The Art and Science of Pharmacy Compounding
On October 29, 2001, Calvin Freedman, RPh, FACA
and his partner, Brenda Pavlic, CPhT,
opened SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy
in the Old Baltimore Pike Industrial Park in Newark, DE.
This month they will be celebrating
10 years of fulfilling a very basic
but much needed service in the local community
as well as surrounding areas.
SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy is Delaware’s only compounding-only pharmacy. Each prescription filled at SaveWay is prepared on-site from raw chemical ingredients based on a patient specific order from a practitioner.
Over the last ten years SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy has worked closely with veterinarians, dermatologists, podiatrists, advanced practice nurses, pediatricians, dentists and prescribers in other medical disciplines to develop unique formulas to meet the needs of specific patients that cannot be met with a conventional pharmacy. Because each prescription is customized, a special clinical relationship is formed between the staff at SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy and patients and/or their caregivers. While compounding has always been a basic part of pharmacy, today it is an area that is rapidly growing.
Practitioners sometimes need to prescribe individually compounded
medications for a patient with special health needs.
It may be changing the dosage form from a solid pill to a liquid because a patient is unable to swallow a tablet or capsule due to age or because of a disability. For example, patients with a feeding tube must have their medications liquefied. Having the medication compounded from the pure chemical results in a product that is free of all the extra ingredients contained in a tablet or capsule that can clog the tube, resulting in the patient not getting the full dose or having to have the tube changed more often.
Preparing a liquid offers the needed flexibility in dosing for the patient requiring a much lower dose than is available. This is often seen when treating infants and small children who have serious health issues usually seen in adults and there is no pediatric dose or dosage form commercially available.
The ability to prepare medications free from substances that cause negative effects
is extremely helpful to patients with special dietary needs
or requests such as those with autism, celiac disease, and gluten or lactose intolerances. Patients with allergies or sensitivities to certain substances can have their medicines custom-made without the offending ingredients. This can be extremely beneficial for those who cannot tolerate artificial dyes, preservatives, nuts, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, sugar, gluten, wheat, corn, etc.
Some medications have been discontinued by the manufacturer due to low profitability or because a new drug has taken its place. A compounding pharmacy can duplicate these medications allowing patients who still need them to continue with effective therapies.
Hospice patients especially benefit from compounding by having access to alternate dosage forms such as lollipops, topical transdermal gels, or suppositories as they lose the ability to swallow pills or liquids to treat their pain, agitation, anxiety, or nausea. Treating these symptoms with ease helps both the patient and the caregiver.
Compounding has proven to be an invaluable service for the veterinary community.
Animal doses are based on weight so there is a need for multiple strengths of the drugs that are prescribed for them. In addition, a compounding pharmacy can concoct the medications in dosage forms that make dosing easier for both the pet and the owner resulting in better compliancy. Some of the options include flavored liquids, chewable treats, capsules, transdermal gels, or suppositories. Having all these options allows the pets’ prescription to be prepared in a form and flavor that best suits the animal’s preference. Compounding also provides the ability to combine several medications into a single dosage allowing for fewer doses. This can mean less stress for both the animal and the owner. For animals in a fragile health state this can improve their quality of life and potentially add time to their lifespan.
Pharmacy compounding has often been described as an art form.
As with any creative endeavor, it is imperative that the preparer pay close attention to detail. A qualified compounder will have extensive training enabling him/her to advise and offer viable solutions to medication problems. The role of the compounding pharmacist has come full circle and returned to the roots of pharmacy. Meeting the unique needs of individual patients with carefully prepared individualized medications offers benefits that positively affect all that are treated, regardless of species.
Brenda Pavlic is a nationally certified pharmacy technician and co-owner of SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy in Newark, DE. With more than twenty-five years of pharmacy experience she has furthered her career with extensive training and education in Pharmacy Compounding, Women’s Health, Cosmeceutics, Pain Management, Aseptic and Veterinary Compounding. She has published articles and presented seminars both locally and nationally to healthcare practitioners. Her experience and education provide her with skills needed to develop formulations that ease medication administration, improve compliance and ultimately result in positive outcomes for patients.
31 Albe Drive; Unit 1
Newark, DE 19702
Hours: M-F 9am—6pm
Testimonials for SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy:
Thank you for your attention and service. We appreciate your compassion and thoughtfulness. ~LJ
We greatly appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to educate us and share your expertise. ~PP
It is very hard to find people with compassion as great as yours. Words cannot express how grateful I am to you for helping me and my daughter in our time of desperation. I had all but given up on finding medicine for my daughter when I called SaveWay. I will never forget you and wish there were more people out there like you. ~JR
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