Compounding: How do new rules affect you?

Published on
Gloved hands hold a mortar and pestle with white substance inside.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that in April it will begin phasing in inspectional activities in relation to Guidance for Industry #256, Compounding Animal Drugs from Bulk Drug Substances.  

In this guidance, the FDA specifies the circumstances in which it plans to exercise enforcement discretion for relevant violations of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for drug approval, labeling, and manufacturing. This means that although compounding from bulk substances for animal patients is still considered illegal, pharmacists and veterinarians may compound drugs in this way, without concern for enforcement action, provided they follow the guidance and adhere to certain criteria. 

When it comes to enforcement, the FDA indicates it has no plans to inspect veterinary care facilities that do not compound animal drugs from bulk drug substances. Rather, it anticipates a limited number of inspections of state-licensed pharmacies. With regard to those inspections, the FDA indicates it will “afford individuals and firms an opportunity to voluntarily take appropriate and corrective action prior to the initiation of enforcement action.” 

The FDA also does not intend to conduct routine inspections of federally registered outsourcing facilities that compound drugs until it provides clarification on how GFI #256 applies to them. 

What you need to know

To understand how GFI #256 may impact your own prescribing and dispensing practices, check out the extensive resources at These include details of how the guidance affects veterinarians, FAQs, a new one-page summary of key points, and a free webinar led by FDA veterinarian Dr. Amber McCoig. 

You’ll also find information about how the AVMA advocated on behalf of veterinarians throughout the FDA’s process of developing this guidance. AVMA made clear to the regulators the nuances and importance of veterinary access to compounding, including from bulk drug substances.

Championing veterinary needs

The AVMA actively works with the FDA to ensure that veterinarians have medically appropriate access to compounded drugs, including those prepared from bulk drug substances, and that veterinary access is not unduly burdensome. The Association will continue to advocate for changes if implementation of the guidance does not meet veterinarians’ needs.


hope for common sense access

I hope we can continue to get access to the medicines we need to treat animals , using qualified ,even out of state, compounding pharmacies. And dispence the entire amount the vet thinks is needed. That is a common sense guideline that noone can argue against.

My dogs compound medicine

Just learned I can no longer purchase my dogs medicine from my Vet. Instead I have been directed to a pharmacy, won't say the name...but they are charging $9 for shipping a small bottle to me....on top of the cost of course. It appears to me the only ones benefiting here is 'Big Pharma'!! As usual....

Jennifer McKnight
November 15, 2023 Permalink

Medicine no longer available

I have just been informed by Covetrus due to the compounding guidelines they can no longer produce my dog's medication. These guidelines were being passed several months ago and I was only notified today. I am at a loss on what to do to get the medication and have left messages for my Vet

Compounded meds for dogs

There are pharmacies available that can compound your pets medication. You'll need your vet to send them a script.

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