Creating compound medicine with a side of listening: Dr. Mac McMillan, pharmacist and owner of Your Health Pharmacy

Dr. Mac McMillan in the reception area of his Your Health Pharmacy in Pompano Beach. [Photo by Tim Wassberg]

A tech at Your Health Pharmacy in Pompano Beach works on creating an order of compounded medication. [Photo by Tim Wassberg]

Dr. Mac McMillan

Your Health Pharmacy

12 N. Federal Hwy.

Suite A

Pompano Beach


Pompano Beach – The idea of knowing what medicines are placed in your body is becoming more intrinsic in our everyday lives. Having a pharmacist who understands is the key.

Dr. Mac McMillan of Your Health Pharmacy recognizes this point inherently. It is about knowing if “it’s the right thing.”

Dr. McMillan’s reaction to a person who just walks into a drugstore, grabs what’s on the shelf, or what’s on sale, tries it and says, “Well, that doesn’t work,” might be that it works but could be the wrong dose. That is where his expertise comes in.

Dr. Mac McMillan shows uniquely created compound medicines in his Your Health Pharmacy in Pompano Beach. [Photo by Tim Wassberg]

He uses a theoretical example — certain people cannot absorb glucosamine hydrochloride. That ingredient is in a lot of national products whereas glucosamine sulfate, as an example, might work better with a specific body chemistry. So he makes that simple adjustment.

“I know this is just going to work better because it’s the right form.”

After working for many years in different aspects of pharmaceutical medicine, privately, for hospitals and for other companies, McMillan realized what he wanted to do was offer, through his own pharmacy, a specific alternative: compounding.

Dr. McMillan describes compounding as “personalized medicine.” It can be as simple as a child needing an adult medication in a child-friendly dose or in a different flavor.

He said that store “medication only works on about 70 percent of the people” and sometimes “you need another to cover a little bit more” and then maybe another “to try to get it to 100 percent.”

With compounding – creating the medicine inside the pharmacy – “We are able to personalize that strength that really works for you.” It is not about breaking a tablet in half but “being accurate so that the person can have the relief they need every day.”

Your Health Pharmacy uses FDA approved products and mixes them personally for each person.

The end product is not FDA approved because it is designed for a specific person.

It is to be used when it is made. Other medications include preservatives and sometimes sit on the shelf for two or three years.

One of the specific elements that Dr. McMillan has specialized in [regarding compounding medications] is to treat hormonal changes, specifically pre, in and post menopause.

“Everybody’s body is aging and there are certain things that we’re going to lose every year as we move along,” he said. Hormones are a big part of that “whether it is men or women.”

He said that Western medicine’s approach is “to take a pill and just see what happens. But we also have options to look more naturally.”

Those are the types of hormones that he compounds at YH Pharmacy: bio-identicals.

What that means is that “any prescription medication that you can think of is a synthetic chemical. Somebody in the lab made that up. It works on receptors within the body to make the body do certain things. But after a while, [sometimes] the body says, ‘Hey, what is this? I really don’t recognize it.’” This results in side effects.

“You may have had one milligram, but now you need two because the body can only get fooled for so long.”

This preciseness is related to listening to what a patient/customer is going through.

“What makes me feel really good at night is a patient that feels like I really made a difference in their life because I listened to them. I’m down the street. I’m trying to work with them. I remember their names.”

Dr. McMillan tries to “be that advocate, that middleman. If a doctor is not familiar with [the compound medicine] 100 percent, I present that information to the doctor and say, “This would work for this person. Let’s work on it together, practice our medicine, and we can make small changes if we need to.

“I take what I learned from books and listen to what a person is saying. Sometimes you have one problem that’s spilling over, that’s causing another issue. But if we take a step back, we can kill two birds with one stone.”

He is also thinking about rejuvenation medicine using stem cells and is adding space for those treatments. “So literally a person who has a problem with their knee, elbow, whatever it is, would be able to come here,” he said.

He plans to conduct seminars on this new form of treatment to educate his customers.  In this “different type of pharmacy, where I’m trying to empower my patients to take control of their health,” Dr. McMillan said information is key.

He has patients “who meet me, take a liking to me, bring me other information that they’ve seen whether it’s a YouTube video or article in a newspaper.

“People call me on ingredients all the time,” he said. That is part of being informed and asking questions. And that builds trust.

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