solutions that meet their unique needs, are endless.
To learn more about how compounding may work for you please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us to speak to a compounding expert today at 844-857-5588.