In short, compounding is customization. Rather than try to fit your pet into the one-size-fits-all mold the pharmaceutical companies developed (i.e. pills with limited available strengths), we are able to take into account your pet’s individual needs (size, age, species, ideal dosage form, flavoring, etc) and customize a preparation to meet their very specific needs. As a compounding only pharmacy, we are not like your typical chain retail operation. We customize each prescription for each pet patient. Because of this, we do not operate like your typical chain retail pharmacy. Here is how the process works:
Your vet prescribes a compounded medication for your pet. They either give the prescription to you to determine where to get it filled, or they will contact us directly via phone, fax, etc.
Our pharmacists verify the accuracy prescription based on the details like weight, species, etc.
Our customer service team will contact you directly within 24 hours of receiving the prescription, and often the same day. We confirm all prescription details with you, determine customizable aspects of the prescription, and collect payment prior to compounding the medication.
Why do we do this? When the vet sends us the prescription, they often don’t know the specific customizable choices that you would want to make for your pet. As an example, say your vet calls in a flavored chew treat for your pet and takes a guess at the flavor. We go ahead and make it up prior to talking to you and then call you to tell you its ready. At that time you tell us that you don’t think a flavored treat will work because your pet isn’t treat motivated, or they hate the flavor the vet chose. Now we’re stuck with a prescription we can’t use, and you’re no closer to getting what you need for your pet. This is just one example, but everything we do is so geared to your pet’s specific tastes, that it only makes sense to talk to you first. Why do we emphasize this? We place emphasis on this because we don’t want to disappoint you, and if you were to think of us as a normal pharmacy that you can just walk into and have your prescription waiting for you, then you are likely to be very disappointed and we don’t want to do that to you!
Customer Service tip: when calling the pharmacy, select Option 2 for “pet owners” to ensure your call makes it to the correct department!
Once we confirm the details of your pet’s prescription, it goes into one of our compounding labs where one of our specially trained compounding pharmacy technicians makes your pet’s medication. Depending on the formulation selected, this process can take up to several hours (another reason we like to talk to you first!).
After compounding, the prescription goes to one of our highly trained veterinary pharmacists to undergo the final quality assurance checks including things like ingredients, quantity, color, flavor, pH, etc. to ensure your pet is getting what you are expecting.
Now your pet’s prescription is ready to be picked up or shipped out! For most new prescriptions, we’ll have your pet’s prescription in your hands within 24-48 hours of your vet contacting us and us contacting you.
For refills the process is very much the same, but for refills we ask that you call ahead to request the refill about 1 week before you will need the medication. This ensures that we have enough time to process the prescription, contact the vet for authorization, and customize the preparation so that you receive it before you run out of the existing preparation.
One final note on compounding; because it is so customizable, there may be slight variability in preparations from compounding pharmacy to compounding pharmacy, or from compounding technician to compounding technician so if you have any questions about some difference in preparation that you are noticing from what you expect, it is always a good idea to call and talk to one of our veterinary pharmacists about the variability you are noticing.