Today, the compounding pharmacist serves an important role within the community. Although most people get the medications they need "off the shelf," there are a large number of people for whom the widely available versions of certain medicines are inappropriate. For these patients, the compounding pharmacist creates custom pharmaceuticals in his lab, where he can control the individual ingredients and delivery systems.
The compounding pharmacist performs the following specialized tasks to meet individual patient needs
- Produces medications in the appropriate dosage, which may differ from the mass-produced form.
- Changes the dosage forms - topical gels, creams, suppositories, liquids, pills, etc. - to meet patient needs.
- Removes harmful dyes, alcohols, sugars, and preservatives from the active ingredients in medications.
- Combines multiple medications for ease of delivery.
- Provides medications that are no longer produced on a mass scale.