Compounding is the preparation, mixing & assembling of medication. Unlike one-size-fits all manufactured products, it’s made for individual patients to cater for their specific needs. By providing tailored medication not otherwise available, compounding pharmacies play an important role in the healthcare system.
There are 5,700 community pharmacies in Australia. However, relatively few compounding pharmacies.
A compounding pharmacy is required to meet a range of regulatory standards, and must exercise considerable care in its preparation of medications.
From so many options, how do you choose the right compounding pharmacy?
In our opinion, the staff in a top quality compounding pharmacy takes their role of making custom medications extremely seriously and undergo a process of continuous training in compounding.
To help you make an informed decision, here are 5 things to consider when choosing a compounding pharmacy:
1. Has the compounding pharmacy been accredited under the Quality Care Pharmacy Program?
Quality Care is awarded to pharmacies following a bi-annual review of the pharmacy’s policies and procedures by external Ernest and Young consultants. We are a certified Quality Care Pharmacy.
2. Can the pharmacy reliably make your medication in the required timeframe?
Often patients need or want to start consuming medications within a fairly tight timeframe. A good compounding pharmacy which is well resourced with proper workflow planning can make and deliver medications at short notice.
In urgent cases, we can offer same day compounding for orders placed before 12pm and next day compounding for the rest. We can also deliver your medication Australia-wide.
3. Can your medical practitioner contact your pharmacist when needed?
Compounding pharmacies are one third of the patient-prescriber-pharmacist relationship. A compounding pharmacy should be accessible to doctors and capable of communicating clearly with doctor’s about the compounded medications they are prescribing for customers.
At Heathershaw’s, doctors can easily contact our pharmacists. Our pharmacists also proactively contact practitioners to verify the accuracy of the prescription or clarify aspects of the doctor’s prescription where any uncertainty exists.
4. Is every step of the compounding process overseen and verified by a qualified registered pharmacist?
Absolutely. We have a dedicated compounding pharmacist who makes the medications alongside trained and certified pharmacy technicians. All medications are made in our modern state of the art laboratory. Other experienced pharmacists, also with compounding experience, are readily on hand to consult with our compounding pharmacist in relation to issues that arise.
At Heathershaw’s our pharmacists have a combined total of more than 100 years of experience between them – now not many pharmacies can say that!!
5. Does the pharmacy regularly independently test its products to ensure quality?
Each year, we send products away to be tested at an external laboratory to verify the accuracy of our medications. This reflects a commitment from the pharmacy to high standards. As an example, we source ingredients from ISO accredited approved Australian suppliers, principally Medisca and the PCCA. We review our processes and procedures to ensure we are aspiring to the highest standards.
At Heathershaw’s, our premises are new and maintained to an excellent standard. We use modern equipment, which we prefer to buy new.