SPOKANE, Wash. – On September 11, Bindhu Batra kicked off this year’s career seminar series with her presentation about contemporary compounding pharmacy as an essential component of today’s healthcare society.

The Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences coordinates (CPPS) this seminar series to expose student pharmacists to leaders in the pharmacy profession and career opportunities. This year’s topics revolve around the idea of “Preparing for Change.”
Batra currently serves as the director of academic affairs for the Professional Compounding Center of America (PCCA). She spoke about the importance of compounding pharmacy and its various uses. She focused on the ways in which compounding can work in conjunction with traditional therapies, especially when a patient has needs outside the availability of typical options.

“You’re actually making the compounded preparation from scratch,” Batra said. “It has to be unique.”

According to Batra, the main reasons for compounding are

  • Ingredient alteration: for such cases as when a patient has allergies to ingredients found in existing therapies.
  • Alternate dosage forms: to accommodate a patient, such as a child, in case he or she is physically incapable or unwilling to swallow a pill. The medication could be administered in an alternate form like a lollipop, oral liquid, popsicle, gelatin troche, or another method.
  • Compounding for drug shortage: for those times when the preexisting therapy is unavailable, such as when a pharmacy runs out of Tamaflu during flu season.
  • Strength variation: for when existing dosages do not match a patient’s needs. For cases when a typical dose gives severe side effects and the dosage is in a form that cannot be easily divided, such as with a capsule.
  • Veterinary compounding: since animals often have different dosages or sensitivities than their human counterparts. The pharmacist may also take into consideration alternate dosage forms, such as using a treat for a dog or an oat-based formula for horses.

Compounding allows the pharmacist to tailor drug therapies to their patients so the patient can receive the best individual care. Part of that tailoring is maintaining the triad relationship between doctor, patient, and pharmacist. Everyone should always know what’s going on, Batra said.

In her role at the PCCA, Batra coordinates programing for students and university members. She also teaches student pharmacists across the county the art, science and technology of pharmaceutical compounding. Batra has been a pharmacist for more than 20 years and has worked in a variety of practice settings. She received her B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Houston and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Florida.

The seminars are funded through the WSU CPPS Dean’s Fund for Excellence and our community partner, the Spokane Teachers Credit Union. For information on participating in the career seminar series, or to contribute to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence to help expose WSU student pharmacists to thought-leaders and industry innovators, contact the CPPS advancement office at gocougs@pharmacy.wsu.edu or 509-358-7651.
Bindu Batra with WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences students