Have you heard of compounding pharmacies? Are you wondering how they differ from the regular big chain pharmacies? Well, you’re in the right place.
In premise, think of a compounding pharmacy as a service provider that can create customized versions of medications. Whereas, the retail pharmacies simply sell widespread and brand-name pharmaceuticals.
In this article, we will go into this topic with a bit more depth. So that you can determine if a compound pharmacy is better for you.
So if you’re ready to take your medical care to the next level, keep reading.
Compounding vs Pharma Manufacturing
Before we jump into the legal and physical differences between the two. Let’s examine the developmental processes behind both, compounding and retail pharmacies.
Compounding references the process from which custom medications are created for patients. Instead of buying a pre-mixed substance or simply counting some pills. The pharmacist will find the base ingredients necessary and combine them. Thus, preparing the best possible medicinal formula for the patient.
Compounders work with base ingredients. They can appropriately adjust the dosage. This results in accomodating the needs of the patient. And not the requirements of a commercially sold product.
On the other hand, pharma manufacturing references the process from which commercially-available medications are formulated. Unlike compounding, manufacturing results in pre-determine drugs for an industrial scale.
Pharmaceutical companies often create millions of doses each year to accommodate global demand. The large scale does benefit society with ease of access to medication. But it completely excludes the personal needs that a patient might have.
Legal Differences Between Compounding Pharmacies & Retail
Compounding pharmacies and retail pharmacies are held legally bound to their own regulations. In general, compounding pharmacies often have more freedom in terms of legality.
Both have to adhere to the review by governing entities. However, pharmaceutical manufacturers are reviewed by the Drug Enforcement Administration. As well as the Food and Drug Administration. Whereas, compounding pharmacies are only subject to review by state licensing boards. This difference is vividly recognized in section 503A from the FDCA.
This means that the formulas used by compounding pharmacies are not FDA-approved. However, this is not a concern for reliability, but more so on the premise of practicality.
FDA approval does not constitute trustworthiness. FDA exemptions allow the compound pharmacy to create reliable and safe solutions. Specifically for patients with health conditions, drug-sensitive, and allergies.
And it’s quite unfortunate how the media portrays FDA approval. If only people knew better. It would make the lives of good-hearted people so much easier. FDA approval does not constitute safety, it constitutes compliance. There’s nothing more to it.
Are Compound Medications Safe?
People hear that compound medications are not approved by the FDA. And when they do, they grow worrisome about their safety. Even though licensed compounding pharmacies have oversight by legal entities of the state.
These regulations ensure the pharmacy is working with legal and safe base ingredients. As well as uses empirical evidence and reliable methods of medication creation. If you work with a licensed pharmacy, you don’t have to worry.
Medications when stripped to the base ingredients are identical based on chemistry. Compounding pharmacies source the ingredients from the same companies that manufacturing pharmacies do. The only difference is that compounding pharmacies create in-house. Whereas, the other pharmacy requests pre-mixed shipments from labs.
Compound medications are only safe under appropriate conditions treated by appropriate medications. Like any other treatment, not each medicine is right for each patient.
Having a good relationship with your pharmacist is important. And taking an active approach to your health is the best way to ensure a safe treatment. A great example of compounding pharmacy can be seen at CareFirst Specialty Pharmacy.
Most Vivid Differences Between the Two
First, some individuals might need a dose of medication that is not commercial. Unlike a retail pharmacy, compounders can create the ideal medication. Thus, meeting the patient’s conditions, gender, age, height, and weight. The specific dose will decrease the risk of side effects. Otherwise, risking improper usage of the medication.
Second, a patient can choose the form of delivery for their substance. Whether it’s liquid, capsule, cream, powder, or ointment, they can make it. When you can choose the medication yourself, you will less likely suffer ill effects. For instance, some don’t like the side effects of a topical cream. So they request an oral medication instead.
Third, if you are a parent, you feel insecure giving your child pharmaceuticals. Many children don’t react well to medication. It can be hard to get them to take their medication, and that will leave you frustrated.
Unlike traditional prescriptions, compound prescriptions can make medication delivery easy. Your prescription can be made in a simple powder that can be mixed with your kid’s favorite drink or food. This takes out the worry that you might experience when giving them medication. You can also add flavor to make the experience less discomforting for the child.
Pharmacy for You
Now that you know the differences between compounding pharmacies and retail pharmacies. You are well on your way to figuring out which is best for you. In any case, traditional medication works, but does it suit your needs?
If you’re unsure, contact your medical specialist. They will be able to put you in contact with a reliable pharmacy.
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