Katrina M., Fort Walton Beach, FL
I am one of the many people who have been adversely affected by Tricare’s decision.
I was receiving a compounded medication made by a compounding pharmacy that had 5-MTHF and some cofactors to help with metabolism. I paid $20 for a 30 day supply, but I am no longer able to get the compound because it is $300 for a 30 day supply due to Tricare recent refusal to cover compounded medications. Without the compounded medication, my depression is much worse and I notice the effects immediately since my enzyme function is so severely reduced. I am very upset that Tricare decided to stop covering compounded medication. I now purchase Methyl Pro online but would immediately go back to my compounded medication from my local pharmacist if Tricare would cover it again.
Chris B., San Diego, CA
I was diagnosed with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) on the right side of my jaw when I was on active duty with the Marine Corps in 2003. I was told there was nothing Navy Medicine could do and to wear a night guard, because the surgery to fix it was no guarantee and very painful. I wore the night guard, but my condition got progressively worse over the next decade. First, my jaw began to click, then it tightened to a point that I could not eat certain foods and finally became so painful for both my jaw and neck that at night I would have to take 4-5 Advil in order to sleep.
Robin M., Navarre, FL
I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis three years ago. I tried over the counter medications such as Tums, Rolaids. Rolaids helps slightly, but those with this condition know that when it’s severe, it’s difficult to find any relief. Gastroparesis prevents your stomach from emptying properly, causing nausea, vomiting and stomach cramping, and can interfere tremendously with your overall nutrition. I thought nothing would every truly help until my doctor told me about Domperidone, a medication that could be created for me by a compounding pharmacist.
I’m back to being uncomfortable and at times in severe pain. This drug is essential to the well-being of the many U.S. patients suffering from Gastroparesis. I am asking my doctor to fill out paperwork with FDA to get approval to use Domperidone as an Investigational New Drug (IND), but I have no way of knowing if that will work out. No one should have medical options taken away from them – it’s time for the FDA to approve this drug to be marketed in the United States.
Sandy M., Englewood, CO
I use a compounding pharmacy for bio-identical hormones. A friend of mine told me about how BHRT from a compounder could help after we both were tired of our hair falling out. Once I began my compounded regimen, I started sleeping again and my hair quit falling out. The conventional doctor from Kaiser Permanente didn’t even know about compounded medicine and wasn’t able to prescribe them. I tell everyone I meet and befriend about bio-identical hormones and compounding pharmacies.
Martha W., Sandy, UT
This is my personal testimonial of how compounded medications drastically improved my health and life, when years of general, mainstream medications had no effect. In 2004, at age of 34, I had a total hysterectomy, thrusting me into immediate menopause.
Fortunately in 2007, I was referred by a forward-thinking physician to a doctor specializing in women’s health, hormone balancing and personalized compound prescriptions. Within weeks of being prescribed compounded HRT, I felt significant relief in both my physical symptoms and emotional well-being. The proof was also in the lab results – my body was finally absorbing HRT medication for the first time and, after a few minor prescription adjustments, my hormones reached a therapeutic level. My loved ones noticed the positive effects and I truly felt I had my life back.
By 2008, my health being reclaimed, I returned to school for my Master Degree in Education and have been teaching 1st grade in a Title One school ever since. I was finally able to balance my family life and my health issues on account of compounded medications. These career and personal goals I could never accomplish, or have continued success, without personalized compounded medications.
Undeniably, compounded medications are the only hormone replacement medication that provide me and thousands of other like me, any true relief of my physical and emotional symptoms. It is frightening to imagine what could happen to my personal health and so many like me if compounding prescriptions were not protected by the federal and state governments. I am incredibly shocked that access to any personalized healthcare is even an issue of constant debate in this great country of ours. I urge you to protect the rights of American citizens to compounding prescriptions.
Sally E., Irving, TX
I have been using two different compounded hormones for approximately thirty years. I began using them around 1985, after making an exhaustive search with numerous physicians to find out why I felt so badly all the time, but was never diagnosed with any kind of illness.
