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Compounding Pharmacist Dr. Matt Rease: Helping Alpha-gal Syndrome Patients

October is American Pharmacists Month, a time to recognize all pharmacists’ efforts to care for their communities. We had the honor of speaking with Dr. Matt Rease, PharmD, the pharmacist-in-charge at Christiansburg Pharmacy in Christiansburg, Virginia. Their independent pharmacy offers custom compounding services to help alpha-gal patients gain access to animal-free medication.


When did you first learn about alpha-gal?


I first encountered the term Alpha-Gal through one of my patients at the Pharmacy a few years ago. The other pharmacists and I were not familiar with the syndrome, and this led to us to begin researching the subject to find ways to help these patients.


Your pharmacy compounds animal-free medication for patients with alpha-gal syndrome. For those who are interested, how can they request this service?


Compounding medication is a great option for Alpha-Gal patients who cannot find a suitable product commercially available. Depending on the medication, the pharmacy can research to see if the active ingredient is available in bulk powder to compound. We are able to compound capsules using vegetable derived shells or liquid/suspension-based medications. We can compound with no additives and use food-based products as filler (e.g., rice flour) when needed.


Is this for anyone in Virginia?


At this time, we only fill prescriptions for our local patients as we are not licensed as a mail-order pharmacy. Patients interested in compounding services should locate a local pharmacy near them that has the capability of accommodating these needs.


Can you share a successful patient story with us?


It’s always special to provide a patient with a solution. I remember one customer in particular who had searched seemingly everywhere for answers on how to obtain one of their medications in a specific composition. We found that we could compound the medication using vegetable-based capsules under the cleanliness of a laboratory hood, thus safely providing them with the medication they required.

What is your favorite part of your job?


As a local independent pharmacy, we are passionate about providing excellent customer service. I personally enjoy providing my patients with solutions to their problems, many of which were left unanswered at other pharmacies.

What advice do you have for patients with any type of allergy trying to find medication or supplements?


I would advise them to find a pharmacy that will take the time to invest extra work, and provide them with the information they seek for their healthcare needs.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?


I’m often surprised by the lack of transparency that many manufacturers provide regarding what is in their products. Many times, they cannot provide the answer as to whether mammalian byproducts are in their products. I think there should be more accountability for these manufacturers, and more awareness raised about the significant needs of individuals like those with alpha-gal syndrome.


Conclusion


Thank you to Matt for taking the time to share your experiences with us! We appreciate your efforts in helping patients find solutions through compounding.


If you're interested in compounding your medications, you can reach out to your local pharmacies or to our team at VeganMed to help you find a local pharmacy with the compounding capability.


To all pharmacists, our team at VeganMed thank you for your dedication to keeping your patients and community healthy.




 

Disclaimer: The product and/or information provided on VeganMed is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not lab test the products to confirm that they are free from animal ingredients, and it is possible that the formulation and ingredients could have changed. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or product. The information provided in this post is accurate and up to date as of the date it was written. However, please note that circumstances and facts may change over time, and new information may become available that could alter the accuracy or relevance of the content. We encourage readers to verify and cross-reference any information provided here with trusted sources or consult relevant professionals for the most current and accurate updates.

 

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If you have any further questions about ingredients in your medicines and supplements, feel free to reach out to the VeganMed team!

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