For 51 years, Solutions Pharmacy has provided residents an opportunity to order prescription drugs that are compounded specifically to their needs.
"We make custom prescriptions that are designed for a specific person," said Tom Beard, who is one of the pharmacists and co-owns Solutions Pharmacy with Josh and Jeri Talley. "Everyone is different and we're going to need different prescriptions, but with manufacturers it's one size fits all."
Beard said he can compound prescriptions to make a precise dose, strength, color and flavor that fits the doctor's orders more precisely or makes it easier for the customer to take. Some prescriptions for pain can actually be turned into topical creams that patients can apply directly to the pained area without having to worry about side effects such as stomach aches that can often result from taking prescriptions in pill form, he said. Solutions Pharmacy can also create compounds such as anti-wrinkle creams.
"If a patient has an allergy to a non-active ingredient we can take it out," Beard said. "The biggest trend in compounding right now is hormone replacement therapy for women in menopause and men in andropause. We're using products identical to the hormones your body makes naturally, so the claim is that it is thought to be safer."
Beard can prepare certain prescriptions that are only available in pill form from manufacturers as a liquid for those who have difficulty swallowing pills. The pharmacy also specializes in creating medication doses for animals and children.
"Compounding is really how pharmacies started," Beard said. "They would mix up everything because there weren't manufacturers out there to mass produce them.
Solutions Pharmacy began as a business in the Highway 58 area in 1960 with Charlie Armstrong, who called it Lakeside Pharmacy and provided access to both compounded and manufactured prescriptions. The Talleys purchased the pharmacy from Armstrong in 1996 and in 2003 changed the focus solely to the compounding of drugs, which Jeri Talley said is their passion.
"A lot of people feel more comfortable if something is made for them specifically instead of produced for the masses," she said.
The 25 employees at the pharmacy focus on keeping a family-oriented and Christian atmosphere, said Talley. She and her co-owners recently purchased land in Ooltewah on Little Debbie Parkway, where they will build a new Solutions Pharmacy location and plan to move the business in January 2013.