I had the testing done for a systemic yeast infection and there was no sign of that at all, after which the specialist informed me that I was probably bi-polar and needed to see a psychiatrist. In fact, the other physicians that I made appointments with and saw, which included an Internal/Environmental Medical Specialist (who was extremely expensive to see) and at least two different gynecologists, all said basically the same thing to me. They wanted me to get psychiatric or psychological help, which really meant prescribing some kind of drug or drugs to change my behavior and my way of thinking.
In addition to my whole body hurting constantly, feeling exhausted from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep, and experiencing night sweats and hot flashes, I reached my breaking point. I would be sitting at my desk at work and suddenly burst into tears and cry for no apparent reason at all. Not to mention the deep, dark, almost suicidal depression and hopelessness that I had begun to have as well.
For some unknown reason, probably because I was still considered to be a “younger” woman, none of the many physicians that I went to see ever thought to check the hormone levels in my blood. They never took in to consideration the fact that I had undergone a hysterectomy at age 40, which had put me into menopause at an earlier age than most other women.
Finally, I went to see yet another gynecologist in Dallas, Texas, who was reportedly quite good in his specific field of medicine. He did check the hormone levels in my blood and came to the conclusion that I needed hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and not a mental health provider. Overall, the search to find out what was wrong with me took about two years, during which I struggled mightily just to function as closely to “normal” as possible while working full time and raising two teenaged sons.
He prescribed several different kinds of hormones which I tried, but found them all to be totally ineffective as far as supplying my body with all that it needed in order for me to feel “right” again.
It was then that I began going to a compounding pharmacy and wellness center because that was the primary pharmacy that my doctor recommended. He was also working at that time with the pharmacist to develop Bio-Identical Hormones which were a topical gel then and are now topical creams applied to one’s forearm.
After I had tried the different hormones unsuccessfully, the pharmacist who was working with my doctor to develop the new compounded HRT, suggested I try what he had recommended for his own wife which were the Bio-Identical Hormones, Bi-Est and Pro-gest that are actually compounded human steroids.
I filled the prescriptions at the compounding pharmacy, began using them and then in about a week or so I began to feel “human” again. The compounded hormones were working beautifully and still do today. I find that they do much more than just replace the estrogen and progesterone that my body has needed so desperately, I have found that they also provide me with positive mental health again!
Therefore it is imperative that I have access to these compounded hormones every month, indefinitely, as they are vital to my total well-being. The directions on the hormones state that they are to be applied once daily and the fact is, I must use them every, single day or suffer terribly. These two hormones are prescriptions that I absolutely require for good health; no exceptions.
Consequently, I believe that any effort from any kind of organization that wants to stop the compounding process on prescriptions, certainly doesn’t care about people at all. If they needed compounded prescriptions themselves, then they would certainly understand the kind of impact removing them would have.
Patty W., Dothan, AL
My pharmacist and my doctor saved my life with bio-identical hormones. I started menopause at age 41. I had aggressive symptoms such as night sweats that would wake me six times a night. I experienced poor sleep, high stress, and had a huge decline in my quality of life.
Yvonne L., Clarksville, TN
I use compounded hormone replacement cream that has been very beneficial to address post-menopausal issues as well as to reverse my osteoporosis. I also use compounded Low Dose Naltrexone for chronic pain relief from Fibromyalgia, and it is the only medication that helps me with the pain from this condition.
Terri L., Juneau, AK
I have been on hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) for the past 11 years. I have been able to decrease the dosage of estradiol that I need for my health and am now down to where I need only 50 mg per day of progesterone to balance the estradiol. However, progesterone is not commercially available in a 50-mg. dosage, so I have been prescribed a compounded medicine at that dosage level. It is provided through Scott Watts and staff at Ron’s Apothecary in Juneau.
