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Can I Trust Compounded Medications?

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Veterinarians rely on compounded medications to meet the unique needs of their patients. However, the quality and accuracy of compounded medications can vary, leading veterinarians to question whether the medications they prescribe are safe and effective. Knowing what to look for in a high-quality compounding pharmacy is an important step in balancing the need for customized veterinary medications with the need for reliable products.  

At last year’s American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists’ conference, a study from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Poor Accuracy, Precision and Consistency of Compounded Famciclovir Formulated for Management of Feline Herpesvirus-1 in Cats; evaluated preparations of famciclovir oral suspension for the treatment of feline herpesvirus-1 from nine compounding pharmacies. These compounded preparations failed potency testing and lacked accuracy and consistency. Such results highlight the disparities in quality that exist among traditional compounding pharmacies, also referred to as 503A pharmacies.

What qualities should you look for in a high-quality compounding pharmacy?

Stokes Pharmacy®, a division of Stokes Healthcare, is a compounding pharmacy.

Below is a quick summary of the qualities you should find in your compounding pharmacy. For more detailed information on how Stokes Healthcare’s commitment to quality sets it apart from competitors, you can also read our full response to Iowa State University’s study.     

When selecting a source for compounded medications, look for a reliable compounding pharmacy that will:  

  1. Conduct inspections of each compounded preparation to ensure product uniformity. Ideally, both a pharmacist and quality technician are part of this inspection process.
  2. Clearly label their compounded drugs so caregivers can easily determine the needed storage conditions to maintain potency.
  3. Test their products internally and send samples to independent labs to verify potency.

When a traditional 503A compounding pharmacy adheres to strict quality standards, there is assurance that each batch is safe and consistently formulated. Some compounding pharmacies, such as Stokes Pharmacy, go even further. In addition to meeting USP standards, Stokes Pharmacy is accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board. This accreditation further certifies that the highest quality and safety standards are being met.

Another option to consider, particularly when compounded veterinary medications are needed in larger quantities for multiple patients, is to purchase from a 503B outsourcing facility. 503B outsourcing facilities, such as Epicur Pharma®, must comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s stringent Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations. Epicur conducts potency, purity, stability, and sterility (if applicable) testing on every batch, taking much of the guesswork out of identifying a high-quality provider.

Want to learn more? Read Stokes Healthcare’s full response to the Iowa State University study

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