Pharmacies are a significant pillar of the entire healthcare system. Both retail and compound pharmacies play a vital role in providing the needed medication to patients. While the majority of the population relies on retail pharmacies to get the prescribed medications, some patients need tailored drugs that are created specifically for them. A compounding pharmacist combines ingredients to formulate a specific prescription. This type of customized medication is immensely beneficial for patients sensitive to certain ingredients used in commercial drugs like preservatives or dyes.
How to Find a Compound Pharmacy?
When a patient needs allergy-free medication, discontinued medication, or a different dosage/form of commercial medication, compounding can help. However, compounding is a specialized technique that needs proper training and experience to formulate safe medications. Moreover, these customized medications are not FDA-approved which means choosing the right pharmacy becomes crucial. Not every pharmacist is qualified to create custom medications. A retail pharmacist filling your prescriptions may not have the qualification and license needed to mix or alter ingredients and prepare compound medication. So, to ensure that you get the correct formulation and safe dosage, choosing a reliable pharmacy that has licensed compounding pharmacists is essential. If your doctor has prescribed compound medication, here are some tips to help you find the right compounding pharmacy.
When looking for a compounding pharmacy, picking the nearest option isn’t the best choice. People look for local pharmacies for the sake of convivence but this isn’t the right thing to do. You need to make sure the pharmacy follows the most stringent standards and maintains the highest quality to formulate safe drugs. To ensure the reliability of a pharmacy, check out its accreditation. License is proof of the qualification and training of the pharmaceutical staff. Find out which regulatory organization is responsible for providing accreditation to compound pharmacies in your country. For instance, the PCAB (Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board) certifies compounding pharmacies that ensure the pharmacy is highly regulated. To obtain certification, pharmacy needs to demonstrate their skills and ensure that they follow safe practices.
2. High-Quality Ingredients
Looking for a PCAB-accredited pharmacy is a good start but it’s not the only factor. License and accreditation will help you shortlist options but you need to make additional research. Take a look at the qualification and experience of the pharmacists responsible for customizing medication. In addition to this, find out the quality of ingredients and chemicals they use. If possible, you may visit the pharmacy and take a look at their facility. You may even ask the pharmacist to share details of the supplier’s certificate of analysis to verify the quality of the ingredients. If you need customized injectables, make sure they have specialized labs for creating sterile compound medication. The sterile compounding pharmacies set up a controlled environment room to ensure the minimum possible level of pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, vapors, or particles. Ask if they have this cleanroom to prevent contamination when compounding medicine.
3. Batch Testing
Another factor that you need to focus on is the testing. Compounding pharmacies should perform batch testing on the medications they compound. Find out how they get the medication tested and if they are using independent labs for testing. Random testing outside the pharmacy ensures medication consistency and quality. Once the prescription is compounded, they must perform batch testing to ensure complete safety and precision in each case. Some pharmacies do it in-house while others use an outside testing agency. These are a few factors that will help you find a reliable pharmacy that you can trust.