By BJ Ahern – The Medicine Chest –
Compounding is the art of preparing medications that are customized to meet the specific needs of each individual patient. This is especially important for those patients who are unable to take commercially available medications due to difficulty swallowing pills, allergies to dyes and/or fillers, or poor medication response, to name a few. Compounding also allows physicians to modify dosing for patients who may need more or less of the drug than what is commercially available.
There are numerous reasons for pharmacists to compound medications. One of the most important issues today deals with patient compliance. It doesn’t matter how effective a medication is if a patient can’t take it. The reasons for “non-compliance” can vary from allergies to dyes and fillers, patients’ sensitivity to the components of commercially available medications (e.g., GI upset, nausea), an unpalatable taste, or difficulty swallowing oral pills.
What are the advantages to compounding and how can it benefit me?
Some advantages of compounding are improving patient compliance and by decreasing side effects – by changing the dosage strengths of medication with the approval of the physician, removing dyes and/or fillers, or changing the medication delivery system. Medication delivery systems available by compounding include lozenges, suspensions, injectables, ophthalmics, oral rinses, nasal sprays and rinses, and transdermal gels and creams.
Who is a good candidate for compounding?
Anyone who is having difficulty taking any medication, or those patients who are not being appropriately treated by the commercially available products is a candidate for compounding. All patients, from premature children to the elderly, can benefit from compounding.
Is compounding covered by my insurance?
Many insurance plans cover compounds. Some that do not will reimburse patients when a claim forms is submitted. In these cases, it is common for patients to pay the pharmacy the full price for the compound, and if the claim is approved, the insurance will reimburse the patient for the amount covered.
It is important to note that many compounds are not much more expensive than prescription co-pays. For further information, please ask your compounding pharmacist about submitting your compound through insurance.
In what specialties of medicine, would compounding be of use?
Compounding applies to any medical specialty, including bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, veterinary medicine, hospice, pain management, oncology, otolaryngology, dermatology, ophthalmology, dental, pediatrics, sports medicine, infertility, geriatrics, podiatry, gastroenterology, and endocrinology.
A great source for more information about prescription compounding and why it may be a better choice for you, is the compounding pharmacist at The Medicine Chest.
The Medicine Chest is a family owned hometown style pharmacy that puts the customer first. We have free delivery for prescriptions and medical equipment. We are also the compounding specialist of Central Florida. COPD medications, natural supplements and, we offer a full line of medical equipment and home mobility appliances. Third party billing, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance accepted. One of the most common misconceptions regarding independent pharmacies is that with better service comes a higher price. Insurance co-pays will be the same for patients regardless of the type of pharmacy used to fill their medications.