The Stafford Pharmacy Advantage
THE STAFFORD PHARMACY ADVANTAGE
At Stafford Pharmacy we strive to work with Veterinarians in order to provide the highest quality medications for every animal. We also encourage practitioners to contact us with their therapeutic problems. Our forte is solving those therapeutic problems with innovative solutions in the form of dosage forms customized to the needs of the patient.
The following is a summarized ist of pharmacy services offered to Veterinary Offices and their clients. This list does change as we adapt to the needs of our clients as well as incorporating new techniques and technologies to create customized dosage forms that might be better solutions to the problems put before us:
- Custom Compounded Medications (both Non-Sterile and Sterile products)
- Provision of sterile products and injectable medications for emergency kits and in-office use
- Insulin glargine pens and supplies or re-packaging of insulin glargine into smaller packages for veterinary clients
- FREE delivery of medications within the city of Lethbridge to veterinary offices as well as clients
The Compounding Advantage
Customized dosages for small or large animals: Often commercially available animal medications come in only one dosage or strength. In order to properly medicate small animals, a reduced dose often must be given. This can be a problem and a potential source of either over or under medicating, if the needed drug only comes in a solid form. Our Compounding Laboratory can provide the exact amount of medication per dose needed to treat smaller animals. Conversely, we can provide larger than commercially available strengths of medications and can format them into single doses.
Combine medications or customize a formulation: Some animal problems, such as skin disorders, are often best treated using a combination of several drugs. In order to avoid multiple dosing while achieving cost-savings, our laboratory can combine the needed concentrations of the required medications into a single, easy-to-use product.
Use alternative dosage forms to make administration easier for the owner: At times, it is impossible to open an animal’s mouth in order to administer a needed medication. In such situations, our laboratory can concentrate a medication in a flavored gel that is then applied to the animal’s paw or fur and thus is administered by licking. Further, medications can be incorporated into rectal suppositories or they can be added to a specially compounded cream, gel or ointment for transdermal absorption.
Drug product is discontinued or unavailable pet medications: Frequently, drug manufacturers will discontinue the production of medications and dosage forms because of low demand and, hence, decrease profit. However, often there is still a need for these products. When a veterinary formulation is not commercially available and there is no human preparation that can be used, we can help. Our laboratory can obtain the necessary pharmaceutical grade chemicals needed to compound individualized dosage forms that may even out perform the discontinued formulation.
Dosage Forms Available:
The following list represents the different types of dosage forms that we currently prepare for our veterinary patients. Depending on the specific needs of the patient we compound:
- Capsules (regular and sustained release)
- Flavored Oral Capsules (Beef and Chicken)
- Animal Treats (chews)
- Topical creams, ointments, gels
- Oral Solutions and Suspensions
- Transdermal Gels (for localized as well as systemic delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API))
- Large and growing number of API’s that can be dosed with transdermal route
- Solves many dosing challenges in dogs and cats.
- Evidence based performance of our transdermal bases
- Ophthalmic/Otic Solutions
- Solutions for Injection or Intravenous Administration
Clinical Pearl: The use of sustained release tramadol in canine patients allows for twice daily dosing, which is much easier for owners to administer than the 4 times daily dosing required with the regular release tablets. The recommended dosing for Tramadol SR is 2 to 5 mg/kg/day dosed twice daily.
Veterinary prescriptions can either be phoned (403-320-6500) in or faxed (403-320-0021) to our pharmacy. Once we receive the prescription the following steps are taken:
- The pharmacist assesses the prescription based on animal type and weight
- If we have not made the medication in the past a new formula is created using the appropriate references (our PCCA membership provides consulting support from specialist pharmacists, researchers and chemists). This formula is then checked by another member of our team to ensure it is correct.
- The animal’s owner is contacted with a price and time when the medication can be ready for them to pick up (or be delivered). No work is started until this contact is made and agreement is received.
- The compound is then ready to be made. One of our pharmacy technicians then prepares the medication under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.
- The pharmacist then performs a final check of the medication ensuring it was compounded properly by verifying the weights of the ingredients used, as well as re-checking the formula and calculations. The pharmacist also visually inspects the final product to ensure it has the correct physical appearance (color, viscosity, uniform distribution etc.). For capsules, an error calculation is performed to ensure that there is less than a 5% variability between capsules within a particular batch.
- Once the compound passes all of these checks it is dispensed to the patient’s owner with a review of dosing instructions and any appropriate ‘how-to’ best administer the particular dosage form. For example how to measure and administer an oral liquid or how to dispense a transdermal cream, where to apply and what safety precautions to abide by.
- Pharmacists are always available for follow up as questions arise once the owner takes the medication home and begins administration.
At Stafford Pharmacy we follow strict policies and procedures to ensure each of the medications we compound meets the highest standards. We routinely send samples from batches of our compounded products to Eagle Analytical Services for potency testing. This ensures that our compounded preparations contain not less than 90% and not more than 110% of the labeled quantity of an active ingredient as allowed by the USP 797 standards. We strive for 100% potency, and the majority of our samples come extremely close to this number. We have attached a copy of a tramadol potency test from earlier this year.
We are a privately owned and operated Canadian company, in business since 1985. Our focus is the home based healthcare market which includes traditional pharmaceutical care, customized compounding for both human and small animal patients, complementary alternative medicines, functional medicine therapeutics with an emphasis on the knowledge and experience that goes with this. Although a certain portion of the business is product based, the knowledge base, represented by the trained staff of pharmacists, nurse, technicians and homecare consultants is where we put our emphasis and where we think our greatest value is to you – the healthcare professional, the patient, the companion animal owner. As a result, we offer a complete package of products and services for the healthcare consumer and the healthcare practitioner.
We have also specialized in a few unique areas which involved gaining additional education and training where appropriate and over our 33 years of service to the community, have gained expertise not found anywhere in southern Alberta. And that is our promise.
Business principles are Igor Shaskin, pharmacist and Laura Shaskin, registered nurse. The company is now in it’s 37th year of operation at #5, 1475 St. Edward Blvd. North in Lethbridge, Alberta.
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