When you opened your pharmacy, you had a vision. You wanted to implement new programs, better serve the needs of your customers, and to do all of the things you could never do while working for a national chain pharmacy. One of the biggest struggles that most pharmacy owners face is determining which programs are right for their pharmacy and how to go about implementing them. Compounding is one of the most popular services among independent pharmacies – and for good reason. Compounding allows you to create customized solutions for your patients while giving them access to medications they can’t obtain at a chain pharmacy. Compounding allows you to differentiate yourself in the marketplace while making sure your patients are able to get the specific medications they need. Are you thinking about offering compounding as a service in your pharmacy? Here’s what you need to know before getting started.
What is Compounding?
Compounding involves preparing personalized medications for your patients. Compounding medications are created by mixing together individual ingredients in the exact strength and dosage that your patient needs. Patients don’t always respond to medications that are commercially available, or they may need their medication in a different form. Compounding allows you to create customizable solutions for your patients.There was a time when nearly all prescriptions were compounded, but with the introduction of mass drug manufacturing in the 1950s and 1960s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of mass-manufactured medications. However, the “one-size-fits-all” method didn’t work for long, and many pharmacists and pharmacy owners quickly found that compounding was still very much in demand.
Benefits of Offering Compounding
Compounding is incredibly beneficial for your patients, but it benefits your pharmacy as well. Offering compounding in your pharmacy can bring in new customers, increase sales, may increase adherence, and may help patients gain access to the specialized medications they need. Here are some additional benefits of compounding:
- Gives patients access to discontinued medications: Sometimes, pharmaceutical manufacturers stop making medications that are in low-demand. As a compounding pharmacy, you’re able to give patients access to medications they aren’t able to get elsewhere.
- Makes medications easier to take: Some patients have difficulty taking a medication in the prescribed form or the taste may be so unpleasant that they’re unable to take it. Compounding allows you to change the strength of a medication, add a flavor, or alter its form to make it easier to take.
- Addresses allergy or ingredient sensitivity: Patients may be allergic to dyes, preservatives, or other ingredients found in commercially available drugs. Compounding allows you to create medications without these ingredients so that patients can receive the treatment that they need.
- Reduces side effects: When patients take compounded medications, they’re less likely to experience side effects since their prescriptions are tailored to their specific needs.
- Increases compliance: Compounding allows you to combine multiple prescriptions into a single dosage. Not only is this convenient for your patients, but it can also help increase compliance.
How to Get Started
If you’re thinking about offering compounding services in your independent pharmacy, one of the first things you need to do is determine if there’s a need among your customers . Find out what side effects they’re dealing with, what questions they have about their medications, and if they’ve discussed compounding with their physicians.As a pharmacy owner, compounding allows you to use your extensive knowledge about drugs to create customized treatment plans for your patients. With compounding, you’re able to offer treatments that larger chain pharmacies cannot, giving you a leg up on the competition.
Are you ready to offer compounding services in your pharmacy but don’t know how to get started? Download our free eBook, The Pharmacy Owner’s Guide to an Exceptionally Effective Implementation to learn more about implementing new programs in your pharmacy!