Neither of us have any other recourse to what we need without the compounds we currently take. We know they are effective because when, on the advice of our health care practitioners, we have had trial periods of trying to make do with lower dosages, we suffer consequences that are extremely uncomfortable. Those consequences go away when we resume the original dosage of the compounded medicines. We also have confidence in the safety of our compounds. They are obtained by Ron’s Apothecary from a manufacturing facility that is licensed and inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. They are prepared by a pharmacist licensed by the state of Alaska to do what he/ she does safely and skillfully. They are prepared in a pharmacy licensed by the state as having proper procedures and sanitation protocols in place for compounding. We have never even once, in a combined 23 years, had an adverse reaction to a compound prepared for us.
I have been using a compounded cream to relieve arthritis pain in my knee joints and shoulder area since 2012. This medication has worked miracles for me and my mother.
Please continue to fight for us and get the health insurance companies to cover our medication. It is greatly needed by seniors who have serious arthritis pain problems.
Susan G.H. St. Charles, IL
I began using compounded medicine 10 years ago to treat severe symptoms of menopause that were not relieved by standard medications. The menopausal symptoms disappeared shortly after beginning my new regimen. Before the Affordable Healthcare Act forced everyone to have health insurance, I did have good insurance through BCBS of Illinois, ICHIP. That policy did cover compounded medications. That program ended, and I had to go with another BCBS policy.
Linda S. Schaumburg, IL
I have been a customer of Mark Drugs, a compounding pharmacy in Roselle, for almost 15 years. My husband, daughter, daughter-in-law and I have all used compounded hormones and it has changed our lives. I have been on compounded hormones since I was 44. I am now 58. I had a hysterectomy, like so many other women, and two years later I was miserable. Hot flashes, couldn’t sleep, crabby. It was awful. So I began taking compounded estrogen, progesterone. It was a miracle for me! I was normal again. Over the years I have added testosterone as well. I am healthy and still play softball in a league with mostly 30 year olds!
My daughter-in-law had her first baby, and all seemed fine. After delivery she had terrible baby blues, but eventually they went away. Her next two pregnancies ended in early miscarriages. She was put on high dose of compounded progesterone, and she had a healthy baby. A few days after the baby was born, she was hysterical. She could not stop crying. Her gynecologist wanted her to see a mental health professional. I knew it was hormonal, because progesterone drops severely after delivery. She then went on compounded progesterone and in a day, she was back to normal. She has been on compounded hormones ever since (for the past five years).
As for my husband, he almost died 13 years ago at the age of 57. He had a massive heart attack and needed triple bypass to save his life. Shortly after, I took him to see an anti-aging doctor to find out how to keep him healthy. Testing indicated he was making zero testosterone. He was put on a compounded formula, his energy increased, and he has been healthy ever since. At age 70, he is still taking this hormone made by a compounded pharmacist. I will also tell you that a year ago, he went to the VA, and tried a non-compounded testosterone, as it was free. Within a few weeks, he lost his sex drive, was having hot flashes, and was not feeling well. He returned to the compounded medicine, and went back to normal.
Please do not take away our medications! It would impact the quality of our lives in a very negative way.
I have gastroparesis, a condition in which my digestive system fails to contract and move food through. The only medication available for this in the U.S. is metoclopramide, which has severe side effects including Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms. Domperidone, which helps my stomach to function and does not have the same side effect profile, can be compounded. Without compounding, Domperidone would only be available in Canada and would be much harder for me to obtain.
Annette W., Pharmacist, Tampa, FL
The geriatric population is particularly sensitive to the adverse effects of oral medications. I have personally seen many patients suffer these ill effects to their severe detriment. Because pain has become the fifth vital sign, many elderly patients are being prescribed one-size fits all pain medicine, resulting in overdoses and other types of negative consequences, including death. Compounding provides individualized dosing and alternate modes of drug delivery (especially topical), that offer physicians and patients a way to avoid the side effects of traditional systemic therapies.
