01 Dec Compounding Pharmacists Making a Difference in Patient’s Lives
By: Jennifer Barrett, Assistant Editor of Pharmacy Times
The everyday compounding pharmacist is there to meet the needs of patients—both human and animal. An article in Tampa Bay Times captures the crucial impact that compounding pharmacists have on their patients’ lives from inside the laboratory.
Jenny Bridges, a compounding pharmacist in Brookville, Florida, told Tampa Bay Times that she specializes in what she calls “a unique way to get medication without using commercially available products.”
Bridges regularly provides specially compounded formulations, both for physicians and veterinarians whose patients require medications that aren’t commercially available. She formulates all kinds of compounded medications for humans—orals, dermals, injectables or suppositories.
But animals need prescription medications too—and about half of the prescriptions that Bridges receives are from veterinarians. Concocting compounded medicines for animals can be tricky when they aren’t always as readily willing to receive doses orally. For cats, Bridges devises the prescribed compounds into lotions or pastes that can be rubbed onto them.
Many humans and animals use compounded drugs tailored to their specific needs without a second thought, but compounded medications are necessary to the life and happiness of patients.
Bridges explained in the article that certain patients, such as infants with heart issues, require doses that aren’t commercially available. This is where compounding medications become crucial to her patients’ lives.
Sunshine Wellness Center, a retail and compounding pharmacy, is one of very few pharmacies in the county qualified to formulate medications on the premises. Bridges is the registered pharmacist and owner, along with 2 pharmacy technicians and staffers to complete her team. Like any typical compounding pharmacy, Sunshine holds hundreds of chemical compounds, bio-identicals, and necessary special equipment.
Despite this, Bridges, 39, said, “We do carry a lot of things pharmacies don’t.” This includes S.S.S., an old-timey tonic that contains iron and vitamin B. The pharmacy also holds Neon Nits, a lice identifier that makes nits appear fluorescent, and Bag Balm, a traditional chap cream for livestock udders.
Bridges is just 1 of many compounding pharmacists dedicated to helping a group of patients with specific needs, in a field where humans and pets alike can benefit from individualized medications.