Tifton Gazette

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January 4, 2013

Compounded medicines are still safe

TIFTON — Due to many patients’ concern over custom compounding since the incident with the New England Compounding Center, the Framingham, Mass. compounding pharmacy blamed for producing tainted steroid injections that have killed dozens of people across the country, local business Moon’s Pharmacy wants to encourage the public to not be afraid of taking compounded medications.

According to Moon’s Pharmacy, compounded medications are “made from scratch” — individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient.

Marcy Corkern, compounding pharmacist at Moon’s Pharmacy, said, “With compounding, we’re able to meet patients’ needs that are unable to met commercially.”

She explained that this goes for children who can’t take tablets or capsules, which can be compounded into liquid.

The following are benefits of compounded medications:

- Numerous options for how you can take your medicine.

- Provide medicines that are no longer available commercially.

- Make difficult medicines easier to take (taste, texture, dosage form, etc.).

- Receive personalized medication strengths and combinations.

“Everything has to be done through a physician,” she stated. “We have a good working relationship with local physicians.”

“If I was a patient, there are certain things I would want to ask,” she stated, referring to pharmacies that offer custom compounding. She noted that one important question to ask is: “Do they have a separate lab to do compounding?”

Corkern said there are guidelines that have been adopted by the state board of pharmacy.

Moon’s Pharmacy has a designated compounding lab inside their store. They have been compounding medications since 2002.

Corkern said they do a “good bit” of compounding and have answered many questions about this service lately.

She stated, “We get a lot of good responses.”

“We don’t want people to be afraid [of compounded medications],” she said. However, she stated that they want people to be cautious and know what to look for.

Corkern has been with Moon’s Pharmacy since 2004. She works with three technicians — Rhonda Lane, Sonal Dass and Savannah Driggers. She said working in the lab is a full-time job. They make sure to be very careful when compounding medications.

To learn more about custom compounding, visit www.moonspharmacy.com.

To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.

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