Pharmacy Compounding

Pharmaceutical compounding

Pharmacy compounding is the licensed practice of mixing, combining or altering the ingredients of a drug to tailor the medication to the individual needs of a patient. This practice is typically conducted by a licensed pharmacist, physician, or under the supervision of a licensed professional. 

What are compounding pharmacies?

A compounding pharmacy is a specialty pharmacy that specifically engages in the production of prescription compound medications. These pharmacies typically employ credentialled technicians that are licensed to create tailored medicines specific to patients. 

Compounding provides patients with customized medicines that can vary from standard preparations in terms of ingredients and dosage. While traditional pharmacies provide standardized dosages, compounding pharmacies can alter components of drugs to offer tailored formulations specific to a patient’s condition.

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Types of Pharmacy Compounding

There are two main types of pharmacy compounding currently in practice that include: 

Traditional Compounding

Traditional compounding is the preparation of a custom formulation of a medication as prescribed for a specific patient. This type of pharmacy compounding is typically conducted at a licensed pharmacy for a single patient per prescription.

Batch Compounding

Batch compounding is the production of formulations in batches that are then sold to healthcare facilities, physicians and other pharmacies. These types of pharmacies operate under a different category than regular pharmacies to produce customized medications for specific target markets. 

Types Of Medications Provided By Compounding Pharmacies

Compounding pharmacies typically create treatments intended to assist with autoimmune issues, thyroid problems, hormone replacement, aesthetic dermatology, sexual wellness, cognitive support, and many other issues. 

There are numerous types of medications that can be produced via compounding. Pharmacy compounding can also offer varying mechanisms of delivery, offering different options beyond pills and capsules that can include: 

  • Topical creams
  • Oral lozenges
  • Suppositories
  • Injectables
  • Topical serums
  • Gels
  • Oral capsules

Pharmacy Compounding Formulas

Pharmacy compounding can create numerous medications of varying combinations with the use of different formulas that can include: 

Rapid dissolve tablets that dissolve quickly when placed on the top or under the tongue. Rather than using digestion, quick dissolve tablets immediately absorb into the body via the oral mucosa (lining of the mouth).

Oral liquid vehicles for oral ingestion that include liquid suspensions, elixirs, solutions, tinctures, and syrups.

Cream medication for absorption into the skin. 

Oral chews and lozenges such as gummies, caramels, soft chews, hard candy, and chewable tablets.

Hormone supplements such as topical creams, pills, sublingual pills, and vaginal suppositories.

Benefits of Pharmacy Compounding

Pharmacy compounding produces treatment options unavailable in standard pharmacies, making them an optimal choice for consumers looking for precision treatment dosages. Other benefits of compounding include:

  • Preparation of custom medications tailored for age, body weight, and specific body chemistry
  • Removal of common allergens in standard medications such as dyes and preservatives
  • Creation of formulations that can absorb faster and more easily 
  • Altering medications to add flavors to increase palatability
  • Changing the texture of drugs for individuals that have problems taking medication in its current format
  • Combining multiple prescription medications to produce fewer dosages for increased patient convenience

Regular pharmacies provide a “one-size-fits-all” approach by providing prescription drugs in standard formulations that large pharmaceutical companies mass-produce. As a result, standard medications may be used to treat most health conditions but do not offer the benefits of precision-dosed medicine.

With personalized medicine growing in use across the world, precision dosages are showing greater efficacy for the treatment of patient conditions. Pharmacy compounding meets this demand with the production of tailored medication designed to address this growing patient market.

Growth of Pharmacy Compounding

Global Market Insights, Inc. recently reported that the market valuation for compounding pharmacies will rise to USD $14 billion by 2026 as a result of drug shortages and the increasing preference for personalized medicines. In addition, the research report states that the increased benefits offered by compounding pharmacies when compared to commercial drugs offered by traditional pharmacies will positively impact market expansion.  Researchers also believe that access to high-quality and pure ingredients will allow compound pharmacist technicians to produce tailor-made medication at a lower cost. Additionally, the production of compounded medications devoid of expensive dyes and preservatives is expected to lower the cost of the medicines and spur market growth.  

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Specific Growth Segments

Over 18 percent of the market share in 2019 was dominated by dermatology compounded medications, offered in a variety of formulations that include sprays, gels, solutions, ointments and foams. Conditions treated in this segment include psoriasis, eczema and acne, with the topical segment accounting for roughly USD $1.5 billion in 2019. 

The veterinary segment was expected to reach an 18 percent market share for the same period, rising in accordance with the surge in the number of companion animals and increased purchasing patterns of pet owners. Pharmaceutical ingredient alteration (PIA) accounts for over 35 percent of market share as a result of the increased demand for hypoallergenic drugs.

Factors driving pharmacy compounding growth

Some factors driving market growth in the pharmacy compounding sector include: 

  • Creation of drugs based on patient needs that large pharmaceutical companies do not produce
  • Rising number of patients with chronic illness and resulting demand for personalized medicines
  • Increasing geriatric population and longer life expectancies 
  • Expected drug shortages
  • Increased benefits of compounded drugs over traditional commercial medicines 

Pharmacy Compounding FAQ

Pharmacy compounding is a licensed practice where a credentialed professional mixes, alters or combines drug ingredients to create a customized medication. 

A compounding pharmacy creates tailor-made medications for patients in addition to producing preparations for sale to other pharmacies and health care centers.

Veterinary compounding uses pharmacy compounding techniques to create treatments for animals, while medical compounding is a general term used to describe the practice of pharmacy compounding.

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Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

GMP practices are guidelines recommended by agencies that control licensing and authorization of both the manufacture and sale of cosmetics, food, beverages, dietary supplements, medical equipment and pharmaceutical products. They are put into place and enforced to ensure product quality and consistency among manufacturers.

MedicaPharma partners with GMP manufacturers and specialty labs globally to establish and maintain strong professional relationships. This allows us to source and provide the highest quality chemical products on the market.