What is Compounding?
Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications. Compounded medications are prepared according to a physician’s specifications to meet the needs of a particular patient. If there is not a commercially available product, the pharmacist prepares a unique prescription for a specific patient. You might say that the pharmacist compounds a “custom-fitted” prescription while the drug manufacturers provide “off-the-rack” drug products.
Before the 1930’s and 40’s nearly all prescriptions were compounded or made by the pharmacist. During the 50’s and 60’s drug companies provided pre-made products which were merely dispensed by the pharmacist. So, pharmacists went from being a preparer to being a dispenser of medications.
Pharmacists are still trained to compound medications. This training is still part of the core curriculum taught in pharmacy schools. No other health professional has studied chemical compatibilities or been trained to incorporate drugs into unique dosage forms. The compounding pharmacist has risen to the challenge of turning new chemical entities into novel dosage forms. They can also combine two or more chemicals to suit better a patient’s specific needs.
Gateway Pharmacy’s compounding personnel go to special schools or get specialized training in certain dosage forms. Gateway Pharmacy sends personnel to training once or twice a year to further develop their skills. Our compounding pharmacist is in contact with other compounding pharmacists around the country and, occasionally, the world. By developing a network of pharmacists across the nation and in other countries, we’re able to utilize their experience to give our patients the benefit of knowledge from hundreds of compounding pharmacists.
Compounding pharmacists are formulating drugs into many types of dosage forms such as:
- Oral rinses
- Topical Sprays
- Freezer Ice
- Transdermal sticks
- Troches (lozenges)
- Nasal Sprays
- Poly-ox Bandage
- Eye Drops
- Extended Release
- Sub-lingual (under the tongue) tablets
These dosage forms can have applications in:
- Ophthalmology Otics (ear)
- Sports Medicine
- Wound Therapy
- Chronic Pain Management
- Bio-Identical (human-identical) Hormone Replacement Therapy
The State Board of Pharmacy is in charge of regulating pharmacy compounding and has set forth rules to this end. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has distributed “Good Compounding Practices Applicable to State-Licensed Pharmacies.” The United States Pharmacopoeia drafted “Pharmacy Compounding Practices.” These establish standards for compounding.
We take the time to research each formula. We want to be sure that the ultimate product is accurately measured and mixed to the exacting standards as prescribed by the master formula we’ve created. Gateway Pharmacy believes this extra effort is worth it for our patients. The physician realizes the value of compounding in knowing that their patients are receiving the finest pharmaceutical care by creating a dose and dosage form specific to the individual needs of that patient.
Gateway Pharmacy is recognized by the national medical community having developed preparations that have been the subject of two FDA-approved clinical trials. We receive calls from practitioners from various countries asking about these preparations. Our compounding pharmacist has received a full patent on his latest development, DHEA Bioadhesive Vaginal gel. The gel was the subject of an FDAapproved clinical trial using the gel to treat vaginal dryness, atrophy, pain with sex, and libido in women who have had breast or other gynecological cancers.
We have many success stories where a compounded medication was the only or the healthiest solution to an individual patient’s health issues. We receive calls daily from patients and practitioners asking how a compounded preparation could improve their lives or solve a particular health problem.