There are many reasons you may not be able to use commercially available medications, straight out of the pill bottle.
Maybe pills are hard to swallow, so a liquid medication makes more sense. Maybe you need a dose that’s a tenth of the strength, or require a combination of medications. Perhaps you have an allergy or intolerance to lactose, a common filler in many medications, like synthroid. Sometimes your body responds better to a topical cream. When the standardized, commercial medications don’t meet your needs, a compounding pharmacy can help.
What is a compounding pharmacy?
Heidi Radcliffe is a Registered Pharmacy Technician (R.Ph.T) at Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy, where she brings 25 years of pharmacy experience to the lab each day. Her job is to compound medications — it’s the art and science of making medications from scratch, and she does it with incredible precision.
“It’s crucial that medications are mixed thoroughly so that every dose is exactly the same. The lab at Gray’s is totally enclosed with proper ventilation, and I wear specialized PPE to prevent any contamination. All of our chemicals are tested before they’re delivered to us, and we do stringent testing to make sure everything going out is of the highest quality,” Heidi says.
Many retail pharmacies have the ability to mix simple creams, but more complex prescriptions are ordered from a central fill lab in the Lower Mainland, which can take weeks. When ordering compounds this way you don’t get service from someone with first-hand knowledge of you, the condition being treated, and the medication best suited to you. Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy handles everything on site, which means your prescription is usually ready in a day or two.
“Our pharmacists complete your healthcare team, and collaborate with your prescriber to ensure you are the focus,” Heidi says.
Thorough, careful, safe
Heidi is licensed through the BC College of Pharmacists, and continues to upgrade her training through the Professional Compounding Centers of America to deliver the care her community needs. Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy has invested in advanced technology to give patients higher quality medications and stay well ahead of national and provincial regulations.
“We’re one of the only pharmacies in BC that has a RAM-resonant acoustic mixer, which uses sonic waves to mix medications in a very efficient, reliable manner. The RAM guarantees a mixture that’s consistent throughout (less than 0.02 per cent difference). When compared to commercial products that have a difference up to 20 per cent, that’s powerful!” Heidi says. “We have Standard Operating Procedures for everything we do to keep staff and patients safe, and ensure we’re following the latest NAPRA regulations.”
Doctors across the Kootenays call Gray’s to consult with Pharmacists Michelle and Lei Lei, and ask for their expertise creating custom prescriptions. Veterinarians call too, because Heidi can create medical dog and cat treats and liquid medications that taste like chicken, beef or fish, when your pets are in need.
“We have made medications for rabbits, geckos, horses and birds, to name a few.”
Compounding pharmacies are the way of the future! It allows us to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions for our patients.”
Find Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy at 417B-304 St. in Kimberley, open Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m or on Facebook at facebook.com/grayspharmacy. Questions? Call 250-427-0038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.