FAQs About Long Term Care & Pharmaceutical Compounding

Is custom compounding right for me?

Contact a Dial Drugs pharmacist today to learn more about the benefits of personalized prescription compounding.

Does my prescriber know about compounding?

Prescription compounding is a rapidly growing component of many prescribers’ practices. Some, however, may not realize the extent of compounding’s resurgence in recent years. Ask your prescriber about compounding. Then get in touch with Dial Drugs – we are committed to providing high-quality compounded medications in the exact dosage form and strength determined by your prescriber.

Through the triad relationship of patient, prescriber and pharmacist, all three can work together to solve unique medical problems in the most effective and productive way.

Is compounding legal? Is it safe?

Compounding has been part of healthcare since the origins of pharmacy, and is widely used today in all areas of the industry, from hospitals to nuclear medicine. Over the last decade, compounding’s resurgence has largely benefited from advances in technology, quality control and research methodology. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that compounded prescriptions are both ethical and legal as long as they are prescribed by a licensed practitioner for a specific patient and compounded by a licensed pharmacy. In addition, compounding is regulated by state boards of pharmacy.

Is compounding expensive?

Compounding may or may not cost more than conventional medication. Its cost depends on the type of dosage form and equipment required, plus the time spent researching and preparing the medication. Fortunately, compounding pharmacists have access to pure-grade quality chemicals which dramatically lower overall costs and allow them to be very competitive with commercially manufactured products.

Will my insurance cover compounded medications?

Almost every insurance plan allows for the patient to be reimbursed by sending in claims forms. While you may be paying a pharmacy directly for a compounded prescription, most insurance plans should cover the final cost, less your co-pay or deductible.

What kinds of prescriptions can be compounded?

Almost any kind. Compounded prescriptions are ideal for any patient requiring unique dosages and/or delivery devices, which can take the form of solutions, suppositories, sprays, oral rinses, lollipops and even as transdermal sticks. Compounding applications can include: Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Veterinary, Hospice, Pediatric, Ophthalmic, Dental, Otic (for the ear), Dermatology, Medication Flavoring, Chronic Pain Management, Neuropathies, Sports Medicine, Wound Therapy and Podiatry.

Can my child (or my elderly parent) take compounded medication?

Yes. Children and the elderly are often the types of patients who benefit most from compounding. Because of this, we offer specific pediatric compounding medication solutions. Often, parents have a tough time getting their children to take medicine because of the taste. A compounding pharmacist can work directly with the prescriber and the patient to select a flavoring agent, such as vanilla butternut or tutti frutti, which provides both an appropriate match for the medication’s properties and the patient’s taste preferences.

Compounding pharmacists also have helped patients who are experiencing chronic pain. For example, some arthritic patients cannot take certain medications due to gastrointestinal side effects. Working with their prescriber’s prescription, a compounding pharmacist can provide them with a topical preparation with the anti-inflammatory or analgesic their doctor has prescribed for them. Compounded prescriptions often are used for pain management in hospital care.

What is compounding and how does it benefit me?

Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its practice dates back to the origins of pharmacy; yet, compounding’s presence in the pharmacy profession has changed over the years. In the 1930s and 1940s, approximately 60% of all medications were compounded. With the advent of drug manufacturing in the 1950s and 1960s, compounding rapidly declined. The pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications quickly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured dosage forms.

However, within the last two decades, compounding has experienced a resurgence as modern technology and innovative techniques and research have allowed more pharmacists to customize medications to meet specific patient needs.

There are several reasons why pharmacists compound prescription medications. The most important reason is what the medical community calls “patient non-compliance.” Many patients are allergic to preservatives or dyes, or are sensitive to standard drug strengths. With a prescriber’s consent, a compounding pharmacist can change the strength of a medication, alter its form to make it easier for the patient to ingest, or add flavor to make it more palatable. The pharmacist also can prepare the medication using several unique delivery systems, such as a sublingual troche or lozenge, a lollipop, or a transdermal gel or cream that can be absorbed through the skin. For those patients who are having a hard time swallowing a capsule, a compounding pharmacist can make a liquid suspension instead.

Is Long-Term Care expensive?

It can be. Americans spend billions of dollars a year on various services. How much an individual pays depends on the type and amount of services provided, where he or she lives, whether family and friends can provide care, and which paid providers are used.

Most people don't have enough money to pay for all long-term care costs on their own, especially ongoing or expensive services like a nursing home. Often, they rely on a combination of resources to pay for care. These may include personal funds, government health insurance programs (such as Medicare and Medicaid), private health insurance plans, private financing options (such as long-term care insurance, life insurance policies, and reverse mortgages)

Contrary to what many people think, Medicare does not cover most long-term care costs. It does pay for some part-time services for people who are homebound and for short-term skilled nursing care, but it does not cover ongoing personal care at home, like help with bathing. It may cover part of the first 100 days in a nursing home.

Medicaid pays for health care services for people with limited income, and it is an important source of payment for long-term care services. Personal care, home health care, adult day care, and nursing home care are examples of the types of Medicaid-covered services used by older adults. However, Medicaid is not available to everyone.

Long-term care insurance pays for many types of long-term care. The exact coverage depends on the type of policy. Some policies cover only nursing homes. Others cover a variety of services. The cost of long-term care insurance does go up for people who are older and have health problems.

How common is the need for long-term care among older people?

About 70 percent of people over age 65 need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. More than 40 percent need care in a nursing home for some period of time. The lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older.

By 2050, the number of individuals using paid long-term care services in any setting (e.g., at home, residential care such as assisted living, or skilled nursing facilities) will likely double from the 13 million using services in 2000, to 27 million people. This estimate is influenced by growth in the population of older people in need of care. Of the older population with long-term care needs in the community, about 30% (1.5 million persons) have substantial long-term care needs. Of these, about 25% are 85 and older and 70% report they are in fair to poor health.

Why do people need Long Term Care?

People often need long-term care when they have a serious, ongoing health condition or disability. The need for long-term care can arise suddenly, such as after a heart attack or stroke. Most often, however, it usually develops gradually, as people get older and frailer or as an illness or disability gets worse.

Long-term care can last a short time or a long time. Short-term care lasts several weeks or a few months while someone is recovering from a sudden illness or injury. For example, a person may get short-term rehabilitation therapy at a nursing facility after hip surgery, then go home.

Long-term care can also be ongoing, as with someone who is severely disabled from a stroke or who has Alzheimer's disease. Many people can remain at home if they have help from family and friends or paid services. But some people move permanently to a nursing home or other type of facility if their needs can no longer be met at home.

What types of services does Long Term Care provide?

There are several types of long term care services. LTC services can include Home-based services (such as home health care and emergency response services), Community-based services (such as adult day service programs, senior centers, transportation and meal services), Facility-based services (such as adult foster care homes, assisted living centers, and skilled nursing homes)

What is Long Term Care?

Long Term Care includes a variety of services designed to meet a person's health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform many everyday activities on their own.