Working at a Compounding Pharmacy

I have had the pleasure of working at an independent compounding pharmacy specializing in hormonal health and wellness over the last four years. It is different from a typical retail pharmacy experience – although there is less patient interaction, the medications are more personalized to the patient’s specific needs. Allergies, specific dosages, taste, and absorption are all taken into consideration when formulating a compound. I learned how to make things like naltrexone capsules, minoxidil sprays, and more. We also do veterinary compounding which is a lot of fun, since it isn’t every day that you get to say you are compounding for a horse. Patients will also send us appreciative pictures of their adorable pets, which is an added bonus. There is much joy in working at a compounding pharmacy, but if I had to name a downside, it would be the changes in regulation that the pharmacy must adhere to. Regulations are constantly changing, and the pharmacy must be quick to adapt to these changes. Standards that ensure the safe handling of hazardous drugs are important, but sometimes independent pharmacies cannot afford to constantly restructure their labs, since equipment such as laboratory hoods can be very expensive. Overall though, I love working at a compounding pharmacy. The basics of compounding are taught P1 year, and there is also a wonderful compounding elective taught by Dr. Al-Achi and Dr. Gupta, although be aware that there is a lab fee. If you are interested in compounding at all, I recommend checking those electives out your P2 year.

Linda Nguyen

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