Suzanne M., Auburn, WA
I had a total hysterectomy in 2005, and by 2007 I felt like I was dying. I couldn’t think clearly and my memory was failing fast. As a nurse that was a major problem. At times I couldn’t remember my birthday. Also, my blood pressure was now through the roof. Prior to my hysterectomy I maintained a steady blood pressure of 110/70. The day after surgery I was 200/120 and post-surgery was rarely below 150/100 after that. I had muscle aches and pain night and day. I suffered daily migraines. Until I started compounded hormone replacement therapy nothing was effective in relieving my symptoms.
Karen R., Colonia, NJ
After menopause, my female-ness completely disappeared. This not only affected my sexuality, but my bone density tests showed severe bone loss over a three year period. Only through bio-identical compounded hormone therapy have I been restored. My latest bone density test has shown a seven percent increase. My hair has stopped falling out, my skin is no longer parched, and my moods are stable. More women of my age group should know about these amazing compounds.
Kelly P., Union, OH
When my daughter, Abby, was just 2 years-old, the world as she knows it changed. We discovered at that time that along with her asthma, she had developed serious allergies to a vast amount of items – milk, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, herbs, eggs (white and yolk), pork, raspberries and blueberries, oranges, and sunflower seeds, to name a few. Now 6 years-old, her immunoglobulin E (IgE) is 10,000. Because of her severe allergies, she cannot take any over the counter medications such as Tylenol, or any manufactured antibiotic. For years we have had Abby’s medications, even pain relievers, compounded by our local compounding pharmacist. And when my daughter had to be hospitalized at Dayton Children’s Hospital, the staff could not compound medications for her so our pharmacy stepped in (and my husband brought them to the hospital). It is a constant battle to make sure that she doesn’t consume anything that could trigger an allergic reaction.
Claire A., Phoenix, AZ
I first was introduced to compounding when I started Hormone Replacement Therapy in 2012. At the time I was completely broken and a step away from stroking out, and I was only 52. I had spent the last 30 years getting progressively worse with something no one could find. I had extreme pain and was so tired I had trouble getting to work each day. My doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, but it turns out it was issues with my hormone levels.
Lee F., San Antonio, TX
I have been disabled for years. I have an implanted fusion pump and take many other medications. My doctor has been prescribing Ketamine for burning in my low back. The medication is compounded at Oakdell Pharmacy at Stone Oak (a truly wonderful pharmacy I am blessed to have found). I have insurance through the company I worked for as well as Medicare.
There have been three appeals and I am down to my last one. I pay for the drug out of my pocket as the burning is like a blowtorch at times. Not paying for compounding will be a true loss for many people, both patients and the pharmacists.
Lynne S., Rochester, NY
I had a heart attack and a gastric bypass surgery in 2003, so am very limited as to what I can take for my migraines, due to these 2 health issues. I was covered by insurance (Excellus BC/BS) for years, then all of a sudden, they said that one of the ingredients in my compounded medication (Indomethacin, Promethazine, Caffeine), was not FDA approved. It is my only hope for relief from my migraines.
Kathryn S., Tulsa, OK
In 2005, I started seeing a neurologist who is a pain specialist and a licensed physician within the same office who administers acupuncture to help with pain I was experiencing after having a partial craniotomy and spinal cord surgery to relieve a syringomyelia inside my spinal cord.
As of July 2014, I was informed by the same insurance carrier that had covered my compounded lotion since the beginning, that they could not cover it any longer because it was not approved by the FDA. I asked my doctor to explain this to me and of course she had no explanation for me. I called the insurance company and spoke to three different people and got three different answer and none could explain why they covered my prescription for 3 1/2 years and then all of a sudden it was no longer accepted by the FDA. So I was given an extension by the insurance company for three more refills which I filled and have stock piled in case of dire needs. I only use it when I am almost to tears with the pain which is absolutely ridiculous.
I asked my pharmacist what the cost of the prescription would be if I were to just pay full price for it when my refills run out and I was told $375. That is a huge difference from my $15 copay that I was paying. I am not a wealthy person and have 14 other prescriptions that I have to pay for every month so I cannot afford to pay $375 for one prescription.
This whole thing has been very disheartening to me. This medication has given me more relief than any of my pain pill that I take four times a day, and the fact I will no longer be able to get it is sickening.
