Patient-Centered Care: What Is Medicine Compounding?

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Doctors, pharmacists, and health professionals always prioritize the health and well-being of the patients. As a standard practice, attending physicians prescribe medicines and other medications approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). But there are patients who, for one reason or another, can’t be treated with most of these traditional FDA-approved drugs.

The good thing is that through medicine compounding, pharmacists can make medications that aren’t being produced by commercial pharmaceutical companies. Medicine compounding is a great way to enhance patient-centered care methods and practices. Read on to learn more.

What Is Medicine Compounding?

Drug compounding or medicine compounding is a pharmacological process of creating medications and therapies specifically designed for the needs of an individual patient. This is typically done by mixing, combining, or altering certain drugs and ingredients. Fagron Sterile offers these products, including Sterile-to-Sterile, API-to-Sterile & Biologic compounding.

Compounded medicines are formulated based on the prescription of a medical practitioner and do not require FDA approval. Most medicines already have their fixed dosage limit each day, but some patients have different needs and specific requirements. It can be harmful to make them take medicines in dosages that don’t match their actual need. Different ingredients are mixed to come up with the exact dosage and strength required by the illness or medical condition of the patient. 

When Are Compounded Drugs Needed?

A concrete example of when compounded drugs are needed is when there’s a patient who can’t be administered FDA-approved medication. In such instances, medical professionals attending to the patient may formulate a compounded drug for that specific patient’s treatment. Healthcare data analytics is helping medical professionals come up with precision medicine compounding products.

Another example is when a patient is allergic to specific dyes contained in prescribed medication. The attending health professionals can prepare compounded drugs minus the dye. 

Other instances when compounded drugs are needed is when a child patient or elderly under care isn’t able or doesn’t want to take in capsules or tablets. The attending health professionals can prepare liquid dosages of the same or a similar medicine. Young children often prefer to be given chewable tablets. A compounding pharmacy can also add flavor to make the medicines more appetizing.

Adults who have digestive issues would also sometimes find it difficult to take FDA-approved drugs. These would cause issues with their digestive system or health, so compounded medicines are prescribed. In all these examples, the distinct advantage of compounded drugs is that they can be prepared and administered to address an important need with the patient’s health as the primary consideration.  

Patient-Centered Care Thru Unique Doses

There are times when a patient requires accurate and specific quantities of medication, but the medicines are only sold in specific dosages or strengths. Compounding pharmacies can help maintain patient-centered care by creating unique doses that meet these specific requirements.

For instance, infants and young children can only be given minute doses of medicines. A compounding pharmacy will give a lot of much-needed flexibility to the health professionals caring for the patient. 

Easy access to needed medicines is an essential part of patient-centered care. Some medicines are taken out of the market, discontinued by their manufacturers, or are simply hard to find. Compounding pharmacies fill an important role here. They can provide much-needed supplies of medicines that are limited in stock or have been discontinued. When FDA-approved drugs aren’t available, patients can ask for compounded medicines as substitutes.

Compounding medicines also enhance patient-centered care by covering the needs of patients who have allergies to certain kinds of medications. Some FDA-approved medicines can trigger allergic reactions and other sensitivities in patients. Ingredients such as dyes, gluten, lactose, and flavorings can trigger allergic reactions. There are also preservatives in some medicines that can’t be tolerated by sensitive patients. 

Non-Medical Reasons For Medicine Compounding

There are other non-medical reasons why medicine compounding helps enhance the delivery of patient-centered care. For one, compounded medicines are cheaper than commercially manufactured FDA-approved drugs. Pharmacies and manufacturers which have access to medical-grade chemicals can create their own low-cost compounded medicines. Also, medicine compounding doesn’t use any of the designer dyes or patented preservatives owned by pharmaceutical companies. This significantly brings down the prices of medicines. 

Some people also sometimes cite religious reasons why they need to avail themselves of compounded medicines. Patient-centered care through the use of compounded medicines can help patients with religious restrictions on their diet intake. Compounded medicines can’t be certified as kosher or halal. But pharmacies preparing compounded medicines can avoid some ingredients such as alcohol or gelatin. This will help patients comply with their Jewish or Islamic beliefs. 

Vegan practitioners can also avail themselves of medicine compounding so they don’t have to violate their diet restrictions. Medicine compounding would be highly useful for enabling patients to observe their religious, dietary, or other non-medical restrictions. Pharmacists and other health professionals can thus design and make compounded medicines that comply with the special needs of vegans and other patients with unique non-medical concerns. 

Potential Risks of Medicine Compounding

Because pharmacy compounding has no regulatory oversight, there’s a greater risk of introducing contaminants like fungi or bacteria in the compounded medicine. If these medicines are produced on a larger scale, the consequences may be devastating. In the past decade, there were three separate meningitis outbreaks linked to contaminated steroids made by compounding pharmacies.

To uphold patient-centered care and wellness, it’s important to get the services of a reputable pharmaceutical company when looking for medicine compounding services. Attention to detail, high standards for hygiene and safety, and quality materials cannot be overstated.

Conclusion

Medicine compounding is a great way to enhance patient centered-care, especially for patients with special needs and under unusual circumstances. Health professionals have also shown that medicine compounding works best for some patients. Medicine compounding has distinct advantages because pharmacists can formulate medications which are specifically designed for patients. They can remove ingredients or elements which may trigger allergies or other intolerance among patients. They can even make compounded medicines for those with religious or dietary restrictions. To get high-quality and safe compounded medicine, providers and institutions must get the services of a reputable pharmaceutical company. 

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