Woodinville Pharmacy: Customized Medication for People and Animals
by Stacy Lynn Gilbert
Not many people are aware of what compounding pharmacies can offer, but for those that do, their services are irreplaceable. Betsy Faulkner, a local pharmacist and owner of Woodinville Pharmacy, knows just how far her customers will travel to receive their specialized prescriptions. “We don’t just serve Woodinville. We have people that come from Redmond, Seattle, and all over Snohomish County. We have customers that have been here for years, and even when they move away, they somehow find the time to visit us,” she says.
Faulkner bought Woodinville Pharmacy in 2003, but it has been an established independent pharmacy since 1990. She still employs many of the original staff. For Faulkner, being a pharmacist runs in the family. “My father was a compounding pharmacist and owned three pharmacies up in the Everett area, Renton and Skagit Valley. He really enjoyed doing it for years,” she shares. “I started working for him in the 1980s. It’s always been a family business. I love that we work so closely with our customers and their doctors. We know most of our customers by name.”
Woodinville Pharmacy also offers compounded veterinary medicine for large and small animals. “We work with many local vets and make things for animals that aren’t commercially available. It keeps our job a lot more interesting. We are specially trained in compounding for veterinary specialists to treat animals from dogs, cats, kangaroos and lizards to hamsters, guinea pigs and birds. There isn’t anything commercially available to treat an animal that weighs five grams, so we will make it and flavor it for the right critter,” notes Faulkner.
Animals’ needs and what they will accept depends much on their comfort level and taste. Because of this, they offer unique dosage forms in liquid suspensions, capsules or transdermal ear gels that can be applied directly to the inside of a pets’ ear. To cater to an animal’s varying taste buds, they can flavor any medication as beef, chicken, tuna, liver, fish, peanut butter, fruit and more, keeping both the pet and their owner happy.
The same specialized approach applies to their human customers, whether it is someone that is allergic to dyes or for a newborn or child that can’t swallow things like a pill. “A lot of what we do is also natural medications that can’t be patented, like bioidentical hormones. We make them into forms that are more easily absorbed by the body,” she explains. When compounding bioidentical hormones for different customers, they can mix several hormones together in a specialized dosage just right for an individual’s needs. This special dosage can be made in the form of gels, creams, capsules, sublingual drops, suppositories and troches.
“People should not be afraid to ask their doctor for customized care or to get something individually made for them. For a lot of doctors, it’s thinking outside their box, but they are usually ready to help their patients in any way they can,” she says. What sets Woodinville Pharmacy apart from most compounding pharmacies is that they are set up to bill insurance companies. Faulkner reports, “It can take the headache out of it for the customer. It’s nice to have a place where you can come in and pay your co-pay.”
Woodinville Pharmacy is located at 17000 140th Ave. NE, Ste. E-101, in Woodinville. For more information, call 425-485-2900 or visit WoodinvillePharmacy.com.