By: Christy Means-Smith | Category: Other | Issue: May 2007
KaCee Williams, district pharmacy manager of Walgreens
America’s most trusted pharmacy, Walgreens, offers more than the average customer is aware. Its compounding services are another of the company’s recipes for success. Compounding services at Walgreens are beneficial in helping patients with their specific needs by providing them with easier, more convenient ways to take their medications.
Compounding is the art of customizing medications into patient-specific strengths and dosage forms to improve patient care, compliance and therapeutic success. Patients find the alternate dosage forms available through compounding to be advantageous for many reasons. The process often involves changing tablets into liquids or transdermal creams to help patients who experience difficulty swallowing. In certain cases, multiple medications can be combined into a single daily dose, therefore providing drug regimens that are more accommodating to individuals’ needs.
“Most medications dispensed in pharmacies today are produced by manufacturers,” says KaCee Williams of Walgreens Pharmacy. “Occasionally, those medications are discontinued due to low customer demand. There are individuals who do still need those discontinued medications, and compounding can often continue to meet their needs.”
Walgreens compounding provides the highest level of quality and consistency. Although most pharmacy schools require students to take compounding courses, Walgreens takes its training of pharmacists to the next level. Pharmacists from each of its compounding centers attend rigorous training courses at the Walgreens Compounding Resource Center. Pharmacists and technicians additionally undergo in-store training and are constantly up-to-date with the most current equipment and processes.
Walgreens also utilizes its central electronic database to further ensure the quality and consistency of its compounded prescriptions. Every medication recipe is researched and reviewed by the Recipe Assessment Committee and stored in the database to be accessed by every Walgreens store in the nation. Customers have the ability to fill their prescriptions at any Walgreens compounding center, whether they run out of their prescribed medications at home or out of town.
“Everything we do is based on our customers. Good customer service is our primary goal, therefore compounding is a very important part of our business,” says Williams.
Walgreens compounding capabilities include making allergy-, preservative- and dye-free formulations, capsules, liquids and much more. One of the most popular compounded prescriptions is a transdermal cream formulation of an anti-nausea medication that is better tolerated than the tablets, liquids or suppository forms that are currently on the market.
All Walgreens pharmacies offer some compounding services, however, the locations at 91st Street and Olive in Broken Arrow and 31st Street and Garnett in Tulsa currently have complete compounding centers. The Claremore and Owasso pharmacies will also begin providing those services this month. “We strive to put compounding in the pharmacies that are most beneficial and convenient for our patients,” Williams says.
For more information about compounding at Walgreens, visit a participating pharmacy in your area. Walgreens is committed to customizing medications to meet each customer’s individual needs.