Pharmacy Students’ Appreciation of Quality Compounded Preparations Using Product Analysis

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Objectives: Pharmacists in any practice setting are expected to extemporaneously compound quality products for patients. It is important for pharmacy students to understand and appreciate the evaluation process involved in ensuring the quality of preparations. Currently, pharmacy school curricula lack emphasis in this area. The objective of this research was to assess students’ understanding of the importance of the quality of compounded preparations through product analysis. Method: Second- year pharmacy students (n=77) at St. John Fisher College, Wegmans School of Pharmacy participated in a routine compounding laboratory exercise in which the final product was analyzed using UV-spectrometry. Students were given an opportunity to reflect upon the laboratory experience and comment on potential sources of error during their compounding process. In addition, students were provided an optional survey to evaluate the laboratory exercise. Results: Survey data indicated that 87.0% of students strongly agreed/agreed that the exercise improved their understanding of the importance of quality in compounded pharmaceutical products. A majority (85.7%) of students believed this exercise enabled them to prepare compounded products more accurately in the future. Students’ written responses cited common sources of error including inaccurate weighing, contamination, and product loss during both the compounding procedure as well as during sample preparation for analysis. Implications: Integrating an analytical method during a routine laboratory can further enhance students’ understanding and appreciation for quality of compounded products. It can also provide students a chance to reflect on potential sources of error in an attempt to improve compounding techniques in the future.


Presented at the 114th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) in Chicago, Illinois on July 15, 2013. Abstract published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2013; 77 (5) Article 109.

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