Visionary Health was founded in 2002, when Alan Malouf and Roch Shamley recognised a fast growing need for a more customised service, based on natural therapies and compounded medicines in Newcastle.
Today, thirteen years later, Visionary Health Compounding Chemist is a unique and innovative compounding pharmacy on Beaumont Street in Hamilton with a reputation for delivering outstanding results.
This month we asked Visionary Health pharmacist Daniel Do to explain just what is involved in compounding and what are the unique benefits ofered by a compounding chemist.
What is pharmaceutical compounding? Pharmaceutical compounding is about the mixing of medicines and pharmaceutical drugs to fit the uniue needs of the patient. At Visionary Health, compounded medications are “made from scratch” – working together with doctors and patients to determine their special requirements. We use compounding to provide a solution customised to the patients individual and often unique needs.
I get the impression that little is known about compounding - is this because it is relatively new? No not at all! At one stage in history - probably around the 1930s and 1940s, nearly all prescriptions were compounded but with the introduction of mass drug manufacturing in the 1950s and ‘60s, compounding rapidly declined. As a result, the pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications slowly changed to that of a dispenser of manufactured pharmaceuticals and today many pharmacists lack the training to compound medications. Another unfortunate outcome is that the “one-size-fits-all” nature ofmany mass-produced medications meant that some patients’ needs were not being met.
So what are the benefits of pharmaceutical compounding? Compounding enables a trained pharmacist to prepare tailor-made formulations for patients which includes prescribing an exact dose of a medication instead of a one dose tablet/capsule fits all appoach. It also allows for changing a medication from a solid tablet or capsule into a liquid and the avoidance of non-essential ingredients which may trigger allergic reactions in a patient - such as gluten, lactose, preservatives, dyes and even sugar. It also allows for the preparation of medications which have been previously discontinued.
What areas of medicine can benefit from compoundedproducts? All areas of medicine can benefit, we even help pets! We commonly receive requests from local doctors, specialists and hospitals for additional options to better suit patient needs. For example, everyone experiences pain differently, so we often prepare custom pain control gels specific o the types of pain a patient is experiencing.
Does Visionary Health specialise in any particular areas of medicine? We have a number of areas of speciality that include bio-identical or natural hormone replacement for women, weight loss, nutritional treatments for Autism, chronic fatigue amino acid supplements, anti-aging formulations, pain control, sleep improvement and specialised nutraceuticals for many disease states.
What other services do you provide – medical or non medical? We provide free in-store consultations and advice on many different issues – medical and non-medical. As mentioned before we provide advise on weight loss and also provide custom nutritional supplements to improve fatigue and concentration for adults and children.
We now also have an extensive skincare product range developed and made at Visionary Health using only the best quality ingredients. The range includes moisturisers, cleansers, toners and serums suitable for all ages and skin types.
Visionary Health is often described as being ''unique''. What is so different and unique about the business? Customised solutions and natural health is all we do. So why are we so unique? Visionary Health treats the cause of the medical problem with nutritional medicine internally, (you are what you eat), as well as specialised compounded preparations externally. Our treatments continue to develop as world wide research evolves.
We also have three modern, well-equipped compounding laboratories and a full herbal dispensary with over a hundred different extracts. We always have pharmacists and herbalists on hand to provide the highest level of customer service and quality products. It is this ability to customise medical solutions and the integration of combined treatment protocols that make Visionary Health so unique.
In short, our approach is to treat the cause of the problem rather than the “band-aid” remedy.
Can you give an example of how the unique services of Visionary Health can assist a patient with unique needs and how this all came together? Sure, in this example a young boy (Ewan) aged 8 years old from Newcastle was diagnosed with Autism. His mother, a school teacher, did not want to medicate him with conventional drugs. We referred her to a MINDD (Metabolic, Immunological, Neurological, Digestive Disorder) trained doctor who analysed Ewan's behaviour and requested urine tests, blood tests as well as hair analysis.
The blood tests came back showing that Ewan’s liver and gut were not functioning correctly. The urine tests showed a Copper/Zinc imbalance and the hair analysis showed a toxic level of lead. The doctor prescribed bio-medical nutritional supplements to address each of these disorders.
Visionary Health had to compound the tailor made nutrient formula into both a morning and evening capsule, designed to lower the heavy metal Copper and elevate the immune enhancing mineral Zinc. He was also given an essential fatty acid liquid to improve concentration. Heavy metal chelating drops were provided to bind and remove the lead and digestive enzymes. Probiotics were used to treat the gut dysfunction.
As a result of this treatment and after just a few weeks, Ewans' mum reported that he was more settled and that he could sit without fidgting and rocking in his chair. His concentration and his schoolwork had also noticeably improved. Further gains were expected with time as the body and the brain were being nourished with the correct nutrients required for normal healthy functioning. A very pleasing result for this little boy and of course his family.
Here is an interesting and quite possibly a little known fact: The World Health Organization estimates that 75% of the world’s population rely on herbs and botanic medicine for their health care. Also, approximately 25% of modern drugs are derived from plants, so I suppose it makes sense why the search for new drugs derived from plants has been accelerated in recent years.
You can contact Visionary Health Compounding Chemist at Hamilton on 4969 5081 or visit their website for more information at www.visionarychemist.com.au