The Code of Ethics

Ethical Compounding

There’s an old saying: “You can’t talk your way out of a problem you behaved your way into.”

Other resources

Download the Code: High-resolution, printable PDF version of the Code of Ethics. Display it in your pharmacy or facility!

Pharmacy Compounding Leader: Profiles of ethical leaders in pharmacy compounding (Winter 2021)

PCAB accreditation — the gold standard — through ACHC

The Ethical Thing to Do: Attorney Q&A: Kickbacks (February 26, 2021)

Free Training Video: VCU’s Barbara Exum on “The Code as Compliance Strategy” (originally presented at EduCon 2022)


Free Training Video: PCCA’s AJ Day, PharmD, “The Compounder’s Code of Ethics.” Originally presented at EduCon 2023. (No CE credit)

But professionally, it’s worse than that. As a pharmacy compounder, you can’t talk your way out of a reputation that the worst actors in your profession have behaved their way into. Like it or not, how you’re perceived depends, in part, on your competitors’ behavior. Every negative compounding story in the news is a story about you.

That’s why it’s crucial for all of us — the ethical, professional compounders who comprise the vast majority of this profession — to practice with the highest integrity in the face of these bad actors. We must all act ethically, do it consistently, and make our commitment to ethical behavior clear to patients and the public.

In Autumn 2020, APC adopted a new Compounder Code of Ethics: to create a North Star of ethical behavior for the profession. We urge our members to use that Code — supported with the training materials on this page — to continually remind their compounding teams about their ethical obligations. And yes, we’re requiring that our members commit themselves to the Code of Ethics when they join or renew their APC membership.


The Pharmacy Compounding Professional’s Code of Ethics

Responsibilities to One’s Patients, Self, Colleagues, and Profession

As a pharmacy compounding professional, I will:

  1. Uphold the triad relationship — patient, prescriber and pharmacist — as the foundation of pharmacy practice, acting in patients’ best interest by collaborating with patients, their caregivers, and other healthcare professionals to manage a patient’s treatment.
  2. Comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
  3. Practice the art and science of pharmacy compounding with competence and integrity, assuring patient safety and the quality of compounds, maintaining accurate records, and utilizing the proper compounding facilities, equipment, and materials in compounding for the benefit of patients.
  4. Recognize the limits of my own expertise, practice only if I am fit and competent to do so and refer to colleagues on issues beyond my knowledge and skill.
  5. Continually improve the quality of my work by keeping my knowledge and skills up to date via continuing education that enhances my practice.
  6. Assist my healthcare colleagues, sharing information and ideas both to serve the best interests of the patient and to enhance our individual skills.
  7. Provide care to my patients without discriminating on the basis of age, race, color, nationality, religion, gender, or disability.
  8. In instances in which I may have a conscientious objection to providing a compounded medication, ensure that patients are promptly referred to an alternate pharmacy compounding professional who will provide the prescribed medication to the patient.
  9. Assure the credibility of the pharmacy compounding profession by avoiding conflicts of interest and not engaging in business practices that are detrimental to the patient, my colleagues, or my profession.
  10. Be an ambassador for pharmacy compounding, advancing my profession not only by demonstrating the highest ethical behavior but also by advocating for pharmacy compounding to patients, policymakers, news media, and others in my community.

Comments? Need more info? Email the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding at