June 7, 2022

by Alea Anthony

Compounding: Back to the Basics

Drug compounding is one of the pharmacist’s many tools to serve their patients. Reflecting on my first year of pharmacy school, learning the “art of compounding” in Pharmacy Practice Lab was a highlight of P1 year. From capsules to lip balm to dog treats, we learned to create these products and more and to use our craftiness and resourcefulness to benefit our patients.

Pharmaceutical compounding continues to be an essential enterprise for pharmacists in a variety of settings. With many pharmacists transitioning from dispensing to clinical roles, how can we implement new technologies to allow pharmacists to engage more with their patients? Moreover, how could we expand the benefits of compounding to patients in more settings?

Enter QuartetRx

In episode 17 of the DISRxUPT podcast, Dr. Joe D’Silva, Ph.D., and Dr. Will Boyko, Pharm.D., share about QuartetRx, compounding technology “developed for pharmacists by pharmacists.” Developed by D’Silva’s Dayton-based company P&C Pharma, QuartetRx allows compounders to create liquid formulations by adding all their ingredients to a bottle, including whole tablets and capsules, and allowing the machine to do the rest. The technology blends and mixes the bottle’s contents and concots a uniform liquid that is ready to be labeled and dispensed. There is no need for the mortar and pestle or the laborious hand mixing process, allowing the pharmacist to engage in other activities while the machine creates the compound. Yes, it is that easy!

By collaborating with others and positioning ourselves as lifelong learners, we can serve our patients in ways far beyond their pharmaceutical needs.
In addition to the QuartetRx machine, pharmacists who utilize this technology have access to MaestroRx, a compound formulary created in collaboration with P&C Pharma and partnering pharmacists. Currently, the database contains 15 “recipes” for common liquid formulations that have been verified for safety and stability and for generation using QuartetRx. As their product becomes established in more pharmacies, the P&C Pharma team is always creating new formulations to include in MaestroRx through the recommendations of contributing pharmacists.

The Rewards of QuartetRx

D’Silva and Boyko endorse both “obvious” and “non-obvious” benefits of using these technologies. Since QuartetRx performs many of the tasks involved in creating a liquid compound, pharmacists clearly gain back the time they would spend stirring the preparation and ensuring that it is uniform and suitable for dispensing. Dr. Boyko, a consultant pharmacist with P&C Pharma, shares that QuartetRx can save costs by reducing waste and can minimize the stress of compounding, especially when using hazardous materials.

Additionally, QuartetRx offers rewards to compounders that might not be seen as readily. The time made available by utilizing the technology can create more opportunities for the pharmacist to provide counseling to optimize their patients’ use of medications. In pharmacies that do not have the resources needed to make compounds with hazardous materials such as chemotherapies, QuartetRx can be used to safely create and dispense the medications their patients need. This can save the patient both time and money by removing the need to find a specialty pharmacy for their medication.

What’s Your “True North”?

Through QuartetRx, Drs. D’Silva and Boyko have utilized their creativity as entrepreneurs to infuse innovation into pharmaceutical compounding. Through collaboration with professionals in a variety of disciplines, they are creating products that bring efficiency and safety to an everyday task of the pharmacist.

As they forge ahead to advance the profession of pharmacy, Drs. D’Silva and Boyko ask themselves, their team, and us, “What is our true north?” According to these entrepreneurs, it must be our patients. By collaborating with others and positioning ourselves as lifelong learners, we can serve our patients in ways far beyond their pharmaceutical needs.

So, what is your “true north”? What issues are you passionate about that your patients face? What needs are present in your community that you can meet through your knowledge and skills?

Follow your “true north,” and see where it takes you.


Alea Anthony is a student pharmacist at the Cedarville University School of Pharmacy. She completed her B.S. in pharmaceutical sciences with a minor in psychology. Her current interests include patient care in a hospital setting and innovation in industry pharmacy.

The Cedarville University School of Pharmacy is equipping its Doctor of Pharmacy students to be on the leading edge of healthcare innovation. Cedarville’s Pharm.D. students are fully prepared to begin a rewarding career as a pharmacist and to use their calling to make a difference for Christ as they serve with excellence and compassion.

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