There are compounding pharmacies across the Tri-Cities that make customized prescription drugs but now one is standing out above the rest.
Pro Compounding Pharmacy in Johnson City is now one of five compounding pharmacies accredited in Tennessee.
Christy Howard told us she goes there for hormone doses. "Anything local makes you feel better," Howard told us.
She appreciates being able to see them make her prescriptions when she picks them up, Howard said.
"They take all the necessary precautions to make sure nothing funny happens with the prescriptions," she said. "They're all in their hairnets and their gowns."
Those precautions earned the pharmacy accreditation through the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB). PCAB is made up of industry leaders, such as the National Community Pharmacists Association and United States Pharmacopeia.
"It's very intensive," said Steve Lane, the director of pharmacy at Pro Compounding Pharmacy. "A lot of it begins with your policy and procedures."
Lane told us it's been a two year process that culminated in an eight hour inspection by PCAB.
Every little sanitary practice was taken into account, Lane said. "We have to wear devoted shoes," he told us. "In other words, when we're coming into the pharmacy, we're not tracking in outdoor dirt and that sort of thing."
They also have to check storage temperatures everyday and make sure they code the bulk powder that comes in to keep it from getting mixed up.
Lane told News 5 that those factors all go into the non-sterile compounding accreditation, which they achieved. Pro Compounding Pharmacy makes injections and eye drops that have to be made in a sterile room so they also had to be accredited for sterile compounding. "Twice a year in our clean room, we have to bring in an outside independent group to be able to certify that the air pressure is right," said Lane.
He said that group will also test for bacteria and make sure there isn't too much dust in the air.
They have vents to keep the air sterile. Lane told us they have to check the pressure monitors outside the room daily to make sure the air is flowing correctly.
An independent group will also periodically calibrate the scales so that the doses are correct.
Pro Compounding Pharmacy is the first pharmacy in the Tri-Cities to be PCAB sterile accredited, Lane said.
Lane told us that the pharmacy cost about $400,000.
Most of the people that come to the pharmacy get hormone replacement therapy, said Lane. They also see a lot of people coming in for pain relief balm.