Pharmacies readily connote a place where you can acquire your needed medications. A regular pharmacy is just as essential an establishment in every city or town worldwide as its market, clinic, and store that sells essential goods.
However, technological progress in medical science and the pharmaceutical industry eventually gave way to numerous types of pharmacies being formed to better address the needs of patients. An assisted living pharmacy, for example, is dedicated to procuring and dispensing medications needed by seniors, while a regulatory pharmacy is more government-oriented and concerned with promoting public health.
What Is a Regular Pharmacy?
Pharmacies, as most people see them, usually function in healthcare facilities and in their own stores. Most medications prescribed by a doctor can be bought there. Most countries require pharmacists to answer any queries the patient might have about the medication before any transactions take place.
What about a compounding pharmacy? What makes it different and, in turn, more valuable for certain patients? We’ll focus on those aspects to truly differentiate it from a standard pharmacy.
There Is a Clear Focus on Customized Medications
The most marked difference between a compounding pharmacy and a traditional pharmacy is the ready association of customization in the former. The customized medication is mixed and formulated based on dosage and other factors. At all the times they conduct these, they should adhere to a governing body like, for example, the Food and Drug Administration in the US.
After all, these pharmacies don’t perform some shady “tinkering” that could lead to dangerous side effects. Pharmacies that do compounding employ licensed and experienced pharmacists and develop their own compounding labs to formulate the right medications upon request. All pharmacists are trained to compound medicine, with some even receiving more training and instruction after graduating.
Most companies also follow strict guidelines set by the FDA and their own stringent standards when performing any kind of compounding.
In short, in compounded medicine, there’s an obvious focus on the patient as an individual rather than a part of a collective whole, as is the case in a community pharmacy.
Personalized Medications Are a Boon for Many Patients
Unlike in a traditional pharmacy where only generic and brand-name drugs with set dosages, forms of application, and ingredients are available, a compounding pharmacy has plenty of leeway in modifying those factors.
For one, if you happen to be allergic to a certain ingredient in a pill (e.g. the dye used in the drug), a compounding pharmacist can create one for you that won’t have it or would use natural ingredients as much as possible. The same goes for dosages. Perhaps, your condition warrants a specific dose that isn’t widely available in standard pharmacies? In such cases, there may be no other choice but to opt for compounding unless the physician allows the patient to control dosages by cutting pills.
These customizations undoubtedly provide an immense benefit for not only those with drug sensitivities but everyone in general. And, again, it’s simply because of the personalized aspect of it. Maybe it would be better for you to take a pill in its powder form rather than the usual tablet variety commercially available? You’d arrive at the ideal medication for you, in the end, and if your condition warrants as much, there’s no better option than compounded medications.
If you’re worried about safety, know that compounded medicine requires a prescription, just like any drug that could potentially cause side effects.
Compounding Pharmacies Specialize in Numerous Fields
Regular pharmacies often limit themselves to serving an entire community. While their medications may offer variety to a certain degree, it pales in comparison to the scope of compounding pharmacies. This especially rings true for more experienced and established compounding companies out there.
More often than not, they accommodate various fields in healthcare, as evidenced by the plethora of categories their formulations fall in. They offer solutions in dermatology, men’s health, hormone replacement, weight management, and sterile compounding, to cite a few examples.
Even veterinary options are available to pet owners, particularly for those struggling to medicate their pets because they don’t like the flavor of the pill or it’s too large for them to swallow. Such changes can make all the difference in the world, and unfortunately, standard drugs found in regular pharmacies can’t guarantee this kind of solution.
We can say the same for anyone dealing with lingering medication issues regarding their children or any chronic pain treatment they’re undergoing. Such problems can be immediately addressed with just a few tweaks, to the point that your child would even start looking forward to medicine time or you begin to feel the kind of pain relief you’ve been yearning for for a long time now.
Are Compounding Pharmacy Medications Just as Safe and Affordable as Those Procured by Regular Pharmacies?
We mentioned that these types of pharmacies also adhere to industry standards. However, do take note that certain compounding pharmacies are not actively being tracked by the FDA. The ingredients and components themselves may be FDA-approved but the drugs necessarily aren’t.
There’s also the perennial question of quality. At best, these issues are mitigated by licensing. This is why if you’re looking for a safe and excellent compounding service, you need to first look at the licenses they have as well as whether they support insurance in their medications. More or less, these serve as tell-tale signs that the pharmacy takes the safety of their clients seriously.
As for costs, on the whole, you may want to anticipate that you’ll be paying more to have your medications customized. Even so, you should not completely close the door to the opportunity of enjoying some cost savings, especially if you request to remove certain unnecessary ingredients in any standardized medication you might be taking.
Pharmacy and compounding form a great duo, considering the facts stated above. At the heart of its myriad advantages is freedom for both pharmacists and patients to take control of their treatments. It’s the kind of freedom that almost always immediately gives way to convenience due to the ready availability of medications that suit them best.