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What is Compounding Pharmacy?

Compounding is where a drug, a pharmaceutical preparation, is made by a licensed pharmacist to meet the unique needs of a patient (either human or animal) when a commercially available drug does not meet those needs. 

A pharmacist may compound a drug if it is not commercially available. Examples of how we may customize medications include:

  • Customize strength.

  • Combine multiple medications into one.

  • Flavor a medication.

    • Flavoring may be done for humans and pets.

  • Make a medicine to remove an inactive ingredient.

    • Such as lactose, gluten, or a dye if patient is allergic.

  • Change the form of the medication.

    • Example: from a tablet to a liquid. ​


Compounding does not include making copies of commercially available drug products, as this is not allowed by law. 

The U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) formally defines compounding as “the preparation, mixing, assembling, altering, packaging, and labeling of a drug, drug-delivery device, or device in accordance with a licensed practitioner's prescription, medication order, or initiative based on the practitioner/patient/ pharmacist/compounder relationship in the course of professional practice.” 

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