Sarah G., Baltimore, MD
I was never destined to have good knees. I have had pain in my knee since I was a kid. From being born pigeon-toed, to developing Osgood-Schlatter disease, to bone chips, to IT band injuries from running and finally to falling down a flight of stairs at work tearing my meniscus – at the age of 30 years old I have had three knee surgeries and have been on all kinds of medication to alleviate the chronic pain I suffer. Of course, I have to also manage the various side effects that come along with the drug regimen my doctors have had me try. In addition to the knee pain, I also suffer from off and on back pain, typically triggered by repetitive lifting of heavier objects.
Eventually, I began working with an integrative medicine doctor who prescribed a compounded pain solution. The compounded pain medication goes straight to the source of the pain and does not impact my whole body. For the past two years I have finally been able to control the pain safely without side effects. It’s amazing that I am able to just rub a small amount onto my knee or lower back and within 15 minutes I feel relief. It doesn’t make me drowsy or slow my cognitive skills. I can take it and still drive to work without the risk of an accident – it has given me freedom from both pain and choice.
My prescriptions had been covered through Express Scripts. The co-pay has always been manageable. It’s very disappointing to me that Express Scripts would force its patients onto inferior drugs in order to pad the bottom line – a better quality of life should not need to come with the potential for such financial burden.
Compounded medicine is a critical part of patient care and plays a critical role in my personal health. Insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers should keep this in mind or else we are on a road to an even unhealthier America then we already have.
At the age of 16 years old I received a head injury during football practice that resulted in a subdural hematoma and an epidural hematoma, which is a traumatic brain hemorrhage. My recovery was long and hard, and still affects me to this day.
Sixteen years later, my neurologist and I have finally been able to produce the extended release form of the drug by creating a compound of that medication. It has allowed me to resume the quality of life I had previously. The years I did not have the medicine were tough to get through with the daily struggle of trying to walk and function as a normal citizen. I now am able to walk, run and exercise, and enjoy each day without the side effects of the disorder that robbed me of nearly two decades of life. My insurance doesn’t cover compounded medication, so I pay out of pocket. I have found my compound to be affordable and also essential to functioning in my job and enjoying time with my wife and kids. It would be devastating to me and my family if this drug was no longer allowed to be compounded. I would lose everything that was taken away from me once before.
Valerie D., Jacksonville, OR
I currently suffer from Lichen Sclerosus, which is a horrible autoimmune disease. The only way I’ve been able to keep the side effects under control has been through the use of compounded solutions. Without my compounded medication, this disease would leave me irreversibly deformed and in constant pain with the threat of cancer looming over me.
It’s incredibly costly to manage these ailments in addition to covering the expenses of my compounds. I’m on a fixed income and unable to work. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, my health insurance was decent and covered the cost of these drugs. Thankfully, when I lost my insurance because of plan and cost changes I was able to switch to my husband’s Tricare military health coverage.
Even on Tricare, though, changes have occurred in coverage of compounds. I used to be able to pay just $17.00 per prescription, but that cost has skyrocketed now. The side effects are too terrible for me on manufactured drugs, and I’m not sure what I will do if I’m able to afford my compounded prescriptions. Insurance companies are making it increasingly difficult to remain a healthy and thriving member of society.
Pam R., Omaha, NE, ESI Cuts
I suffer from chronic pain in my lower back, hip, neck and shoulder, but I keep that pain under control with a compounded cream. This medication has changed my life and taken away the pain. Before starting this treatment I was going to the chiropractor nearly every day and taking powerful, addictive pain killers and muscle relaxers. Neither of these treatments worked very well and the oral medications left me feeling groggy. I work as a travelling medical administrator and spend most of my days on the road driving from clinic to clinic. It is an absolute necessity that I maintain my full faculties and not be impaired by prescription pain killers.
It was amazing how well the cream worked to treat my pain and it’s disheartening to know that it won’t be a treatment option in the future. I’m sure that the prescription is expensive, but it isn’t addictive and it gives me the pain relief I need to be a productive member of society. To me, those benefits outweigh the costs of the treatment.
