Today, if you are allegic to food dyes, corn starch, or some other filler ingredient used in pills, your pharmacist can obtain the chemicals from the drug company, and provide you the chemicals you need without you having to ingest what you are perhaps violently allergic to.
Patients with painful nerve conditions - like me - have special formulas of lidocaine, capsicum, and a few other chemicals - mixed by the pharmacist into a numbing salve. The percentages can be tweaked by pain management physicians into a salve that keep people from having to take narcotics. My dad recently had to have a compounded medication to treat a spot of skin cancer.
Drug Companies are moving to make compounded medications illegal though. They are sponsoring congressman to pass legislation that would mean that the only medications available to the public, are in the forms they provide, and that form ONLY.
Combine this with their move to patent old drugs recently out of patent, with simple new methods of delivery, or just with an additional bit of tylenol, and you start to see how really greedy they are.
For instance - Ultracet ® is often 60.00 to fill, but all it is in effect is tramadol (3.00 for a full bottle of generic) with tylenol (1.00 in generic.)
[Yeah, pretty lame... -k]
Drug Companies Move to Make Compounded Medications Illegal