PharmacyCompound and Commercial Pharmacies

One question we get a lot is “What’s the difference between compound and commercial pharmacies?”. While they are both quality pharmacies, there are subtle nuances between the two that should be understood, and why a TRT clinic would prefer to use a compounding pharmacy instead of a commercial one.

The history of compound and commercial pharmacies

Commercial pharmacies first began to appear in the early nineteenth century. Prior to this, most pharmacists were involved in compounding, which is the process of making medications from scratch using raw ingredients. This allowed them to tailor medications to the needs of individual patients. However, as mass-produced medications became more available, compounding began to decline. Pharmacists increasingly found themselves dispensing ready-made medications rather than preparing them from scratch. Today, commercial pharmacies are the dominant type of pharmacy, and compounding has become a niche practice. Nevertheless, there is a growing demand for compounding services, as patients increasingly seek personalized care. In response to this demand, many compounding pharmacies have opened in recent years. These pharmacies offer patients the opportunity to receive medications that are specifically tailored to their needs. As more and more people seek customized care, it is likely that compounding will continue to grow in popularity.

How do compound and commercial pharmacies differ?

Commercial pharmacies and compounding pharmacies serve different purposes. Commercial pharmacies mainly dispense medications that are ready-made and approved by the FDA. Compounding pharmacies, on the other hand, mix custom medications for patients based on a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. One key difference between the two types of pharmacies is that compounding pharmacies must follow USP standards, while commercial pharmacies are not subject to these same standards. This means that the medications dispensed by compounding pharmacies must meet certain quality requirements set by the USP, while commercial pharmacies are not held to this same standard. As a result, patients can be confident that they are receiving safe and effective medications from a compounding pharmacy.