Pharmacies can reap revenue-boosting benefits by adding compounding to their arsenal of services, according to a session held during the 2021 Pharmacy Develop Services Innovate in a Day Virtual Event.
According to Mark Gonzalez, PharmD, clinical compounding pharmacist at PCCA, compounding remains the top cash revenue stream for many pharmacies. For those who want to start a compounding business, Gonzalez highlighted the top opportunity areas for gaining the greatest reach.
Gonzalez pointed first to dermatology. “Dermatology is one of the hottest areas in compounding,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez mentioned skin lightening compounds, acne, cosmetics, hair loss, and eczema as high-demand areas in the compounding space.
Additionally, autoimmune and allergy sensitivity are areas that have grown tremendously over the past few years, according to Gonzalez. For autoimmune conditions, low-dose naltrexone is one of the most popular compounds, as it serves as a potential treatment option for many diseases in the autoimmune space.
Pharmacists can also offer compounding services for patients with unique allergies and sensitivities to certain ingredients in medications. In these cases, patients may seek specially compounded medications, such as gluten-free preparations, as well as corn-free preparations for children who can’t take certain commercially available medications.
Veterinary compounding is another key growth area, and Gonzalez recommended that pharmacists consider including medications for animals others than dogs and cats. “You’d be surprised what kind of animals people have,” he said. He cited experiences with specialty animals such as reptiles and birds, and even medicating someone’s lion. Gonzalez discussed working with local zoos and aquariums to compound preparations for these animals as well. This requires collaboration with local professionals, he said, such as the veterinarians and animal trainers.
Furthermore, although there are a lot of regulatory considerations when opening a compounding business, Gonzalez assured that these regulations are manageable. Plus, stringent rules surrounding compounding weeds out those who aren’t serious or passionate about the business, lessening competition in the space.
“Our compounding business grew [110%] in 1 year,” Gonzalez said. “ All that we did was offer compounding and that was a cash business.” The market exists, and patients who require compounded medications are usually willing to pay for quality, Gonzalez added.
Having a compounding business could be highly profitable for your pharmacy. To target the right customers, Gonzalez emphasized a focus on continual relationship building with physicians and members of the community, as well communicating what your pharmacy is able to offer.
“When there’s a pharmacy that’s different and that’s unique, that’s where people are going to be [attracted],” he said.