Compounding the community’s need at Central Drugs

By John MacMurray
La Habra Journal

Sure, any pharmacist will give you a lollipop when you pick up your prescription, but Central Drugs can make your prescription into a lollipop. Or a popsicle, a syrup, a gel or just about any form that works best for you.
And that’s because Central Drugs is a compounding pharmacy where the pharmacist can prepare a very specific medication prescribed by a physicianCentral Drugs for a patient’s individual needs. It’s one of only a handful that remain in Orange County.
According to Central Drugs Marketing Manager Mark Leonard, Central Drugs’ methods represent a kind of “back to the future” approach. Up until the 1950s or 1960s, he explained, all pharmacies were compounding pharmacies. Then when mass-produced medicines in standard doses became more widely used, the pharmacists’ roles were downgraded. They went from being the folks who prepared your medicines to being just dispensers of “one-size-fits-all” medications.
This loss of compounding skills, of course, was not good for many patients, since it meant that their needs were not being met, Leonard explained.  “Think of it like having a pair of shoes custom made for your feet, compared with forcing your feet to fit mass-produced shoes.”
The pharmacists at Central Drugs, will craft your prescription precisely to your needs (and literally to your taste), and let you watch while they do it. Their state-of-the-art compounding lab is right on the premises. So if you want, you can watch while the prescriptions for the two and four-legged customers are blended.
Four-legged? Many veterinarians use Central Drugs’ compounding skills when they need custom-made medication for their four-legged patients. Just as with people, sometimes conventional medication is not available in the right dosage, form or strength.
A La Habra neighborhood pharmacy since 1954, Central Drugs has been under the guidance of Dr. Nayan Patel since 1999. Stressing patient care, education, and involvement in their own wellness efforts, Dr. Patel and his staff of 60 pharmacists and technicians provide online information, small-group seminars and personal consultation at both their La Habra store, and the new Fullerton store.
Their comprehensive and interactive website also lets you fill prescriptions online, from your computer, your iPhone or Android.
Whatever your needs, Dr. Patel and his friendly staff are ready to help you on your journey to wellness in English, Spanish, Indian, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Ever wonder what the “Rx” symbol means? The one you see on pharmacies and pill bottles? Good question! But no real agreement on the answer. Some authorities say it’s a Latin abbreviation for recipe; literally, “take this.”
Others say the “R” is really an eye! Since Horus was the ancient Egyptian god of medicine, goes the argument, the Rx symbol is the “Eye of Horus” and is watching over your medicine’s preparation.
But, Egyptian or Latin, Central Drugs’ careful eyes are watching out for your health.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.