What is a compounded prescription?
A compounded prescription is medication that has to be made by the pharmacist because it is not available in the dosage form or strength prescribed by your doctor. Compounding allows prescribers to customize a medication to the needs of their patients. From combining multiple medications into a single convenient dosage for hospice patients to delivering children's cough medicine without dyes, compounding provides solutions not easily met by commercial products.
Is compounding legal? Is it safe?
Yes. Compounding is legal and safe. It is widely used throughout the healthcare industry. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that compounded prescriptions are both ethical and legal as long as they are prescribed by a licensed practitioner for a specific patient and compounded by a licensed pharmacy. Med-Equip Pharmacy’s compounding is performed in a state-of-the-art laboratory by licensed and experienced professionals.
Do you have to have a prescription for a compounded medication?
Yes. Your doctor must prescribe a compounded medication. With a physician's consent, a compounding pharmacist can change the strength of a medication, alter its form to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or add flavor to make it tastier. The pharmacist also can prepare the medication using several unique delivery systems, such as a sublingual troche or lozenge, a lollipop, or a transdermal gel or cream that can be absorbed through the skin. For those patients who are having a hard time swallowing a capsule, a compounding pharmacist can make a liquid suspension instead. If you've been having trouble taking a traditionally dosed medication, ask your doctor if a compounded alternative is right for you.
Why can't a regular pharmacy compound my prescription?
A compounding pharmacy uses state-of-the art equipment, mixing high grade chemicals and advanced techniques to compound and ensure the quality of its products. Other pharmacies do not have the time, equipment, chemicals, or education to appropriately prepare your customized medications.
Are all compounding pharmacies alike?
No. Med-Equip Pharmacy monitors and documents clean room temperature and humidity on a daily basis. Our staff is trained in proper gowning, aseptic techniques, clean room policies and USP guidelines. We purchase only high grade chemicals from FDA approved suppliers and we obtain certificates of analysis for all formula ingredients. We perform pH testing and verify the potency of compounds. We are currently working towards PCAB accreditation, which is a voluntary compounding pharmacy accreditation board that recognizes pharmacies with high standards.
Are compounded medications expensive?
The cost depends on the dosage form, ingredients used, time spent researching and preparing, and equipment needed. Given that compounding pharmacies may have to use a commercially available product to compound a medication, the cost could be higher than the commercially available product. However, if the compounded medication is more likely to be used by the patient than a non-compounded medication (perhaps because it tastes better), the savings might be gained by eliminating another doctor visit or avoiding another sick day.
Will my insurance cover my compounded medication?
Because compounded medications are exempt by law from having a National Drug Code ID number, some insurance companies will not directly reimburse the compounding pharmacy. We will, however, help you complete the necessary paperwork for you to submit the claim to your insurance. While you may be paying the pharmacy directly for a compounded prescription, most insurance plans will reimburse the patient for compounded medications when submitted in this manner. If you're concerned about reimbursement, it's a good idea to check with your insurance company before filling a compounded prescription.