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Tuesday, 18 October 2011 17:18

Houston-based Pharmaceutical Innovator Celebrates Thirty Years of Personalized Medicine for Patients and Animals

Compounding Pharmacies Play Crucial Role with Customized Drug Dosages

HOUSTON: October 18, 2011— Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), the leading supplier of pharmaceuticals, education and consulting for independent pharmacies, celebrates thirty years of life-saving personalized patient care this week as it launches the 30th Annual International Seminar with over 600 compounding pharmacists coming to Houston. PCCA serves approximately 4,000 independent community pharmacists throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries around the world.

“Compounding is the science of creating personalized medicinal dosages,” said Gus Bassani, PharmD, PCCA Vice President of Consulting, R&D and Formulations. “While many people associate medicine with large pharmaceutical manufacturers, independent community pharmacists are the original specialists who compounded pharmaceutical ingredients into treatments. Today we are part of the triad relationship of patient, physician and pharmacist, all three working together to solve unique medical problems.”
“PCCA began thirty years ago when a drug that one patient needed was no longer being manufactured,” said Jim Smith, PCCA president. “Our core mission—helping physicians and independent community pharmacists treat patients with the absolute best medicines—is as crucial today as it has ever been. The ongoing drug shortage crisis is a clear reminder of that.” 

PCCA provides member pharmacists with access to the highest quality pharmaceutical ingredients, the latest research, quality control processes, and testing technologies to create compounded medications that meet the individual needs of patients. Member pharmacies carefully formulate the active ingredients into unique dosage forms that are appropriate for patients. Compounding pharmacists also work with physicians to provide personalized medications for unique patient groups, such as pediatrics, geriatrics and veterinary medicine.

While commemorating its 30th Anniversary, PCCA looks forward to the next thirty years. “Compounding is the wave of the future, as informed consumers and scientific advances drive increased demand for personalized medicines,” said Bill Letendre, M.S., R.Ph., M.B.A., PCCA Vice President of Compounding Pharmacy Management (CPM) Services. “As DNA profiles become increasingly accessible, customized care becomes more essential, and compounding pharmacists are the key to medicinal dosages tailored to one person’s exact profile. The idea of ‘my medicine’ becomes a reality with compounding.”

As companion to personalized medicines, PCCA believes the burgeoning markets for nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals will further heighten the public attention on compounding pharmacies. “Nutraceuticals provide vital nutritional benefits as well as protection against chronic disease,” said Letendre, “while cosmeceuticals customize and personalize therapy to protect skin from the harmful, external forces of aging.”

Pain management is another popular arena for compounding pharmacies. “We’ve developed a transdermal cream that delivers medicine directly through the skin,” said Bassani. “Physicians can prescribe a compounded cream that targets the inflammation and pain directly in the knee, for example, potentially reducing the side-effects of taking multiple pain pills orally.”

Compounding pharmacists come to Houston throughout the year to participate in PCCA training courses and continuing education events, and over 600 pharmacists will converge on the Houston area this week for the 2011 International Seminar, held in and around Sugar Land Town Square, October 19-22.

“The International Seminar is an unparalleled opportunity for compounding pharmacists to share knowledge with each other, while participating in best-in-class accredited continuing education,” said Bassani. “The Seminar also is an opportunity for PCCA to give back to its communities—both the community of pharmacists and the local Houston-area community.”

PCCA holds its annual International Seminar locally in the Houston area each year, and focuses on local needs for its charitable outreach. PCCA is the largest corporate donor to the Fort Bend County Women’s Center (FBCWC), and will be donating proceeds from various charity events to the FBCWC.

“PCCA is a major advocate and supporter of the Women’s Center,” said Vita Goodell, FBCWC Executive Director, “which has helped more than 32,000 survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault—and their children—achieve safety and self-sufficiency.”

The community focus is a natural fit for PCCA, says Smith: “We exist to help independent pharmacists serve their communities, so of course we’re going to look for ways to serve our own community here in the Houston area. Our commitment to holding the Seminar locally enables us to multiply economic benefits to local merchants, and in fact, when people in the industry talk about compounding, they talk about Houston—we’re the epicenter.”

In 1981 when PCCA incorporated, the majority of pharmacists were either working for large retail chains or working at major pharmaceutical manufacturers. “Back when we started, the independent community pharmacist was an endangered species,” said Smith. “I believe one of the great accomplishments of PCCA’s first thirty years is participating in the resurgence of local accredited compounding pharmacists. The greatest accomplishment, of course, is the people whose lives have been saved, and the enhanced quality of life our member pharmacists have brought to patients around the world.”

The U.S. drug shortage brings fresh attention to the vital role of accredited compounding pharmacists, who can compound dosages which otherwise would be unavailable. During a national public forum on drug shortages sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September, a representative from the Drug Information Resource Center (DIRC) reported tracking 210 “new” shortages over the first nine months of 2011, with more than 260 cumulative shortages, new and ongoing.

By using quality pharmaceutical ingredients and based on a physician’s prescription, compounding pharmacies can create specific medications that are in short supply and help ensure that patients get the critical care they require. The shortages are affecting a range of patient conditions and issues from Vancomycin solution that allows pediatric and elderly patients that are unable to swallow pills to take oral antibiotics, and Cytarabine, a treatment for leukemia, to 5 Fluorouracil which is used in many different cancer chemotherapy treatments.

“The PCCA network of member pharmacies can support the needs of physicians, hospitals and the public—quickly and effectively,” said Smith. “For anyone with questions about how to locate an accredited member pharmacists, we recommend the Find A Compounder™ online tool, a quick, easy service to locate member pharmacies for hospitals, physicians and patients.”  

Find A Compounder™ is available online at: http://www.findacompounder.com.

Media contacts:
Robin Paoli
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Jay Hickman
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About PCCA

Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), the leader in pharmacy compounding since 1981, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. PCCA supports member compounding pharmacists as they meet the unique healthcare needs of patients through exceptional service, highest-quality products, shared innovations and education. PCCA—holding its 2011 International Seminar in the Houston area in October—is the nation's complete resource for fine chemicals, equipment, devices, flavors, accredited training and education, pharmacy software, marketing, business and pharmacy consulting assistance. PCCA membership includes more than 3,900 independent community pharmacists in the United States, Canada and Australia. For more information, visit PCCA online at www.pccarx.com, or use Find A Compounder™ online tool to locate a member pharmacy in your area http://www.findacompounder.com/