Joseph P., St. Louis, MO, Sinus & Lungs (chronic staph infections)
I recently received a letter from my pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts, Inc., informing me my compounded medication would no longer be covered. This is unsettling and scary. Prior to this medication, I was unable to breathe due to chronic Staph infections that would breed in my sinuses and move to my lungs. I was healthy just one week per month. The other three weeks it was difficult to leave the house as I was dependent on inhalers and nebulizers to find some relief. I would struggle for air and cough uncontrollably until my head would pound with every pulse. After 14 cycles of oral antibiotics in 15 months and through many tests and coordinated efforts with my pulmonologist and ear nose and throat doctor, I was prescribed a compounded drug-Vancomyocin and Budesonide mixed with a saline solution and inhaled through my sinuses. Since the start of this medication in June 2014, I have not been sick. I haven’t even had to use my rescue inhaler once. I run 4 miles every other day and have a very healthy lifestyle now. I can finally play and be active with my children whereas before I simply couldn’t. This medicine has changed my life so dramatically that I would go as far as to say that it actually saved me. It has provided me the opportunity to live fully and breathe easy.
Compounded medicine is a critical part of patient care and plays a critical role in my personal health. Insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers should keep this in mind or else we are on a road to a an even more unhealthy America then we already have.
Susan Cox, Hormone Replacement Therapy
About 10 years ago on the advice of my doctor I decided to start hormone replacement therapy to mitigate the effects of menopause. I researched my treatment options and decided that a compounded cream was the right medical choice. I didn’t want to take a pill or anything internally due to the side effects. I really liked the fact that the compounded cream was especially made for me and my needs.
Over the past few years, my medical insurance has stopped covering different parts of the compounded cream. The first ingredient they stopped covering was Estriol. I tried to go without that ingredient for a while, but the cream wasn’t as effective and I didn’t feel as well as before. I had my pharmacist compound a second cream with Estriol that I paid for out of pocket. Now, Express Scripts (my pharmacy benefit manager) has decided not to cover any of the ingredients in my original cream and I don’t know what I can do. I cannot afford to pay out of pocket for both creams and so far, reaching out to my employer and Union representatives has not resulted in the reinstatement of the coverage. I am frustrated that a pharmacy benefit managers like Express Scripts is making medical decisions for me by dictating what drugs I’m allowed to take.
Kendra Shearer, Ovarian Cancer Survivor “In 2007 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which resulted in a very difficult surgery that changed my life. As a woman in my forties, I realized that it was vital for me to take medication as part of my life-long recovery plan. After surgery, my doctor prescribed a regimen of manufactured prescriptions for the purpose of hormone replacement therapy. Unfortunately, I began to experience significant side effects to the synthetic medications. The medication caused me to develop high blood pressure followed by significant weight gain. With the medication, I was extremely ill, without it I was almost lifeless. As a registered nurse, I knew that the side effects were dangerous to my health, and would be considered an adverse reaction by anyone in the medical community, yet I needed medications to heal and have a full quality of life.
However, the emotional relief of finding the right treatment plan seems to have been short lived. I received five letters in July 2014 from Express Scripts stating that as of September 15, 2014, key ingredients used in the medications that are a necessity for my health will be cut from our coverage plan. My pharmacist cannot make my biodidentical hormone replacement therapy without the key ingredients no longer covered by my plan. Health decisions should be made between the physician and the patient, not the pharmacy benefit managers. I’ve tried the other options that are out there, but they don’t work with my body. If taking manufactured medication requires me to seek more unnecessary medical treatments, it means more cost for insurance companies and a poor quality of life for me. Where’s the common sense in this decision? For me, a healthy life depends on access to my compounded medications.
Express Scripts is wrong to deny patients coverage to necessary medications. Cuts from Express Scripts and other pharmacy benefit managers will have a crippling impact on patients as they decide to go back to medications that don’t work or make their life harder, or are forced to pay out of pocket for what they know is right for their body. I, for one, will choose to pay out of pocket, despite the already high cost of my monthly insurance premium. I hope that this decision will be reconsidered for everyone’s sake.”
