The compounding of medications is one of the oldest practices in medicine. Compounding is defined by the preparation, mixing, assembling, packaging, or labeling of a drug or device as the result of the practitioner, patient, and pharmacist relationship. Compounding is the customization of a medication, prepared by a pharmacist, according to a veterinarian’s specifications to meet a patient’s needs.
Approximately 60 years ago, over one-half of all prescriptions were compounded by pharmacists. During the evolution of medicine, pharmacists became more dependent on the dispensing of medicines instead of making them. Drug manufacturers started to mass produce medicine, often limiting the medications to a few strengths. The idea of mass produced strengths and dosage forms works well most of the time. However, some patients need specialized dosage forms or individual dosing regimens. We compound medicines to meet the needs of each patient.
Today, compounding pharmacies are one of the fastest growing segments of the pharmaceutical industry. We are better educated, better regulated and much more sophisticated than compounding pharmacies of old.