In addition to our new Durable Medical Equipment counter, we have been hard at work converting our lower level into a full-service Sterile Compounding Lab. Like the DME counter, the Sterile Compounding Lab is an investment in ourselves that we started in 2017 and will continue to develop throughout 2018 so we can continue to exceed our customers' expectations.
Compounding allows pharmacists to adjust the dosage strength, route of administration and even the flavor of medicines. Compounding has a wide range of applications including chronic pain management, hospice, pediatrics, bio-identical hormones, dental, dermatology, podiatry and veterinary services.
Chambers' Apothecary pharmacist Richard Collier gave us a preview of the Sterile Compounding Lab's capabilities, and he explained how it will expand our already extensive Compounding services.
Our New Sterile Compounding Lab
- What’s New?
In July, we began a process of converting the lower level of Chambers’ Apothecary into a full-service Sterile Compounding Lab. Basically, everything down there is new – new walls, new plexiglass, new lighting, new wiring, a new HVAC system, new carpet, desks, shelves, and even the chairs are new. It has required a lot of time and effort, but it will allow us to offer more services to our customers, so the hard work will definitely be worth it.
- What Should I Expect?
We currently offer a wide range of compounding services, primarily for custom dosages, pediatrics and veterinary patients, but even with our current offerings, compounding offers endless options. In our upstairs compounding lab, we can develop topical pain creams and muscle relaxers to provide an alternative to some of the heavy-duty pain medications. We can create suspensions and creams for people who have difficulty swallowing. For kids who won’t take their medicine, we have popsicles. For pets, we can create topical gels to rub in their ears or we can create medicines that are tuna or chicken flavored. We will find a way to do whatever is best for the patient. Patients don’t always know what is available, let alone how to ask for it, so sometimes we can help them communicate their needs to their doctors.
- What Does the Future Hold?
Once we’re fully operational down here – hopefully sometime in March – we’ll be able to expand our compounding solutions to include injectables, eye drops, nebulized medications and nasal sprays in addition to our topicals and consumables. In 2018, it will be possible for a patient to bring a prescription to the pharmacy counter that is then delivered to the compounding lab to be converted to a form that can be used in a nebulizer that is provided by our Durable Medical Equipment team – and have it delivered right to their door. The expansion will also free up space behind the upstairs pharmacy counter while expanding our patient offerings and giving us more storage overall. We’ll provide more information about how everything works down here as we get closer to completion.
Richard Collier, Pharmacist
278 Lincoln Way East
Chambersburg, PA 17201