What You Need to Know About Your Compound Drug Prescription
People visit the pharmacy to purchase over the counter medicine as well as to submit, or pick-up, a prescription from their doctor. Over half, or 54%, of these prescriptions are filled at retail pharmacies.
In many cases, an individual may need a compound medication, however. Currently, this industry is estimated to comprise approximately 1%-to-3% of the United States’ prescription market. When a national survey of independent pharmacists was conducted, it was found that 76% of these pharmacists will compound medication for their customers.
In order to create compound drugs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the compounder needs to be a licensed pharmacist or physician. If an outsourcing facility is used to create these compounds, then they need to do so under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
A compound medication, according to the FDA, is basically a tailor-made medication to address a patient’s specific needs. There are a few important reasons why a doctor may request that a compound drug be made to fill a patient’s prescription.
According to the FDA, there are times when a patient is unable to take an FDA-approved medication. This might be due to the following reasons:
- A combination of drugs is needed
- Allergies to specific dyes
- The drug is only available in pill form
The FDA addresses the situation where a doctor may need their patient to take a combination of two or more drugs. In this case, a pharmacist may be asked to create a compound form. In the case of children or adults with allergies to specific dyes that may be used in the creation of a medication, a pharmacist could create a compound medicine without that dye.
In the case of children or the elderly that may be unable to swallow pills, for example, a pharmacist would create a compound form of this medicine in liquid form, according to the FDA. This is particularly important when the original medication prescribed by their doctor isn’t available in liquid form.
These drugs, however, are not FDA-approved. The FDA states that they do “not verify the safety or effectiveness of compounded drugs.” Health professionals that prescribe these drugs, as well as the patients for whom they’re created, need to “rely on the drug approval process to ensure that drugs are safe and effective and made in accordance with Federal quality standards.”