Physicians today are compounding many unique and efficacious ingredients through the use of boutique pharmacies. Many of the resulting products are prescription-strength. The process of compounding is neither new nor unique. What is relatively new is the state action being taken against physicians in certain situations that relate to the compounding and dispensing of pharmaceutical grade, prescription-strength products.
In most states, a license to practice medicine includes a CDS (controlled dangerous substance) license. This license authorizes the physician to dispense most schedules of drugs and to write prescriptions for most schedules of drugs. In fact, it is virtually identical in most states to a pharmacist's license. A physician may either write a prescription or—in most states—dispense the drug or medical-grade product. It is this same license that enables physicians to compound and dispense custom-ordered, prescription-strength and pharmaceutical-grade products. I should note that the state CDS license (or other similar state-issued license) is completely separate from a federal DEA license. The federal DEA license is necessary for the dispensing or prescriptions of certain federally classified drugs. Such drugs are not the topic of conversation here since they would not be dispensed within an aesthetic medical practice (although they are utilized in the management of pain for some cosmetic procedures).
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