It can be difficult to find a compounding pharmacy to suit your needs, especially when you're not sure what you're looking for. First off, of the 56,000 pharmacies in the United States, only about 7,500 are compounding pharmacies. That's not exactly every street corner. Secondly, when you do find a compounding pharmacy, how do you know if they will be able to accurately meet your medication needs?
If you have a severe allergy to the gelatins and dyes common in regular pills and capsules, a contaminated batch of your medicines could have you stabbing yourself with an EpiPen while someone else frantically tries to get you to the ER. Having a great compounding pharmacist is every bit as important as having a great doctor.
What to Look For In A Compounding Service
The quality of a compounding pharmacy depends on the quality of its source materials. The pharmacy's supplier must deliver only the highest, laboratory-grade chemicals and compounds. Impure supplies are not only less effective in treating the condition for which the medication was designed, but they may also be dangerous to you because of your allergies.
Always ask if the compounding pharmacy conducts quality assurance testing that is administered by an independent organization. A second organization's involvement decreases the likelihood of mistakes and all but eliminates the chance of malfeasance.
Finally, find how well-trained the pharmacy staff is. Most pharmacists are trained to a certain extent in compounding. However, if you want to feel secure, the pharmacists should be highly trained and specialized in the practice of mixing and distributing medicines. Has the staff attended a compounding training center?
Who Accredits Compounding Pharmacies?
Established in 2007, the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAP) accredits compounding pharmacies and certifies their quality. PCAP bases its standards on guidelines established by U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. They accredit compounding pharmacies whether they do business in hospitals, through retail locations, or via the mail. PCAB certification helps ensure quality in individually tailored medications, like the type that you require.
When You've Found Your New Pharmacy
After finding a new pharmacy, you should start by notifying your doctor's office. They will need to cancel the prescriptions or any refills at the pharmacy where they originally wrote the prescription. Next, make sure they rewrite the scripts for your new compounding pharmacy. Then, give your new pharmacy time to compound your new medication. Feeling secure with your medications is that simple.