Why are compounded medications more expensive?

November 30, 2023

The ability and privilege to compound medications for patients is a way for pharmacies to tailor prescriptions to specific patient needs. Sometimes patients are surprised that the price of a compounded medication may be more than what they are used to paying for prescriptions. Although this is not always the case, there are a variety of factors that go into determining the price of a compound.

Specialized knowledge and regulations: Pharmacies that specialize in compounding medications have undergone training and certifications specific to compounding. There is an art and science to personalizing medication. The Ontario College of Pharmacists has many regulations that pharmacies must abide by, in order to protect the public and pharmacy personnel. The specialty training that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must undergo at compounding pharmacies can also contribute to costs.

Time: Compounding simply takes more time. Rather than dispensing an already-made drug, compounding pharmacists take time to formulate a compound specific to the needs of a person. Sometimes specific ingredients must be sourced and then there is the time that goes into physically making the custom compound. Depending on whether this requires fewer steps, like a simple cream, versus a multi-step process, like capsules or injections, will determine how much time is necessary.

Ingredients: The personalization involved in compounding medications means that specialized ingredients may be involved. When specialty ingredients need to be sourced, and often in smaller quantities, this can drive up the cost of materials.

Equipment: Not all pharmacies are equipped to make compounded medications. Compounding pharmacies require a dedicated lab where they have specialized equipment and conditions to safely measure, mix and dispense pharmaceuticals. Compounding equipment and facilities require regular maintenance and certification by third parties to ensure they are in working order and continue to meet the standards.


As part of our promise to maintain a high level of personalized, customer service, at Pace Pharmacy we’re transparent about what goes into creating your personal compounded medication solutions. If you’re curious please ask!

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