News Releases

October 22, 2012

Secretary of State Jim Condos Updates Vermonters About Compounding Pharmacies in Vermont

Secretary of State Jim Condos states that Vermont’s Office of Professional Regulation is responsible for supporting the boards and regulatory programs for 45 professions and approximately 55,000 licensees.

“OPR” supports the Board of Pharmacy in its mission to ensure that pharmacists and pharmacies are following optimal standards of pharmacy practice through communication, education, legislation, licensing, and enforcement. Among other things, it is the responsibility of the Board to set minimum standards for the practice of pharmacy including equipment necessary in and for a pharmacy, the purity of drugs and devices, specifications for the facilities, environment, supplies, technical equipment, personnel and procedures for the storage, compounding, or dispensing of drugs and devices, monitoring drug therapy, and the integrity and confidentiality of prescription information and other patient records.

According to Secretary of State Jim Condos, “Not many people are aware of the important public protection piece of what the Secretary of State’s Office does. The recent tragic events originating in a Massachusetts pharmacy serve as a reminder of the importance of professional regulation and demonstrate the need for the board to employ a full time pharmacist to oversee the practice of pharmacy in Vermont, and the delivery of quality pharmaceutical care to all of Vermont’s citizens.”

Compounding pharmacies perform an important and necessary function in the delivery of quality pharmaceutical health care to all Vermont citizens, according to Ronald Klein, RPh, newly hired Executive Officer of the Vermont Board of Pharmacy. A compounding pharmacy can produce drugs that are not available commercially, for instance a drug in short supply or no longer on the market due to low commercial use. Created for a specific patient, a drug can be turned from a solid to a liquid dosage form for easier consumption, made without dye or preservatives for a patient with an allergy, or formulated to the exact dose needed.

Pharmacists produce such medications from scratch, using active pharmaceutical ingredients, raw chemicals, powders, and specialized equipment.

Secretary Condos and Mr. Klein stated that all pharmacies in Vermont, including pharmacies that primarily compound medication, are licensed by the Board of Pharmacy and are regularly inspected by an agent of the Board of Pharmacy. The board conducts these inspections to ensure that the preparation and dispensing of prescription drugs is occurring in a safe, clean environment, and being done by competent licensed individuals in accordance with state and federal laws and good pharmacy practice.

A pharmacy in Vermont may compound a medication in response to a prescription issued by a medical practitioner with prescribing authority for a specific patient for a legitimate medical purpose. Pharmacies are not permitted to compound large batches of drugs for sale to other pharmacies or practitioners. Such activity would be manufacturing, and would be regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration as well as the Board of Pharmacy.

Secretary Condos continued, “The practice of pharmacy, the production and dispensing of prescription medication is an exceedingly complex activity. I am thankful for the hard work of our Pharmacy Board, investigators, field inspector, and now Mr. Klein, in helping to keep Vermonters safe."

Source: Secretary of State
Last Updated at: October 22, 2012 12:13:26