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Compounding is simply the art and science of preparing personalised medications. A compounded prescription acknowledges and addresses the unique needs and preferences of individual patients. 

Your Physician will prescribe a drug and a Compounding Chemist then formulates the medication into a form of dosage applicable to your needs. Compounding Chemists can also formulate preparations that may no longer be commercially available but were ideal for some patients. 

Compounded medications are “made from the basics” i.e. the raw materials are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the physician for the patient. This allows the pharmacist to work with the patient and prescriber to customise a medication to suit the patient’s specific needs.

History of Compounding
The Compounding Chemist is not a new phenomena but instead is finding a resurgence due to it’s ability to acknowledge and address that we are not all the same. A “one size fits all approach” is infact not a good approach for an increasing number of people.

The very origin of pharmacy started with the preparation of medicines addressing individual needs. In the 1950’s, pharmaceutcal companies started to market to a broad base of patients leading to more easily produced (and profitable) standard preparations. Mass production in pharmaceuticals had evolved. The highly qualified and extensively trained pharmacist had also evolved to someone who no longer prepared medicines from raw materials to someone who dispensed standard medications but still had the wealth of training and qualification. 

Doctors, over a decade ago, recognised and helped to instigate a renaissance in the benefits of the Pharmacist that utilised compounding skills. They realised how these skills could help their patients achieve good health outcomes by prescribing customised medications. It is estimated that over 4,000 Doctors across Australia and the US write prescriptions utilising a Compounding Chemist.

Utilising modern technology, innovative techniques, a high skill level with ongoing training and research, has pushed compounding towards popularity and accessability to patients once more. Many countries including the US, United Kingdom, many countries in Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand dispense compounding prescriptions. Due to the significant investment in materials, equipment, commitment and expertise, compounding facilities are comparatively rare though. In Australia Compounding Chemists are bound to regulations set down by the TGA.

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