Saturday, March 3, 2012

News from the Underground

Posted by Matthew Lewis at Saturday, March 03, 2012

Hello Everyone,

It has been some time since I posted, and that is because I took last rotation block off. I had several interviews across the country, but much less than some of my classmates who had as many as 11. Luckily, I have a clear view of my sites and am excited to see where I go, if I will have to scramble, or if I will have to start my career.

My current rotation is at a compounding pharmacy in South Lyon, MI, and it is quite an interesting place to learn. Mr. Walkup, who is also the President of the pharmacy fraternity Phi Delta Chi, started off with an independent retail pharmacy with a small compounding pharmacy on the side. He was since bought out by Walgreen's and sold his retail store and now focuses only on the compounding side where his business has expanded about 200% in the past six months. So, I am learning about little known areas of pharmacy, which are compounding and business.

In terms of projects and tasks, I have to give a topic presentation every Thursday for all the staff, and most of the time I am doing special topics, such as drug information questions on safety and efficacy of compounded prescriptions. Many doctors and patients are still wary of compounded prescriptions, thinking that only brand name or generic manufacturers can guarantee their products and provide the desired relief. Mr. Walkup ensures all his products use ingredients with certified purity and expiration dates and are compounded according to USP 797 and 795 (industry guidelines for the preparation of sterile and non-sterile products respectively). I have also taken part in a health fair for South Lyon school employees, and was quite amazed to see how many people in the area had used the compounding pharmacy or knew Mr. Walkup. It just goes to show that when you do good work, people will know about you.

Another important aspect of compounding pharmacy is having a good, working relationship with the doctors in the area. They need to be made aware of compounding services to allow patients more options in their care, which could improve the safety or efficacy of medication therapy such as supplying a dye free product or a wound healing cream not commercially available. Doctor-Pharmacist relationships are generally improving across the whole field, as we each specialize more and gain more working knowledge with the wealth of residencies and mandatory Doctor of Pharmacy degrees pharmacists have now. The most important thing is that the patient is taken care of better and better the more the entire health care industry continues to respect and communicate with one another.

That is all for me right now. Next month is my rotation out in Montana with the Indian Health Service, and I am anxious and excited for it.



1 comment:

Roger said...

Great post bringing light to others about the world of compounding pharmacy as well as the importance of complying with 797 and 795. Good luck at the IHS!