North Shore Pharmacy rolls out new program

KILAUEA — The North Shore Pharmacy is taking steps to make sure people are getting the most out of their prescriptions.

Earlier this year, the pharmacy rolled out a monitoring program, which trains its pharmacists how to scan for prescriptions that can cause nutrient depletion.

As part of the program, the company created protocol to replenish depleted critical nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

“A pharmacist-directed nutrient replenish program is important because different medication classes deplete different nutrients, and these nutrients are critical for our bodies to function optimally,” said Alex Latif, a pharmacist for North Shore Pharmacy.

Every time a prescription is filled, a pharmacist will scan the patient’s medication profile to look for prescriptions that can cause nutrient depletion. If they have been prescribed medication with this side-effect, the pharmacist will recommend a vitamin/mineral combination to restore the depleted nutrients, Latif said.

For example, anti-inflammatory prescriptions can deplete calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and folic acid. Asprin can deplete vitamins C, K, B5, folic acid, calcium, iron and sodium 3.

North Shore Pharmacy is celebrating its 29th anniversary this month. It works every year to keep its compounding laboratory standards meet those of the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.

PCAB standards include requirements for documenting the purity and potency of all ingredients, the specifications and calibration of all equipment, the training and experience of compounding technicians and pharmacist and maintenance of the physical plan, said Martha Harkey, pharmacist.

While the compounding lab was accredited by PCAB in 2015, staff are required to submit a Continued Compliance package for both sterile and non-sterile compounding, Harkey said.

“These documents are quite comprehensive and include verification of all the procedures included in our initial accreditation,” she said.

By having a certified compounding lab, pharmacists are able to create personalized medications for residents who have allergies to certain dyes, chemicals or are unable to take medication orally.

“This accreditation assures our patients that we are providing the highest quality compounded preparations possible,” Harkey said. “Very few pharmacies have taken this extra step to verify that their laboratory meets or exceeds all national standards.”

The North Shore Pharmacy is the only PCAB accredited lab for sterile and non-sterile compounding on Kauai, and one of only two accredited labs in the state of Hawaii, she added.

The pharmacy has to go through a re-accreditation process every three years, Harkey said.

The PCAB recognition holds the pharmacy accountable, which gives Kauai residents a peace of mind about the prescriptions they are taking, she said.

“The preparations which are compounded at North Shore Pharmacy are the highest quality and that the procedures used in our laboratory meet or exceed the national standards,” she said. “We are committed to go that extra step to make sure we are providing the best service and the highest quality preparations possible.”


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