More than 12,000 compounding pharmacies operate in the United States, and each year compounded product sales reach $300 million—25 percent of that is spent in the animal pharmaceutical industry alone. There is little external oversight; compounding pharmacies are mostly self-regulated. Research the pharmacy; ask if it is accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board and if the pharmacy has liability insurance.

At the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, Scott Stanley, PhD, professor of Equine Analytical Chemistry at the University of California, Davis, discussed the FDA’s ongoing attempts to ensure safety of drugs produced by compounding pharmacies (that provide individualized medications that are prescribed, but unavailable through normal means).