What is a compounding pharmacy?

With compounding, a medication can be prescribed in a different dose or dosage form to meet a specific patient’s need. We can often procure and prepare medications unavailable through traditional sources. In either case, a compounding pharmacy fills a physician’s order for the patient’s unique medication needs with a customized prescription.

What are the benefits of compounding?

The prescriber has more flexibility with regards to the strength of the dosage and the route of administration. Concentrations can be changed or flavoring can be added to mask an unpleasant taste. Side effects, such as gastrointestinal distress, can be reduced or eliminated by changing the route of administration. Through the art of compounding, medications can be tailored to meet specific patient needs.

Is compounding expensive?

The cost of compounding depends on the type of dosage form and equipment required, plus the time spent researching and preparing the medication. In many cases, compounded medications cost less than commercially available medications. Compounding pharmacists have access to the purest grade, highest quality chemicals, which can help dramatically reduce costs.

Is compounding safe? Is it legal?

Compounding has been a part of healthcare since the origins of pharmacy. It is used widely today in all areas of the healthcare industry including hospitals, veterinary, and nuclear medicine. Over the last decade, the resurgence of compounding has largely benefited from advances in technology, quality control, and research. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that compounded prescriptions are both ethical and legal as long as a licensed practitioner prescribes them.

Can any pharmacy compound?

While some rudimentary compounding can be done in a traditional retail pharmacy, most of these stores do not have the inventory of pure chemicals nor the specialized equipment required to prepare most customized medication orders. Our pharmacists at Northwest Compounders not only have the specialized inventory and equipment, they have completed advanced training in compounding techniques. Our pharmacy also utilizes a support network of other compounding pharmacies, Ph. D chemists, and research pharmacists through an association that provides stability data, compounding innovations, and new techniques.