11 reasons why compounded items are superior
1. A compounded preparation is made specifically for an individual patient. We don''t stock rows upon rows of pre-packaged drugs that are designed like a one-size-fits-all product. Some people are small and others are larger - and the infinite variations make it impossible for any company to make a single product that will help everyone equally. Years ago drug manufacturers made multiple strengths in an effort to overcome this problem. For a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this paper, the drug makers have been offering fewer strengths, depending again on the idea that they can make one thing that meets most needs.
Compounders can make the strength stronger or weaker than the commercial products - a strength that is just right for the individual. This is particularly important for people who are much smaller or larger than the "average" patient.
2. Compounded preparations can be made without preservatives. A drug manufacturer has to make its products so they can remain stable in the warehouse and on the shelves for extended periods of time. They can achieve this goal by adding antioxidants and preservatives to their formulas. Shelf life is very important to the commercial drug makers. However, some people are sensitive to the preservatives. A compounder can make a preparation with the correct amount of the active ingredient and leave out the preservatives. Sure, the compounded preparation will not likely last for years, but it is perfectly stable for the short time the patient needs it. Compounders take stability seriously and you can be assured that any preparation that comes from a compounder will maintain stability for the length of time listed on the label. Top line compounding pharmacies, like The Compounder, regularly check their preparations and even send samples to outside laboratories to assure they are properly made and maintain stability.
3. Compounded preparations can be specially flavored. This is particularly helpful for children using liquids. It doesn't take long for a person to grow tired of one flavor or another. Commercial products usually come in just one flavor. If the user dislikes that flavor, he or she will be less likely to want to take the medicine as ordered.
This is also important for the pet population. Commercial drugs are often flavored with fruity or bubble gum flavors. Our cat and dog customers are much more likely to prefer the preparations we make in their favorite flavors; beef, chicken, liver, peanut butter, bacon, shrimp, salmon, tuna, and so on.
4. A compounded preparation can be made without artificial coloring. Colors are often important - they help the person making a preparation know when it if fully mixed. A quality compounder does not use colors that have been associated with allergies - or even cancer. For example, a common color agent used at The Compounder is riboflavin (vitamin B2). It is bright yellow/orange color and is an excellent color. It is also an extremely safe B-vitamin.
5. A compounding pharmacist can use ingredients that are safe for people who have serious allergies. One case that comes to mind is a young girl who was allergic to corn. When we investigated this we found that many of our chemical supplies were derived from corn. We searched and found sources that were made from other materials. Vitamin C, for example, is often derived from corn. We found a source from tapioca that worked and did not cause allergy problems. We also found that corn is often the source for even medicines like steroids.
6. Accuracy. Good manufacturing practices in the drug industry allow for variance in accuracy of plus or minus 10%. That means a commercial product may be 10% weaker than labeled or 10% stronger - and still meet the guidelines. Compounding pharmacies operate under tighter variances. The Compounder standard is plus or minus 5%. But, we have test results dating back to when we started that demonstrate our variance are well inside the 5% limits - often in the area of 1%. We conclude that our preparations are far more likely to be accurately made - and work more efficiently because of it - than even the most expensive commercially produced drug.
7. Quality compounding pharmacies stand behind their preparations 100%. If it doesn't taste right or if the customer disapproves for any reason, the preparation is made over until it is perfect. While some people might believe that customized medicine is very expensive, they are usually surprised that the real price of a custom order is far less than they would have expected.
8. It is not uncommon for a person to be taking multiple medicines at the same time. An experienced compounder can formulate a single dose - a capsule, for example, that would eliminate the need to swallow or apply multiple prescriptions. This is particularly helpful when a doctor wants his or her patient to take hormone replacements. Often there are two or three ingredients. Commercial products have one. Even when it is possible to find a commercial p[product that has more than one ingredient, it is unlikely that the drug maker will produce the strengths each individual may need. A compounder can adjust the amounts of individual ingredients to arrive at a single preparation that has just the right amount of each ingredient - for the individual. Again, the one-size ideas of the drug makers might make economic sense; they often don't consider the real needs of the people who will be using the products.
9. Compounding pharmacies are almost always small businesses. In an era where people feel "like a number" in the big stores, they can be respected and treated as individuals in a small, personal shop. The Compounder staff makes every effort to know their customers on a personal basis. While people who work in the "big box" store understand that it is vital to know their customers, the sheer size of the business makes it all but impossible. In a small business the same people are on hand day in and day out.
10. Another benefit of the smaller compounding pharmcy is that the professional staff makes time to really talk with their customers about their problem and the prescription they are using. Yes, it is the law that a pharmacist does counseling, but in the big stores there often isn't enough time - and there usually isn't any privacy. How comfortable would you be discussing a personal matter at a long checkout line? That isn't how the pharmacists work at The Compounder. Visit and you'll find out first hand.
11. Compounding pharmacists are naturally creative - or then gain creativity by working in a challenging environment with other professionals of similar interests. Anyone who has worked in a retail pharmacy setting knows that the staff is dedicated and limited pretty much to the four walls of that particular business. That is far from the case for compounders. They interact regularly with their customers, the doctors, and large numbers of other compounders across the country. It is not uncommon for the pharmacists at The Compounder to be in direct communication about a formulation with another compounder way across the country. The question is always "How can we use our skills and contacts to best meet the needs and wants of this particular customer?"
Compounders are a group of professionals - often referencing their service as a "Back to the Future" operation. We take the basis from which good health and good care are derived, and merge it with the technology of today to arrive at the best possible solution for the individual person.