Drug Compounding: FDA Authority and Possible Issues for Congress

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Summary. Drug compounding is a process by which a pharmacist or physician combines, mixes, or alters various drug ingredients to create a drug to meet the unique needs of an individual patient for whom an approved drug may not be appropriate (e.g., due to an allergy to a dye in the product). The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the manufacturing and sale of drugs in the United States, including compounded drugs. Generally, a drug may not be sold unless the FDA, through its drug approval process, has determined that the drug is safe and effective for its intended use. Although compounded drugs are considered new drugs, it would not be practicable for pharmacies to obtain FDA approval for each drug compounded for an individual patient. Thus, compounded drugs are not evaluated by FDA prior to marketing for safety, effectiveness, or quality. In 1997, Congress passed the Food and Drug Administration Modernizati

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