Medication Made For You
In one of our previous blogs, we discussed the ins and outs of pharmacy compounding, providing our readers with some answers to some of the more common questions people have when they first learn of pharmacy compounding. However, we’d like to take some time to get into the benefits (and dispel some of the rumors) surrounding pharmacy compounding in this blog. First, let’s review: pharmacy compounding is simply combining ingredients to make specific medications. The pharmacists at Global Pharmacy are well qualified to compound these medications to create a medication that is specific to your medical needs. This is perfect for patients who experience drastic side effects from one or more medications; since most medications come with a lengthy list of side effects and possible sensitivities attached, medication compounding can help patients avert these less-than-ideal side effects.
Compounding Without a Prescription
Just like with all medications that aren’t OTC, Global Pharmacy is required by law to receive a prescription from your doctor before we can begin crafting and filling your medication. In fact, all pharmacies that offer medication compounding services are required to have a prescription on file before creating your medication. If you find yourself at another pharmacy and they offer medication compounding but haven’t asked for a prescription, do not allow this pharmacy to compound your medication. When you come to Global Pharmacy. We’ll ask for your doctor’s prescription and won’t start to work until we have it in hand. For most, this prescription has come from their doctor after other medications have either failed or the side effects are too impactful. When you work closely with your doctor, you’re likely to find the medication(s) that bring you the most relief while limiting or removing negative side effects.
The Cost of Compounding
While there are numerous positive impacts of medication compounding, they can often be pricier than some larger, mass-produced medications. This is due to a number of factors, including time to create and fill these medications. For some, it takes a few rounds of medication compounding for them and their doctor to dial in the specific dose and amounts of certain components. This can add up quickly, particularly if your medication is comprised of sometimes-difficult-to-find components. Another hurdle can be working with your insurance company; some insurance providers only cover part of the cost of compounding medications. Others, however, may not cover any of the cost. This can create a dire financial restraint on some patients, particularly those who need multiple medications to treat their condition(s). It’s important that you speak with your insurance provider prior to filling your compounded medication, if for nothing more than to avoid potential price shock should your medication cost more than you were expecting or have paid in the past.
Ditch The Danger
If you’ve ever seen a single medication commercial, you’ve likely noticed that the final 10 to 20 seconds of the commercial is a long list of potential side effects, most of which culminate with a disclaimer about potential death. First, if you or your doctor are concerned that the medication you need might kill you, it may be a good idea to go ahead and discuss medication compounding; medications aren’t really working if they’re killing you, right? Realistically, though, most medications won’t pose a danger like death — but some can make you feel like you’re dying. With medication compounding, you and your doctor can discuss the (sometimes painful) side effects and if/how it’s possible to avoid them in your compounded medication. Compounding affords patients who are troubled by sometimes dangerous side effects the chance to avoid complications from mass-produced medications.
What’s In A Name?
While medication compounding provides patients an alternative to mass-produced medication, medication is not considered ‘alternative medication’. While many people have their own definition of what constitutes alternative medicine, anything deviating from the traditional medical curricula of the United States and Britain is considered alternative medicine. While this leaves lots of wriggle room for supplements and other medications to slip into their own definition, compounding medication is not alternative medicine. This can particularly help to know if your insurance company is refusing to cover your cost based on saying that it is alternative medicine. In short, compounding medication is nothing more than customized medication, meaning it was made specifically for you and your condition(s).
Know What’s In Your Medication
One of the more frustrating parts of relying on mass-produced medication is that you may not know what all is in these medications. While the ingredients do come on the label, understanding what all these ingredients do and how they interact with other ingredients can be a maddening (if not seemingly impossible) process. When you work with your doctor to design your compounded medication you can discuss with them which ingredients may pose potential side effects or don’t work well with the other ingredients. While not always avoidable, you and your doctor can lessen the severity of some ingredients and work to create a customized medication that not only meets your needs but doesn’t come with the negative side effects.
You can rest assured that each member of the Global Pharmacy team follows all regulations surrounding compounding medication. While the FDA doesn’t verify compounded medications, the agency still oversees operations surrounding compounding. This ensures that all pharmacies that practice medication compounding are still held to high standards and aren’t offering medications that are unsafe or don’t meet FDA standards; essentially, all pharmacies that practice medication compounding are subject to all FDA requirements. If a pharmacy is found to be in violation of these regulations, the pharmacy/manufacturer is then forced to pay for both verification and testing to meet FDA requirements before further medication compounding.
Whom Is Medication Compounding Right For?
While deciding whether or not medication compounding is right for you is best determined after a conversation and/or medication trial and error with you and your doctor, medication compounding can assist just about everyone who is taking one or more medications. With the practice being one of the (if not the) closest thing we have to personalized medicine, the odds are in your favor that pharmacy compounding can work for you and your condition(s). If you’re wondering if medication compounding can work for you, contact your primary care doctor to learn if your medications may be better suited for medication compounding. Similarly, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced and dedicated team here at Global Pharmacy to learn more about our medication compounding services.