Patient Experiences with Compounded Medications

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Journal of the American Pharmacists Association


Pharmacy Faculty


Objectives: There is little data directly from patients on their experiences with compounded prescriptions (CRx). The purposes of the study were to determine how patients initiated CRx use and how they perceived their CRx therapy.

Methods: A cross-sectional mailed national survey design was used. Participating pharmacies distributed questionnaires to their patients when dispensing CRx. The questionnaire contained items relating to patient demographics, previous use of CRx, how the patient came to use CRx, how the pharmacy was chosen, and satisfaction with the CRx.

Results: A total of 494 usable responses were received. Respondents were predominantly female (82.3%) with an average age of 60.5 years. Most respondents received their CRx via mail or delivery service (78.2%). The average duration of CRx use was 30 months. Patients with insurance paid an average of $50.04 for the CRx, while non-insured patients paid an average of $116.20. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (50.1%) and pain management (23.1%) were the most frequent indications for CRx therapy. CRx were primarily used to replace (68.1%) rather than supplement (31.9%) previous medications. The prescriber was the first person to suggest CRx therapy (78.9%) and the prescriber’s recommendation was important in choosing the compounding pharmacy (89.6%) for most patients. More than 95% of patients were satisfied with all aspects of CRx therapy except cost. Patients judged CRx as equally good or better than previous medications they had used for their medical condition.

Conclusion: Respondents used CRx for HRT, pain treatment, and a variety of medical conditions. CRx were used primarily to replace other medications due to treatment failure or intolerable side effects. Respondents were satisfied with all aspects of CRx therapy with the exception of out-of-pocket cost. The prescriber’s recommendation was the single most important factor in a patient choosing to use CRx and in choosing a compounding pharmacy.

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