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Pharmacists' Perceptions of the Economic Value of Compounded Pharmaceuticals: A Comparison of Compounded and Commercial Pharmaceuticals in Select Disease States

Author(s):  Lobb William B, Wilkin Noel E, Holmes Erin R

Issue:  Nov/Dec 2015 - Volume 19, Number 6
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Abstract:  Studies have been conducted to assess patient satisfaction with compounded pharmaceuticals and to directly compare compounded pharmaceuticals with their comparable commercial pharmaceuticals. Yet, the economic value of or potential for economic value derived from compounded pharmaceuticals relative to commercial pharmaceuticals is still not known. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess and compare compounding and noncompounding pharmacists’ perceptions of the economic value of compounded preparations relative to commercial products. In-depth interviews with 10 compounding pharmacists and physicians who prescribe compounded prescription pharmaceutical preparations were conducted to help develop a self administered questionnaire distributed to 50 compounding and 50 noncompounding pharmacists. Compounding and non-compounding pharmacists’ perceptions differed most often in the context of compounded pharmaceuticals for pediatric patients. However, both groups responded with moderate agreement that compounded prescription treatments are more profitable for the pharmacy than commercial prescription treatments in most therapeutic areas. This research sought to understand the perception of pharmacists of areas for potential direct and indirect economic cost savings as a result of compounding. For all items whereby compounding and non-compounding pharmacists’ ratings were significantly different, compounding pharmacists more strongly believed that compounding pharmaceuticals offered benefit and vice versa. The differences in ratings that were most common were those that directly compared the economic value of compounding and commercial pharmaceuticals, with compounding pharmacists more strongly agreeing with the potential cost savings associated with compounded pharmaceuticals. Based on these findings, prescription compounds are believed to have a benefit to the health system by those who provide them. Future research should proactively explore the economic benefit of compounded preparations compared to conventionally manufactured products to determine the economic value of compounded pharmaceuticals for patients, pharmacies, physicians, and the healthcare system.

Related Keywords: William B. Lobb, RPh, PhD, Noel E. Wilkin, RPh, PhD, Erin R. Holmes, PharmD, PhD, pharmacist survey, pharmacist perceptions, compounded preparations, drug costs, patient satisfaction, drug cost savings, hormone replacement, HRT, skin disorders, high blood pressure, hypertension, pediatrics, children, hospice, compounding pharmacists, non-compounding pharmacists


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