Every now and again we encounter a new patient who will ask, “why does my medication take a day [and sometimes longer] to be ready?”
There are several factors that can affect how quickly each medication is made at a compounding pharmacy. These factors include:
- The prescription’s cycle – A prescription undergoes a series of stages. Each stage is important and unique in its own way. For example, one prescription will go to data entry where its checked by a pharmacist and a formula (recipe) is created and sent to the lab to be compounded. Once the prescription is in the lab, a technician begins to compose the prescription by having ingredients and amounts verified both electronically and manually. The ingredients are combined in a pharmaceutical fashion and are treated accordingly to produce a medication worthy to carry our pharmacy’s name. In the final step of the process is for the pharmacist to review the formula, review patient’s information and ultimately puts a stamp of approval. Once all these steps are completed satisfactory, the patient is called and made aware that their prescription is ready for pick up. “That’s a lot of checks and balances” – We know!! But, we think you’re worth it.
- The dosage form of a medication – We make everything from scratch and some dosage forms are more time consuming than others. Capsules, for instance, are hand packed and then each batch is tested to ensure the proper strength is encapsulated within the capsule. Suppositories, on the other hand, take longer to dispense because we add the active ingredients to a melted base which will require some setting before a quality assurance test can even be conducted.
- The availability of specific ingredients – We stock active ingredients we use most commonly. Sometimes, however, a customized medication is prescribed with an active pharmaceutical ingredient that needs to be ordered because it’s not something we commonly use.
- Communication is needed between doctor, pharmacist, and/or patient – Sometimes we will receive a script that will require clarification or adjustment from the doctor. Sometimes, we need more information from the patient.
So, while we want to make medications in a timely manner, especially when it is an antibiotic or other medication that is immediately needed, we must always follow the best procedures that have been developed and tested within the industry to ensure quality and safety.
We greatly appreciate as much advance notice as possible when filling a customized prescription, especially with refills.
We hope this helps,
~The BPCC Team