The week of May 6-12, 2018 is both National Pet Week and Be Kind to Animals Week. What better tribute to all the many creatures than to educate our audience about veterinary health care. Compounded veterinary medications provide unique benefits and advantages over traditional pre-made medications like oral tablets and liquids. Of course, compounding for animals also presents unique challenges and concerns.
Many Treatment Options for Veterinarians and Pet Owners
Compounding medications for veterinary patients offers the veterinarian and the pet owner many treatment options such as flavored liquids and chewable treats, transdermal gels for topical applications of systemic medications, capsules and compressed tablets in a range of sizes, oral pastes, suppositories, and more. An advantage to veterinary compounding is the ability to combine multiple therapies into one dosage form, resulting in a single application. Likewise, instead of giving the patient numerous tablets or capsules, large doses can be made into one dose. Similarly, the ability to prepare small accurate doses is another benefit, rather than a pet owner trying to break a tablet into halves or quarters without losing part of the required dose. Just like humans, animals are unique and have individual preferences. Veterinary compounding provides solutions to such medication challenges.
Veterinary Compounding Education
The industry has seen a resurgence in pharmaceutical compounding in the past decade, including great interest in veterinary compounding. However, pharmacy schools typically do not teach pharmacy compounding, or only spend a brief time going over the basics. When planning rotations, compounding is usually an elective to the pharmacy student. Most importantly, the schools do not focus on veterinary medicine at all. There are a handful of compounding pharmacies that serve as preceptors for pharmacy schools, some specializing in veterinary medicine.
One of the biggest concerns facing veterinarians and pet owners is access to quality, safe and effective compounded medications for their patients or pets. It is imperative that pharmacists be educated thoroughly not only in the preparation of compounded medication for animal patients, but also in the regulations and requirements that go along with veterinary compounding. This includes using only quality Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) accompanied by a Certificate of Analysis (CoA), reading and understanding the CoA, testing finished compounded preparations for accuracy, potency, and even cleanliness.
It is incumbent on the compounding pharmacist to obtain education and a working knowledge of animal medications prior to preparing any compounded formula for the animal patient. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians find themselves needing specialized education and hands-on training to properly meet the demands of veterinarians and their patients. Preparing unique dosage forms requires a skill set that must be learned and then developed through experience.Spectrum Pharmacy Institute, which is celebrating a first-year anniversary of its state-of-the-art compounding education center, offers hands-on, accredited veterinary compounding training, as well as other accredited programs in the fundamentals of non-sterile compounding, sterile compounding, hazardous drug compounding, pain management and hormone replacement. Learn more at SpectrumPharmacyInstitute.com.