University of South Florida

USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Compounding Program


In the pursuit and attainment of excellence, the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy (TCOP) is guided by the mission to revolutionize health as it becomes the pacesetter for pharmacy education in an ever-changing healthcare field. Personalized medicine is a key part of the future of healthcare, and that’s where pharmaceutical compounding plays a role.

USF TCOP has a non-sterile compounding lab that provides the setting for the education and training to current and future pharmacists and pharmacy technicians through an in-depth, hands-on continuing education (CE) program. “We are the only college in Florida and one of the few across the Nation that provides a CE program in compounding,” Vijaykumar Sutariya, MPharm, PhD, RPh, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USF TCOP, said. “The open lab has all the equipment required, from the laminar flow hood for sterile preparations, mortars and pestles, balances, mixers, ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy, dissolution testers, disintegration testers and density testers.”

Trainees also benefit from regular collaboration with the USF Clinical Investigational Research Pharmacy (CIRP) and their sterile clean room located on the sixth floor of the Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare. The primary function of CIRP is to conduct double blinded studies and appropriate procurement, storage, documentation, control, sterile preparation, distribution and disposal of investigational products for clinical trial patients.

Currently, the non-sterile lab is located on the University of South Florida’s Tampa Campus, but it will soon be moving downtown to Water Street Tampa and into the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, Taneja College of Pharmacy and Heart Institute. The new space will provide room for a modern, state-of-the-art pharmaceutical compounding lab with mobile workstations.

The U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) formally defines compounding as, “the preparation, mixing, assembling, altering, packaging, and labeling of a drug, drug-delivery device, or device in accordance with a licensed practitioner’s prescription, medication order, or initiative based on the practitioner/patient/pharmacist/compounder relationship in the course of professional practice.”

Traditionally, patients are prescribed manufactured or mass-produced drug products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to treat their illnesses. According to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), pharmaceutical compounding comes in when patients have special needs that prevents them from being able to take medications already on the commercial market. A few examples of customized medications include changing the strength or dosage; adding flavor to make the drug more appealing to a child or pet; reformulating the drug to exclude an unwanted, nonessential ingredient, such as lactose, gluten, or a dye to which a patient is allergic; changing the form of the drug, such as from oral to suppository for a patient who has difficulty swallowing; and providing access to a drug that was discontinued from the commercial market. The practice of compounding is regulated by state boards of pharmacy and does not include making copies of commercially available drug products, as this is not allowed by law. There are currently 7,500 pharmacies in the United States that specialize in compounding services. USF Health Pharmacy Plus on the first floor of the Morsani Center offers compounding services for medications that can be customized in a non-sterile environment such as topical pain creams for a USF athlete or an Orthopedic and Sports Medicine patient.

In addition to a brand-new lab, USF TCOP is developing a unique certificate program in pharmaceutical compounding. “The certificate program will be great for undergraduate students who are interested in going into pharmacy, so they can see what compounding is before they make the decision to come to the pharmacy program,” Dr. Sutariya said. USF TCOP PharmD students can also pursue the certificate for more exposure into the practice of compounding beyond the three courses already built into the PharmD program. “If a student would like to open their own compounding pharmacy or work for one, the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy is the best place to start their career.”

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