4 FAQs About Compounding Pharmacies
Every once in a while a doctor may have to prescribe a certain medication that can only be made at a compounding pharmacy. If this has happened to you, and you want to learn more about this specialized type of pharmacy, here are the answers to four frequently asked questions.
1. How Are Compounding Pharmacies Different from Regular Ones?
Almost all prescription drugs can be picked up at the local pharmacy. However, there are instances when doctors need to go through a compounding pharmacy instead. The major difference between the two types of pharmacies is that custom-made medications are made at compounding pharmacies. For instance, if you need a certain dosage that the drug company normally doesn't make, a compounding pharmacy will be able to make it for you.
By making the perfect dose for your particular height and weight, you will have a reduced risk of negative side effects. Compounding pharmacies can also make medicines in different forms, such as creams, powders, or liquids, that might not be available at a regular pharmacy.
2. What Else Can Compounding Pharmacies Do?
Besides making certain prescriptions available in different forms, compounding pharmacies can also remove certain ingredients from medications. This can be extremely beneficial if you are allergic to some of the inactive ingredients (like gluten) that are often found in prescription drugs.
A compounding pharmacy can also add flavor, which makes the medicine easier to take, especially for children.
3. Are Compounded Medications Covered by Insurance?
Compounded medications take longer to make and are more complex, which means they are usually more expensive than regular prescription drugs. For this reason, some insurance companies do not cover these types of medications.
Some insurance companies decide whether or not they will cover compounded medication on a case-by-case basis. If you have been prescribed a compounded medication, it's important to find out if your insurance company will cover it or not.
4. Is It Hard to Find a Compounding Pharmacy?
While it seems there is a pharmacy on every street corner, this is not the case with compounding pharmacies. In fact, of the 56,000 pharmacies in the United States, only about 7,500 of them specialize in compounding services. This means that if you live in a smaller community, you most likely do not have a compounding pharmacy in your neighborhood.
Most compounding pharmacies are members of the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA). Simply go to the PCCA website to find the closest one to you, or contact a pharmacy like Camelback Compounding Pharmacy for more information.