More pharmacies mixing their own medicines - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

More pharmacies mixing their own medicines

MIAMI (WTVJ/NBC) - A growing number of pharmacies are opting to go back to customizing medications instead of big drug companies preparing medications for them.

A growing number of pharmacists filling prescriptions are doing more than counting manufactured pills. They're mixing and making medications, a practice known as "compounding."

"It's especially tailored for you," pharmacist Armondo Bardisa said. "It's customized medicine for each individual."

The medications can be blended into lollipops and gummies, which are popular with picky kids.

"A lot of the elderly use it, as well, because we can make your tablets that you would normally have to take, we can make into a liquid," Bardisa said.

Some of the pharmacies compound medications for animals, too. The FDA does not regulate these custom meds, so how do you know what you're getting?

"All the compounds we formulate here are sent out to a laboratory for potency, making sure what is in there and the strength that's in there, that's what's really in there," compounding pharmacist Richard Mayan said.

Insurance companies will pay for traditional prescription medicines, most will not cover the cost of compounded medications. The ingredients are FDA-approved, but when mixed together, they are not.

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