The aims of this study were to determine the frequency of prescription compounding by community pharmacists, identify factors that influence pharmacists' decisions to provide compounding services, and evaluate physicians' perspectives on prescribing medications that require compounding.
The study was a cross-sectional survey administered via face-to-face structured interviews with randomly selected community pharmacists and physicians from different areas of the West Bank.
Of the 260 community pharmacists who were contacted, 212 agreed to participate in the survey, giving a response rate of 81.5%. Overall, 153 (72.2%) of respondent pharmacists provided compounding services. Compounded prescriptions accounted for 1973 (1.55%) of 126,840 prescriptions dispensed in a typical month. Among the compounders, 112 (73.2%) pharmacists reported that their goal in providing full pharmaceutical care to their patients was the most important motivator. The most frequently reported reason for not providing compounding was 'I do not receive prescriptions that require compounding' by 43 out of 59 (72.9%) pharmacists. A total of 179 out of 220 physicians consented to participate in this study giving a response rate of 81.4%. The majority of physicians (142, 79.3%) did not prescribe compounded medicines. The most important reason for their decision to prescribe compounded medicines was the unavailability of the required dosage forms. The most commonly cited reason for not prescribing them was a lack of trust in the quality of the compounded formulations.
While most respondent pharmacists provide a compounding service this represents only a small percentage of the total volume of dispensed prescriptions. Most responding physicians do not prescribe medications that require compounding because they lack trust in the quality of the compounded formulations.