Compounding pharmacies, which were once far more common in the United States, have started to increase in popularity in recent years. With American society becoming ever more health-conscious, many patients have sought out compounding pharmacies as an alternative to big-name chains.
What Is a Compounding Pharmacy?
Back before there were chains of pharmacies, and back before major drug store chains were common all across the country, compounding pharmacies were the main way of acquiring medications. At a compounding pharmacy, they create the medications on-site. The pharmacy has the necessary chemicals and compounds to make any form of medication. Whereas, there are major companies that mass produce popular prescriptions and make them available to the major chains, compounding pharmacies create the medications on site and as needed. When a patient comes in with a prescription, the pharmacy verifies its accuracy with a doctor, and then begins making the medication.
Prescriptions Tailored towards Patients
Nowadays, because of patent laws, many prescriptions have generic forms. Name brand drugs have become less common, as they’re traditionally far more expensive than generic ones. The generic ones are still mass-produced, though, and usually differ from one pharmacy chain to another.
Generic drugs include a required amount of the active chemical, but the rest of the medication is created with some kind of additive. As a result, patients can have different sensitivities to these additives. Someone who has no side effects with their prescription at one particular chain might experience some side effects such as an upset stomach or headache when taking their prescription from another chain. Patients also might have more difficulty swallowing pills because of their size or shape at a certain drug store.
At compounding pharmacies, patients can have these issues resolved. Compounding pharmacies are more innovative in their approach to creating medication. They often use organic or holistic additives instead of chemicals used by chain pharmacies, usually resulting in fewer side effects. They can also create specific sizes and shapes of pills, or even give medication in a different form altogether (i.e. liquid) at the request of the patient.
Major Differences between Compounding and Chain Pharmacies
As mentioned, compounding pharmacies often make their medications with a patient’s specific needs in mind. This usually sidesteps major side effects, and can solve issues with a major pharmaceutical distributor’s pills.
Because compounding pharmacies make their medications on-site, this usually means they take longer. While major-chain pharmacies have medication on-hand, and usually their pharmacists simply have to count pills or measure liquid before distributing the medication to the patient, compounding pharmacies aren’t quite as quick. It might take a day or two to fill a prescription instead of an hour to a day.
Compounding pharmacies are almost always local businesses and not chains. Many people prefer to support local businesses instead of major corporations, and getting your medication at a compounding pharmacy puts your money in a local business’s pocket. Additionally, local businesses often have more personalized customer service. Patients who deal with severe ailments might prefer interacting with (and developing a relationship with) a pharmacist who is part of a local business instead of a major chain.
The differences between the two forms of pharmacies are vast, but with the comeback of compounding pharmacies, it’s easy to seek out an innovative compound pharmacy in Kennesaw, GA.