Casandra O., Leesburg, VA
As the mother of two children who depend on compounded medications to assist with complications from Autism Spectrum Disorder, I can attest to the benefits – compounding has been life changing for my family.
My two young boys need compounded medication to avoid further brain damage and neurocognitive regression. The medication that treats their mitochondrial disease consists of a number of products. My children can’t swallow pills and don’t have the cognitive ability to learn how to do so. Our compounding pharmacist is able to alter the medication they need (3x daily) so they can take it with ease. It has also alleviated the stress of medicine time by allowing other care takers to give them the doses, which provides me a much needed reprieve. The medications and other therapies have stopped their loss of cognitive skills and have made a big difference in improving their abilities. To take away compounded medication would mean they would have to take the pills dispensed (I would have to crush and mix them myself) at the pharmacy. Pre-blended packaged medications contain fillers, dyes and coated ingredients and other allergens that trigger reactions in my sons’ systems, contribute to gut damage and seizures, and further brain damage. Without my compounding pharmacist, I am left with the almost impossible task of trying to get unsafe, possibly very harmful medications for my two boys or watch them suffer.
My children’s prescriptions are currently covered by both Express Scripts, Inc. and Medicaid. Express Scripts’ recent announcement of coverage cuts has our family on high alert. We are hopeful Medicaid will continue to cover what Express Scripts does not, but we also know that with pharmacy benefit managers and insurance companies, there is never a guarantee.
Compounds help my sons, and our family, thrive. We don’t have any other options. This isn’t just our “medicine of choice” it’s our “medicine of necessity.”
Cappie McBeth, Forney, TX, Hormone Replacement Therapy
I have been using compounded progesterone for two years. It makes a major difference in my healthcare, and it has enabled me to stop taking less safe and effective medications.
Deb K. “I have had chronic lower back pain from an injury sustained a while back. My doctors had prescribed some pain medications that worked initially, but eventually lost their effectiveness. I had tried Percocet, Oxycontin and many more, but nothing was working to relieve the pain.”
Gayle Y. “I have celiac disease, and I am a happy, healthy, thriving celiac. At least now I am, thanks to my compounding pharmacist.”
The FDA does not require the disclosure of allergens in medication. Nor does the FDA care enough about those of us with allergies and food intolerances to offer guidance to pharmacists regarding allergens in medication.
To me and countless other celiacs battling to avoid gluten in foods and medicines, a compounding pharmacist is our greatest weapon. There is no way to stay gluten-free and healthy without a compounding pharmacist. Along with celiac disease, I have thyroid disease which requires thyroid hormone replacement. Through trial and error I was able to find a gluten-free T4 but not a gluten-free T3. The only T3 medication on the market is Cytomel which is not gluten-free. I exhausted myself talking to doctors and retail pharmacists about why Cytomel did not work for me.
My endocrinologist referred me to my compounding pharmacist, Angie Huff, and that was my lucky day. I liked her. She did not have all the answers and she did not pretend to have them. Also, she had never compounded a gluten-free T3 hormone; and that was just fine with me.
Through research and support from PCCA, Angie was able to compound a gluten-free T3 for me in no time. She earned my complete trust and confidence with her willingness to research and to learn from my experiences with gluten cross contamination in medication.
In addition to sourcing gluten-free ingredients for me, she found gluten-free capsules and even changed her in-house procedures to create a gluten-free environment in which to compound my medication.
Not only was I able to get the gluten-free T3, she continues to compound pain and nausea medication along with the nutritional supplements my doctor prescribes. The service she has delivered to me far exceeded my expectations.
We are a team. Because of her I am thriving again. Pharmaceutical companies create medications to medicate. Angie and other compounders like her create compounds that promote wellness. As patients, the FDA has forced us to become advocates for our right to compounding.
This fight is for access to wellness, not just medicine, and we must not give up!”
