Frequently Asked Questions About Compounding Pharmacies

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Pharmacies are a part of modern life. If a physician wants a patient to take a certain medication, the patient takes a quick trip to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription. However, if the medication is not commercially available, that is where a compounding pharmacy takes over. What exactly is a compounding pharmacy? We will answer this question and other frequently asked questions about compounding pharmacies and the medications they sell.

What Is A Compounding Pharmacy?

Some medications are not commercially available. If a doctor or other medical provider wants a patient to take this medication, they will send the prescription to a compounding pharmacy. In that pharmacy, a state-licensed pharmacist combines ingredients to create the medication. This service is most often used by patients who have unique medical concerns that commercially available medications do not address.

The irony is that about 100 years ago, the only kind of pharmacy to be found was a compounding pharmacy. It was only when pharmaceutical companies started creating medications for widespread distribution that the non-compounding pharmacy became the norm.

Why Would I Need A Compounded Medication?

Doctors prescribe compounded medications for many reasons. For example, some patients have difficulty swallowing large capsules or pills. The doctor may request the pharmacist to create a liquid or transdermal form of the medication. Some medications can contain ingredients that a patient is allergic or sensitive to. The physician can request the pharmacist to create the medication without those ingredients.

Who Regulates Compounding Pharmacies?

A compounding pharmacy is licensed by each state and the pharmacist-in-charge must meet certain state licensing requirements. Some may also meet the requirements of the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board, known as PCAB.

Does The FDA Inspect Compounding Pharmacies?

In certain situations, the FDA may join a state board or other authorities to inspect a compounding pharmacy. The states are in charge of inspecting and regulating pharmacies of all types. However, the FDA does have the authority to inspect and regulate certain facilities where ingredients are manufactured.

Brown & Fortunato offers legal advice and representation for healthcare entities, including compounding pharmacies. If you have any questions about our services, call us today at (806) 345-6320. You can send us an email from our Contact Us page and read more about our Healthcare Group on the website. You will find our office at 905 S. Fillmore, Suite 400, in Amarillo, Texas.

This information is subject to change. Please check for updates that are more recent than the published date of this article.