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Wedgewood Introduces Refresh(TM) Exchange-Program: Free Exchange of Expired Veterinary Compounded Medications Solves Key Industry Problem
Date:12/3/2007

SWEDESBORO, N.J., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Wedgewood Pharmacy has introduced the Refresh(TM) exchange-program, which lets veterinarians return expired custom-compounded medications for exchange, at no cost. The program is a compounding-pharmacy profession first. Through the program, the company will exchange unopened, expired compounded veterinary medications that are in its regular formulary of more than 6,000 medications, including those prepared by other compounding pharmacies. Controlled substances and oncology-related medications are the key exceptions.

Compounded-medications, which are custom-made based on a prescription order from a licensed veterinarian or physician, have much shorter shelf-lives than manufactured drugs, generally from 30 days to six months. In states where pharmacy regulations permit, many veterinarians keep commonly prescribed compounded medications in inventory for office use. If those drugs expire while in inventory, they must be discarded.

George J. Malmberg, R.Ph., F.A.C.A, F.A.C.V.P., the pharmacist president and CEO of Wedgewood Pharmacy explained, "In July, we surveyed our veterinarian prescribers; 77% of them said that containing costs is a very important issue for them. When we asked how we could help them with this issue, they said 'Do something about the short shelf-life of compounded medications.' We listened and developed the Refresh exchange-program in response."

Compounded medications have conservative "beyond-use" dates because it is not feasible to subject every custom-made prescription to the testing and validation that drugs manufactured in quantities of tens of millions undergo. Beyond-use dates are determined from compounded-drug stability data when available or are calculated using criteria established by the United States Pharmacopoeia.

Malmberg noted, "Customers who helped us to design this program were surprised and delighted that we will exchange medications that were compounded by other pharmacies, too. This program gives veterinarians, who may not already be our customers, a direct opportunity to experience our high-quality preparations, packaging, labeling and superior customer service. We know they'll like what they experience."

To take advantage of the Refresh(TM) program, veterinarians must enroll at http://www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com/refresh. Within 30 days after expiration they can exchange medications that meet the program's criteria by completing a form, enclosing it with the expired medications and shipping them to Wedgewood Pharmacy by way of a traceable carrier. Once received, Wedgewood Pharmacy will properly dispose of the medication and ship a replacement at no charge.

The company is a registered with the Department of Environmental Protection as a Generator of Medical waste in New Jersey and contracts for removal and proper disposal. Wedgewood's exchange of compounded medications is subject to a few common-sense rules. These include not exchanging compounds that Wedgewood does not formulate, controlled substances and chemotherapeutic drugs or those that have been opened. A complete list of program information is located at http://www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com/refresh.

About Wedgewood Pharmacy

A compounding pharmacy creates customized medications for individual patients in response to a licensed practitioner's prescription. Wedgewood Pharmacy is the largest veterinary compounding pharmacy in the United States, serving more than 20,000 prescribers of animal and human compounds. It is located in Swedesboro NJ and licensed throughout the United States.

Background: About Compounding Pharmacy

Because every patient is different and has different needs, customized, compounded medications are a vital part of quality medical care.

The basis of the profession of pharmacy has always been the "triad," the patient-physician-pharmacist relationship. Compounding is extremely important to the veterinary community, which often requires more flavors, dosages and potency levels than commercially available medications supply.

Through this relationship, patient needs are determined by a doctor, who chooses a treatment regimen that may include a compounded medication. Physicians and veterinarians often prescribe compounded medications for reasons that include (but are not limited to) the following situations:

-- When needed medications are discontinued by or generally unavailable

from pharmaceutical companies, often because the medications are no

longer profitable to manufacture;

-- When the patient is allergic to certain preservatives, dyes or binders

in available off-the shelf medications;

-- When treatment requires tailored dosage strengths for patients with

unique needs (for example, an infant);

-- When a pharmacist can combine several medications the patient is

taking to increase compliance;

-- When the patient cannot ingest the medication in its commercially

available form and a pharmacist can prepare the medication in cream,

liquid or other form that the patient can easily take; and

-- When medications require flavor additives to make them more palatable

for some patients, most often children and pets.

For additional information, visit the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists' Web site at http://www.iacprx.org and http://www.compoundingfacts.org.

Marcy Kelly

Vice President, Marketing

mkelly@wedgewoodpharmacy.com

856.832.1303

David Kirk, APR, Fellow PRSA

davidkirk@thePRguy.com

610.422.0048


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SOURCE Wedgewood Pharmacy
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