The primary function of a compounding pharmacy is to mix, combine, or modify two or more medications to fulfill the needs of a specific patient. Compounding is a specialized service aimed to meet the medication needs of patients who are unable to take an FDA-approved medicine due to medical reasons. This could happen when a patient is allergic to certain additives, such as gluten, or need a different dosage. Compounding is also beneficial for young children who are unable to swallow tablets and require medication in liquid form. Compounding pharmacists can turn prescription medications into creams, suppositories, special gels, and flavored syrups.

Unlike traditional pharmacies that sell the same formula worldwide, compounding offers customization. It follows a client-centric approach to personalize medications according to the patient’s unique needs. Compounded drugs are manufactured by licensed pharmacists under the supervision of physicians. This tailored formula is created considering the person’s medical history, allergies, previous treatments, and other factors. While compounded drugs are highly effective, their safety and treatment outcome largely depend on the expertise of the compound pharmacy. No matter why you need custom medication, choosing the right pharmacy is important to get the right drug. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you find a reliable compounding pharmacy.

Accredited Pharmacy

Every profession needs some training and certification. From doctors to engineers, every professional gets a proper degree and obtains some form of license to practice. Likewise, compound pharmacists need qualifications and training to offer services. When looking for a pharmacy, consider only accredited pharmacies. Find out what type of licensing or accreditation compounding pharmacies need in your area. For instance, Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board is a recognized organization that validates the authenticity of compounding pharmacies. If a pharmacy is PCAB accredited, it means it follows set standards and guidelines to produce safe, quality medication.

Material Sources

Another important factor is checking the quality and source of materials they are using to prepare drugs. Make sure the pharmacy gets chemicals and ingredients from reliable sources that are PCAB approved and authentic. A reliable compounding pharmacy usually provides such information on its website. You can also conduct your own study to get more information about their product sources. If possible, you can also visit the pharmacy and ask if they can attest to the quality and source of their chemicals. Besides using the highest quality chemicals, they should also perform batch testing of their products. Some perform in-house testing while others rely on independent, external testing labs. Make sure the pharmacy you choose complies with stringent quality regulations.

Sterile Professional Environment

Compounding medications are of two types- sterile and non-sterile. If you need sterile drugs like injectables, make sure the compounding pharmacy adheres to the strictest sterile compound preparation standards. They should have set up proper sterile labs with a controlled atmosphere (temperature, humidity, and pressure). Ask if they have a cleanroom that has the fewest possible pollutants, such as dust, airborne germs, vapors, or particles. The cleanroom environment is rigorously managed to guarantee that no contamination occurs during the preparation of your compounding drug. Besides a sterile environment, they should also have qualified pharmacists and advanced machinery to produce safe and effective medication. Also, ask if they provide home delivery of medication to ensure your convenience.

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