You may have heard the terms “compounding pharmacy” and “retail pharmacy” before. But are you confident you know what the differences between them are? When you first start researching, it’s easy to feel like you’ve gone down the rabbit hole with information overload. But don’t despair. Read on below as we summarise 3 main differences between a compounding pharmacy VS retail pharmacy.
The way your medication is made
With a compounding pharmacy, the way your prescription medication is made is a major point of difference when compared to a retail pharmacy. With retail pharmacy prescriptions, medication is mass-produced. Approved by the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), retail pharmacies stock off-the-shelf products which are manufactured in large quantities. In comparison, a compounding pharmacy makes medication from scratch as per the doctors’ prescription directions. The Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Guidelines in combination with The Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 ensure compounding pharmacies have to meet the appropriate standards when they’re supplying compounded medicines to the public.
The ingredients used in your medication
With a retail pharmacy, because medications are pre-made and bought in bulk, their shelf life needs to be as long as possible. Thus, retail pharmacy medications often have preservatives added to them to help them achieve this longevity. With a compounding pharmacy, however, because prescriptions are made to order, it means they’re less likely to include these additives.
The ability to customise your medication
The ability to customise medication is another big difference when it comes to the compounding pharmacy VS retail pharmacy debate. As a compounding pharmacist creates prescriptions as and when is needed, greater personalisation of the ingredients used can be achieved when compared to standard medications available at a retail pharmacy. For example, a compounding pharmacist can exclude ingredients such as colours, sugar, gluten or other additives that may cause allergic reactions. They also have control over the form that your medication is dispensed in such as liquid, tablet, nasal spray or suppository and can also tailor the dosage level and strength to suit your exact requirements.
For further information on the compounding pharmacy VS retail pharmacy debate, contact our friendly team at Kiara Pharmacy. We’re more than happy to discuss things further with you so you can make a fully informed decision when it comes to your prescription medications.