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Good practice when prescribing & dispensing compounded medicines

28 November, 2017

The Pharmacy Board of Australia and Medical Board of Australia have released a joint statement describing good practice for practitioners when prescribing and dispensing compounded medicines.

The Boards issued the statement to remind medical practitioners and pharmacists of their respective responsibilities relating to compounded medicines which in turn will protect patients.

A compounded medicine may be a suitable treatment option for some patients if, for example, they have an allergy or sensitivity to an excipient (such as a preservative) in a ready-prepared commercial product.

However, unlike medicines on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, compounded medicines are not subject to the same rigorous assessment for product efficacy, quality and safety by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Additional considerations are therefore required to ensure patient safety.

Practitioners are being asked to review and understand the statement as both professions play an important role in the safe use of compounded medicines by patients.

‘Every medical practitioner who prescribes compounded medicines needs to ensure that these medicines are only prescribed if a commercial product does not meet the patient’s needs and when patients have all the necessary information about the prescribed medicine,’ Medical Board of Australia Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn AM said.

‘Supporting patients to make informed decisions about their treatment is a critical consideration for all practitioners.’

‘Effective communication between medical practitioners and pharmacists is critical,’ Pharmacy Board of Australia Chair, William Kelly said.

‘If a pharmacist believes that it is not safe or appropriate to compound a prescribed medicine, they must let the prescriber and patient know so alternative treatment options can be considered.’

Medical practitioners who prescribe these medicines and pharmacists who dispense these medicines are urged to review the statement.

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