The pharmacy practice has evolved to provide different types of medications for certain medical conditions. The traditional role of pharmacies has been to dispense medications to patients that were manufactured by mass market manufacturers. These pharmacies also provide such services as reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, providing drug information to patients. The role of the traditional pharmacy has been experts in drug therapy of traditional drugs and medications.
The role of a pharmacy extends to another area known as compounding pharmacy. Compounding pharmacies provide a customized treatment for a specific patient for a specific disease. The medications are compounded to be dispensed in non traditional methods that are not normally commercially available. This can include taking a medication and dispensing it in a form that is not usually dispensed for this medication such as liquids, capsules, suppositories, troches, or Transdermal forms. The compounding pharmacist also can customize and dispense medications which are no longer commercially available.
Compounding enables physicians to prescribe medications in dosage strengths not manufactured commercially. Through compounding, the pharmacist can customize medications to meet a particular patient’s requirements such as sugar-free, corn free, gluten free, lactose free, preservative free, and flavored to the patients’ choice. As well, the compounding pharmacist can add inactive ingredients to certain side effects. Compounding pharmacies have their own labs where they compound medication as prescribed by a physician. The distinctive methods of delivery allow for more options for administration.
People use compounding pharmacies over regular pharmacies for the following reasons:
1) The patient requires medications that do not contain certain inactive ingredients such as preservatives, sugar, lactose, alcohol, dyes, gluten and casein.
2) Patient requires another route of administration. For instance, if a patient has difficulty swallowing they need another way of taking the medication such as Transdermal. Other dosage types include liquid, suppository, lozenge, creams, nasal sprays, inhalations, lollipops…etc
3) Minimize the potential for side effects.
4) To provide an uncommon dose strength.
5) Patients requiring allergen-free medications
6) Children who require flavored liquid drugs
7) Patients who require drugs that have been discontinued by pharmaceutical manufacturers
The pharmacy industry has evolved to meet the changes of treating health conditions. Those who have a particular need when taking medication will make use of the compounding pharmacy. Pharmaceutical companies are regulated by the FDA so they have to meet strict quality control standards to ensure their products are safe. They also have to ensure that each batch that is made is consistent with other batches.
In the 1930s and 1940s, most of the medications that were created were done by compounding. When drug manufacturing developed into mass manufacturing, the method of compounding medication began to decline. Now, the pharmacy practice includes a blend of the old methods of mixing and dispensing medications as well as modern services. The goal is to ensure that all patients receive the best health care services. This in turn helps achieve a positive health treatment outcome for a patient.