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Why you need a Clinical Services support team

One of the biggest difficulties that compounders face on a daily basis is the fact that, to a certain extent, you may be quite isolated from the rest of the compounding world, and it may be difficult to obtain correct clinical services information in real time—that is, when you are compounding in the pharmacy.

It is true that, in a world of quickly accessible social media and closed chat groups, someone may see your post and may be able to give you some information about a formulation.

But this is unlikely to happen immediately when you post it, and you can never be sure exactly how reliable the information is.

Our Clinical Services team is fully equipped to answer the diversity of questions which are logged by pharmacists Australia-wide on a daily basis. There are many benefits to this: firstly, we have access to a myriad of references which you may not even consider, and secondly, we can see the trends as they happen state by state, and between Australia and the US.

Our day will commence reviewing all of the information which has been internally posted overnight from our parent company in the US.

These emails give us great insight into what is happening overseas—sometimes the issues are identical, but sometimes the issues that we are facing are not the same at all.

As the COVID-19 virus spread, and the US started fielding as many calls as Australia on the availability of ‘hand sanitiser’ formulas, so too did our understanding of the issues relating to both supply and formulation.

And as politicians tweeted about treatment and preventative options, we had access to all the studies, as well as regulatory concerns as they arose. It helped to shape the information which our team used in the Clinical Services support for our members.

And even though we too have needed to adapt to these changing times, our day is not just about answering questions about pandemics.

We get asked questions about all aspects of compounding, and no question is too big or too small.

One of the benefits of our member services support is that the answers are not ‘timed’. What I mean by that is that we are committed to giving you the best answer, for your situation, with every question.

Some questions from members may be quite simple and can be answered fully in just a few minutes. An example of this might be if we could check calculations for them, or if there is a simple substitution for a product they need in a formula that they don’t have.

But others may take quite some time to answer and may require our team to do some specific research. An example of this might be if a compounder is approached by a doctor who has a patient with a chronic pain condition or a wound that is not healing. We may need the pharmacists to ask for more information from the patient or the prescriber before we can give the correct response. In the case of a chronic wound for example, we may need photos and a more complete patient history. These interactions may take several days before we can satisfactorily close a call.

In the case of regulatory questions, these may take some time to discuss with the compounder, and follow-up calls may be required.

Whatever the case, our call is not complete until we can give the pharmacist the best answer possible to the specific case.

For us, there is no such thing as a stupid question because if the pharmacist does not know where to find the answer, then we want to help. Sometimes the answer to: ‘How do I make this?’ is often, ‘Actually, in this case, you should not make this’.

And we love a challenge! There have been many situations over the years when we have had to dig deep to find relevant information about unusual cases.

The amazing thing about our Clinical Services team is that we are all committed to lifelong learning, and every day we are presented with something new to learn, or something else to consider.

As a compounding pharmacist, you have already committed to providing the best treatment options for your patients with very specific needs, so it makes sense to have an extended team who can provide support for you.

Marina Holt

PCCA Education and Training Manager

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