Robin Johnson: “I was able to help heal a patient’s painful radiation burns from his cancer treatment with a compounded cream in just 14 days.”
King’s Compounding Pharmacy, Marlow, TX
Saad Dino: “I was able to help a 13 month old infant with leukemia by compounding a drug that has turned her into a leukemia-free and a healthy, happy second grader.”
Afton Pharmacy, Afton, MA
Dr. Kristine Sarna: “A patient of mine was able to bring her peripheral neuropathy pain down from a ten to a zero with a compounded dose of naltrexone. It changed her life.”
Norra Terra Family Practice, Phoenix, AZ
Dena Palmer: “My son is autistic, he cannot take pills and due to sensory issues has a limited diet. Compounding has decreased the stress in not just my life, but my son’s life and my entire family’ lives by offering alternative ways for my son to get the nutrition and medication he needs.”
Grace Apothecary, Mount Juliet, TN (Ashley is the name of the pharmacist at Grace Apothecarey)
Barry Bilbro: “As a compounding pharmacist it’s more than just putting pills in a bottle. I am part of a patient’s team. We are problem solvers and we work with the physicians to help the patient.”
“PCCA is just a phenomenal organization. They are right on top of everything. If I have a problem with a formula, they know exactly where to lead me.”
Warner Robins, Georgia
Ehab Mikhail: “I helped a diabetic patient who had already had one leg amputated save the other foot with a topical compound.”
“PCCA provides you with all the tools from educational conferences to pharmacy consulting departments to devices to high quality chemicals. They give you the base that is required to deal with different situations and different conditions.”
People Choice Compounding Pharmacy, Richmond, Ontario, Canada
Dale Coker: “I got a call from a doctor, whose son needed to take an SSRI, but couldn’t swallow a pill and wouldn’t take the liquid version. We created a transdermal cream that administers the medication topically. The doctor is amazed at the results!”
Cherokee Custom Script Pharmacy, Canton, GA
Bobby Muniz: “Without a compounding pharmacy a newborn with a congenital heart defect wouldn’t have been able to take his medicine. The medication only came in tablet form and we were able to turn it into a solution. He is now a happy and healthy two year old.”
“Compounding allows us to better treat children. We are able to take adult doses of medications and turn them into a dose that is appropriate for a pediatric case.”
Muniz Rio Grande Pharmacy,Harlingen, TX
Chris Cox: “I have a lot of chronic pain patients who were taking oral medications that create a lot of side awful side effects. I am able to offer them a topical pain cream that they rub on to take away their pain.”
Smith Rexall Drug, Pleasant Grove, UT
John Clark: “A chronic pain patient of mine was on multiple oral pain medications, which took care of his pain, but reduced his quality of life. I suggested a topical pain cream to his doctor and the cream allowed him to get off the expensive oral prescription medications and manage his pain with one topical compounded cream.”
Asheville Compounding Pharmacy, Asheville, NC
Kelly Selby: “Because she couldn’t swallow, a terminally ill patient of mine was having a hard time managing her pain medications and her family was being pressured to move her to a hospital – something neither she nor her family wanted. I was able to come up with a sublingual dosage form that allowed her to stay at home and die with dignity.”
Community Pharmacy, Denton, TX
Kevin Borg: “I had a patient who had extreme amounts of pain due to some wounds on his ankle and the oral pain pills weren’t healing the wound. I was able to create a topical pain cream that helped solve the pain and healed the tissue.”
Potter’s House Apothecary, Peoria, AZ
Mark Binkley: “Compounding provides the opportunity to step in and do an intervention that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Wellness Compounding Pharmacy, Nashville, TN
Matthew Lester: “I love to read mysteries – compounding is another way to solve a mystery. It gives me the opportunity to think outside the box.”
Oakdale Pharmacy, San Antonio, TX
Crystal Campbell: “I got interested in compounding pharmacy because I wanted to be able to provide patients with medications that aren’t commercially available and to tailor medications to meet their specific needs.”
Tampa Family Pharmacy, Tampa, FL