What is a compounding pharmacy and what services do they provide?

What is a compounding pharmacy and what services do they provide?

What is a compounding pharmacy?

Compounding is a specialised practice that involves creating customised pharmaceutical medication tailored to the unique needs of a patient. This service is offered by compounding pharmacies, where pharmacists are licensed and trained to perform compounding activities.


How is a compounding pharmacy different from a regular pharmacy?

A regular pharmacy primarily sells medication that is mass manufactured. However, commercially available medication may not always be the best fit for every patient due to its “one-size-fits-all” approach. In such cases, patients often seek alternatives that cater to their specific needs and requirements. This is where a compounding pharmacy can offer a personalised solution by creating customised medication based on an individual patient’s needs.


What are the benefits of using a compounded pharmacy?

Compounding can address common issues that patients have with commercial medication, such as:

  • Allergies or sensitivity to certain ingredients
  • Unpleasant flavours
  • Difficulties administering medication
  • Limited dosages
  • Discontinued or unavailable medication

Compounding can be particularly beneficial for children or elderly patients, but anyone with specific medical requirements can benefit from having customised medication. Patients that can benefit from a personalised approach to medication will often see a significant improvement in their health outcomes and overall well-being.


What types of specialty medications can be compounded?

A compounding pharmacy can adjust your prescription into different dosage forms to help with the administration of the medication. For instance, if you have issues swallowing pills, we can alter your medication into liquid form. Similarly, for individuals who suffer gastrointestinal side effects from taking medicine orally, we may be able to provide a topical cream that absorbs through the skin.

Unpleasant-tasting medication can cause some patients to be less likely to take their medication as prescribed. This is especially true for young children, pets, and the elderly who may outright refuse to take medication due to its taste. Luckily, we can provide alternative flavours that are more palatable, and this often improves medication adherence dramatically.


Is a prescription required to use a compounding pharmacy?

In most cases, a prescription is required for a pharmacy to undertake any compounding activities. If the active ingredient normally requires a doctor’s prescription, then a prescription must be provided to the compounding pharmacy.Although some medicines may not require a prescription based on the scheduling of the active ingredient, many compounding pharmacies chooseto only compound prescription medications. Additionally, veterinary compounding will require a prescription from a veterinary practitioner, regardless of the scheduling of the active ingredient.


How long does it take for a medication to be compounded?

 At Zenith Pharmacy, we aim to deliver prompt service with a 24-hour turnaround time. In some cases, certain forms of medication are easier to compound and may be available for same-day turnaround. Our friendly team will provide you with an accurate estimate for how long your medication will take to produce. We understand the importance of starting treatments as soon as possible, and thus we are committed to ensuring that your medication is prepared in a speedy manner.

Safety is our top priority. Our team is committed to following all regulations and guidelines that concern compounding, to ensure the safety and efficacy of your medication. You can trust that the allotted time is utilised to undertake compounding activities in the safest manner possible, with the highest quality ingredients.


Are compounded medications covered by insurance?

 Many insurance companies offer cover for compounding services. You may be able to lodge a claim for your compounding prescriptions, depending on your plan. We recommend that you consult your insurance provider for clarification on your eligible benefits.


How can I find a reputable compounding pharmacy?

A reputable compounding pharmacy will have the appropriate training and certification to undertake safe compounding practices.This includes sourcing high quality active ingredients and having a secure, dedicated space exclusively for compounding activities.

Zenith Pharmacy has earned its reputation as a trusted compounding pharmacy that has served the Parramatta community for years. Our experienced pharmacists have all the prerequisite training to provide professional compounding services, and they have also pursued additional training in specialised areas such as HRT and veterinary compounding. We source all our ingredients from GMP-compliant facilities and create each medication to order.If you need more information regarding our certification, equipment, and safety practices, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer support. Alternatively, come speak to our friendly staff if you are in the Western Sydney area.


Can a compounding pharmacy make a medication that is no longer commercially available?

 Absolutely. Medications are often discontinued in the Australian market for various reasons.Sometimes, a medication may be unprofitable when mass-produced, but certain patients still require that specific product. Through the art of compounding, we can re-create discontinued medications so that patients still have access to their required medication. Many of our customers across Sydney come to our pharmacy in Parramatta to enquire about products they can no longer find on the market. We’ve been able to help several patients who are sensitive to ingredients found in alternative products.

NOTE: A compounding pharmacy is only authorised to re-create a medication if it is no longer commercially available. At Zenith Pharmacy, we cannot re-create a commercially available medication if there is no medically necessary customisation required. Additionally, this means we cannot re-create a commercially available medication solely for cost purposes.


Is compounding cheaper or more expensive than commercially available medication?

The cost of compounded medications can vary greatly, as it depends on various factors such as the cost of active ingredients, the unique needs of the patient, and the preparation requirements. While some patients may find that compounded medications are more affordable compared to commercially available options, this will depend on individual circumstances.

We suggest reaching out to your insurance provider to determine if your plan covers the cost of compounded medications. Please note that cost-effectiveness should not be the sole reason for choosing compounded medication, and Zenith Pharmacy will only compound medication when it is deemed medically necessary.

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