KEARNEY, NEB. — A medication made custom to you and your needs, that's the idea behind the compound pharmacy industry.
NTV caught up with one central Nebraska compound pharmacy, Innovative Rx, in Kearney where employee and UNK student Hilary Vaughn carefully shows how to administer a chemical mixture that will be put into capsules specifically used for a nasal wash.
And as discrete as this process is, so are other medications.
“What we can do is take the chemical, the raw chemical or powder form and really make it into whatever we need to," said Rachel Daly, owner of Innovative Rx and lead Pharmacist.
Daly said compound pharmacies offer custom-made medicines for patients with unique needs.
“For instance, if someone can’t swallow or if it’s a little kid we can make it in a topical form or suppository, we can make it in a different strength that’s available in the commercial market or maybe there’s something that can’t be manipulated in the commercial market so we can make it in that specific strength that they need," added Daly.
Compound pharmacies are slowly making their pharmaceutical footprint across the state–in places like Hastings, York, and Omaha.
In terms of the money, Vision Research reports globally compound pharmacy markets were valued at roughly $11.2 billion in 2021 and are expected to hit $20 billion by 2030.
Daly said the compound pharmacy industry is not exclusive.
“We partner with a couple compounding corporations, bigger companies, that help us with drug information with where we source our chemicals from they actually help us match up with compounding pharmacists from other states to share ideas and share thoughts, you know maybe someone came into an issue that they've worked through and so they can share that information so it's definitely a very collaborative group of people," added Daly.
A myth Daly said she hopes to bust about the business is that it’s not safe nor regulated.
“We’re governed by the state Board of Pharmacy, and you know everyone here is a licensed pharmacist or licensed technician who is making the medications and we are only using chemicals from USP grade facilities that are FDA regulated.”
But the reality is for those with insurance, compound pharmacies may or may not be covered.
Daly said patients at her facility do have the option to use HSA/flex cards but costs can range from case to case.
The best way to describe compound pharmacies, Daly said it’s simply medication problem-solving.
“We take the final product and put a label on it and dispense it to the person up until then it’s an entirely different form of pharmacy," said Daly.