Andrew Hanna Breaks Down Differences Between Compounding Pharmacies and Regular Establishments

Your pharmacy can address certain concerns, prescribe medication, and offer suitable treatment methods, but there are times when greater assistance is needed to properly address symptoms or ailments.

This is where compounding pharmacies are important. Compounding pharmacies differ from the normal pharmacies and their offerings, with staff that have earned additional extensive education and training in the science of compounding and creating custom medications with base ingredients for patients. At one time, compounded medications were the standard norm, until mass drug manufacturing seemingly took over and dispensed medication in bulk, regulating the role of pharmacists to some extent.

Andrew Hanna, a fully licensed compounding pharmacist from Cornwall, Ontario, outlines some of the key differences that are apparent between compounding pharmacies and the conventional industries.

Andrew Hanna Breaks Down Differences Between Compounding Pharmacies and Regular Establishments

Specific Assistance

One of the major standout features of a compounding pharmacy is the particular expertise, Andrew Hanna notes, as its staff are trained to help with a variety of unique issues. While typical pharmacies can provide prescriptions, a compounding pharmacy is equipped to create an exact dosage that might not be available from the traditional pharmaceutical route. A dosage can be modified to suit a patient’s weight, height or condition, a distinct advantage that will diminish the possibility of side effects and have a greater influence on improving a person’s overall situation.

There are endless scenarios in which an individual requires a precise solution, specifically crafted for their case and a compounding pharmacist can confidently deliver it. Obviously, a compounding pharmacist’s specialty and extensive knowledge can also be useful when a patient is seeking advice or information, regardless if it is before or during a treatment period. Both compounding and regular pharmacists can answer patient questions relating to side effects, medication, and treatment strategies.

A Dedication to Medication

Many patients will say that their form of medication is uncomfortable, unpleasant, or unnecessary due to side effects or the process of taking it, Andrew Hanna states. At a compounding pharmacy, you have the benefit of selecting your personal preference because the establishment carries a multitude of choices, including liquids, tablets, powders, creams, and ointments. These options can provide patients with many benefits. For instance, a topical cream decreases the likelihood of side effects since it does not move through the digestive tract prior to entering the bloodstream. Children generally dislike the idea of taking any medicine, so the multi-form offering is definitely a welcome blessing for parents. Through the compounding pharmacy, parents can pick up their child’s prescription in a powder that will mix nicely with food or drinks, meaning children can take the medicine potentially without even knowing it. A compounding pharmacist is capable of producing these special formulas for other purposes, such as dermatology, hormone therapy, pain management, sports medicine, cosmeceuticals and veterinary medicine.

Discontinued Medication and Allergy Alleviation

Andrew Hanna

Have you ever called the pharmacy to ask about a medicine only to find out that it is has been discontinued by the larger organizations? It is a common occurrence, created by the fact that the drugs are not cost-effective enough to be manufactured and the alternatives on the market can be less helpful. Being in a position to produce the medication from scratch, a compounding pharmacist can provide you with the discontinued product. Mass-produced medications often contain fillers, additives that can lead to allergic reactions for people. Regular pharmacies cannot get around this issue, but compounding establishments are able to remove any problematic ingredients when developing the medication.

Andrew Hanna on a Safe, Measured Approach

Sometimes, patients receive tablets that are either too large to swallow or lacking the proper dosage that is necessary, Andrew Hanna points out, and a standard pharmacy cannot adjust the size. From this inconvenience, people, specifically the elderly who may experience struggles digesting, must break the tablets into smaller pieces and estimate exactly what the right dosage is, a detrimental practice that is sure to cause uneven measurements. A compounding pharmacy can eliminate this potential problem and ensure that your dosage is always precise.

I am a certified compounding pharmacist and the founder of the pharmacy Cotton Mill Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy that compounds prescriptions for clients.