With the 15th Annual North American Neuromodulation Society’s (NANS) Meeting just around the corner, I couldn’t help but think about the importance of this conference to both my organization and to all of those who will be attending. These conferences give all of us a chance to interact with current clients, friends, and respected colleagues throughout the world of pain medicine … but we also hope to form new bonds as well. It is important, though – especially for practices seeking new providers for pain products – that these conferences don’t just provide false first impressions … but rather long-lasting relationships.

Hartley Medical strives to be a source of information, as well as a provider of the highest quality sterile pharmaceuticals. In doing so, we know that clients and potential clients need to be given the chance to make decisions based on as much information about a company as possible – which is why I want to provide my recommendations as to the process of choosing the right compounding pharmacy. These four simple steps will help you gain a plethora of insight into a company that will sail beyond your initial impressions.

1. Do Your Research: Companies will often give you information that highlights only the best aspects of the organization. While this is great information to view, you must do your own research to find if there are any negatives. The best way to do this is by simply doing a Google search. Look at the company Web site to see if there are any discrepancies between the materials you’ve been given and the information on their Web site. View their social media sites (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.) and see what they are saying, and also what people are saying about them. It is important to expand your search to include the pharmacist(s) in charge as well. What is/are his/her/their background(s)? Do they have any past indiscretions? Are they highly qualified? Recommended? Look for any information that tells you who they are. Investigate news articles, peer reviews, etc. to obtain useful information to help influence your decision. Don’t be afraid to call the pharmacy and request information that is not found during research.

2. Check References: Your sterile compounding pharmacy should provide you with a list of references, either voluntarily or by request. Even if a pharmacy presents well during the consultation phase, this is not always reflective of their future performance. This allows you to find out what advantages come from choosing a particular pharmacy, and sometimes the disadvantages. Pharmacies that overplay their features and benefits can often be exposed during this process.

3. Doing Site Visits: Again, pharmacists might give you pictures, videos, slideshows, etc. of their facilities and/or processes. These are often taken during abnormal conditions (so that things look better than they actually are). The best way to find out is to perform a random site visit. Just show up at their facility and ask for a tour. No compounding pharmacy should deny this to a current or potential client. And this allows you to judge the quality of both the facility and their products first-hand.

4. Stay Involved: Once you have chosen which sterile compounding pharmacy to utilize, don’t just lose touch. Check in and stay on top of the company. Make sure that they continue to perform at, or exceed, the level of expectation that you have for them. Call and have conversations with the pharmacist(s) in charge and/or the staff pharmacist(s). Visit their locations when you are in their area. Do whatever you need to in order to ensure that you are getting the most optimal service and top-quality products.

Here at Hartley Medical, we are very open about our organization. We encourage you to come and inspect our facility. You can find YouTube videos online that demonstrate normal business etiquette – not staged for the camera. We welcome phone calls and e-mails at random, just to say, “Hi” and check in with us. And we readily have a list of references on hand.

The best sterile compounding pharmacy is the one that has nothing to hide – and Hartley Medical is an open book. Why? Because this is the Hartley Standard.

I hope to see you at this year’s NANS Meeting – but if not, please contact me for any reason at all. I am here for you.

RPh – President/Owner


Find this article, and more, in the November-December 2011 edition of The Hartley Standard – Hartley Medical’s bi-monthly newsletter – by clicking here.

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