Pharmacy Board and Medical Board issue joint statement on compounded medicines

November 30, 2017

Compounded medicines are not uncommonly used when the correct dose, constituent or formulation of a therapeutic agent is not available, or when a patient has an allergy to a substance which may be found in pharmaceutical preparations. It is important to note that these locally made products are not subject to the same assessment for efficacy, safety and quality as usual prescribed medicines, and should therefore only be used when these medicines are unable to meet a therapeutic need.

In particular, these medications can degrade quickly and therefore lose effectiveness over time, and are not covered by the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) therefore tend to be significantly more expensive for the patient.

The Pharmacy Board and Medical Board have released a joint statement on compounded medications, available here.

They advise that prescribers and pharmacists work together to ensure that the best outcomes for their patient is achieved:

  • by ensuring medications on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) are not available which would serve the same purpose,
  • that patients understand the difference between ARTG and compounded medications, and any risk involved in taking compounded,
  • and that patients consent to this treatment and its cost.