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Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy: What is Compounding Anyway?

Most of you know that we have a separate pharmacy within Plain City Druggist. It is Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy, located in Suite 200 of the drugstore (which is the lab). We used to do all the compounding through Plain City Druggist, but as the compounding picked up, we decided to separate the compounding business from the regular “lick, stick, and pour” side of retail pharmacy, where we prepare prescriptions for the patients (this involves a lot of counting and dealing with insurance companies).

Compounding is a bit different.

It used to be that all pharmacies compounded. But nowadays, compounding has become more of an art and it takes more time. Because of this, many of the chain pharmacies often do not have the time to spend on compounding when they are filling large volumes of prescriptions.

Compounding involves making medications for patients that might not be available commercially from a larger drug company. Or the doctor might want a different dosage form or strength than what can be found lining the retail drug shelves. Or perhaps the patient cannot tolerate the medication in a certain format, so we change the way the drug is delivered. All of this must be done on a doctor’s orders.

We can make capsules, creams, ointments, solutions, suspensions, suppositories–you name it, we can pretty much figure out a way to make it. We can also make medications for pets and flavor them with tuna or liver or other delectable tastes to make it easier to medicate your finicky dog or cat. We can do the same thing with children, changing the flavors, of course, to more palatable tastes of grape or cherry or even chocolate silk pie.

This past week, our pharmacy student, Matt, also made chocolate troches (pronounce TRO-KEYS) for a lady to deliver her bio-identical hormones to her in a way that she could tolerate. We had fun making these troches, because we had to melt a Hershey bar for the base (Matt kept saying the lab smelled like Christmas). Then we added in the medication and poured the whole concoction into molds. The patient will then break off a small square of the chocolate and get her dose of medicine. We could have made the same medicine in a cream or even a capsule, but the patient liked the chocolate troche method (we can’t say that we blame her–what a sweet way to swallow your medicine) best.

We have also added a lady’s favorite perfume to her cream medication so a normally “medicinally smelling” cream will smell nice–after all, taking your medicine doesn’t have to be a bad experience.

We are members of PCCA–Professional Compounding Centers of America. We took classes at their facilities in Texas and we can call them any time if a problem arises that we have never dealt with.

We also had compounding classes in pharmacy school–an entire four quarters of lab work dealing just with making specialty medicines.

In the very near future, we hope to have a web site for Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy and market the compounding a bit more so that area doctors know what we can do.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about compounding, call Plain City Druggist or Midwestern, which has it’s own phone number: 614-733-DRUG (3784). Our motto for Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy is “We Solve Problems,” and that is exactly what we do for you, our patients.

Matt making chocolate troches.

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