Compounding is the long-established tradition in pharmacy practice that enables physicians to prescribe and patients to take medicines that are specially prepared by pharmacists to meet patients’ individual needs. A growing number of patients have unique health needs that off-the-shelf prescription medicines cannot meet. For them, customized, compounded medications prescribed or ordered by licensed physicians or veterinarians and mixed safely by trained, licensed compounding pharmacists are the only way to better health.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, approximately 60 percent of all medications were compounded. Then in the 1950’s and 1960’s, with the creation of commercial drug manufacturers, compounding declined. It was during this time that a pharmacist, known as a compounder or apothecary, became known as a dispenser of manufactured drugs. Within the last two decades, however, compounding has experienced resurgence, as modern technology and innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet specific patient needs. Today, an estimated one percent of all prescriptions are compounded daily by pharmacists working closely with physicians and their patients.