Compounding is mixing ingredients to prepare a drug to meet a patient’s specific needs. This is not a new idea at all; in the 1930s and 40s, most prescription medications were prepared in this manner. In the 1950s and 60s, compounding declined, and the pharmacist became someone who dispensed already-prepared medications.
Since not all patients can be well served by this approach, compounding pharmacists and hospitals work together to provide solutions to meet their individual needs.
How Compounding Pharmacists Serve Hospitals
Compounding Pharmacists Prepare Individual Doses Of Drugs
Compounding pharmacists prepare sterile drugs that hospitals use on a regular basis, such as eye drops, injections and IV bags. Manufacturers do not always provide the medications in individual doses that hospitals use to reduce the risk of medication errors when administering them to patients.
Single-dose packaging identified with bar codes can be scanned electronically for record-keeping purposes. Patients’ files are updated automatically and the sealed dose means less risk that the medication will be contaminated.
Hospitals Work With Compounding Pharmacists To Fill Drug Shortages
During times when a medication is required for a patient but the requested drug is in short supply, compound pharmacists step in to make the required dose for hospitalized patients. They can also provide medications which are no longer being manufacturer for the mass market if a patient requires it.
Adjusting Medication Strength For Patients
When a hospital patient requires a non-standard prescription strength, compound pharmacists prepare the required dose. Premature infants may need to be administered medication based on their weight, which is lower than that of a full-term baby, and the strength of their medication needs to be calculated with this fact in mind.
Changing Formulation To Make Medication Easier To Ingest
Compounding pharmacists can also change the formulation of a prescribed medication ordered by a doctor in a hospital to make it easier for a patient to take. Children may find the idea of swallowing pills unpleasant, but will take a pleasant-tasting suspension fluid with less fuss.
Elderly and/or disabled patients may have difficulty swallowing pills as well, and the compounding pharmacist has options for them, too. Medications can be prepared as a topical gel or cream, a suppository or a lollipop to make the process easier.
To find out more about compounding pharmacies and the services we offer, call us today!
Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America
Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding.
He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.