For a store with a 60-year history, one can say the San Ysidro Pharmacy is ahead of its time.
Owner Steve Hoyt helped transform the Montecito pharmacy at 1498 East Valley Road in 2004. It’s part of a select statewide group that houses an accredited compounding lab and reports to the Food and Drug Administration.
The pharmacy combines raw active ingredients to create customized prescriptions that cater to individual needs. It ranks among the top 1 percent of pharmacies nationwide for compounding volume and experience with natural hormones, Hoyt said.
“We take dosage forms that aren’t very user-friendly and create creams, suspensions and suppositories,” he said.
Popular treatments include hormone replacement, pain medication and veterinary medicine. The pharmacy is licensed in 40 states and creates about 70 compounds a day. For instance, when Hoyt’s mother developed a deep bed sore, he created a topical cream that cured the wound in half the time it would’ve taken otherwise, he said.
“Pain management is an area that’s growing quite a bit,” he said. “There’s a real need to find new ways of controlling pain.”
Hoyt said the pharmacy can do a lot that isn’t on the market.
“One of the ways is through topical applications rather than oral applications,” he said. “We’ve really grown in that sense.”
This means that the pharmacists have a much closer relationship with their patients, Hoyt said.
“It allows pharmacists to become more clinically involved with patients and allows them to participate in patient outcomes,” he said. “We’ve become a more clinically oriented community pharmacy rather than just a dispensing pharmacy.”
Lorena Cortes is one of the pharmacist technicians who helps create the compounds. Compounding labs are especially useful when a medicine has been discontinued, a patient has specific allergies or if someone cannot swallow pills, she explained.
“If something is not available commercially we can usually make it back here,” Cortes said.
One of the ways Hoyt would like to expand is through a partnership with the Santa Barbara Zoo.
“I’ve been trying to get connected to the zoo,” he said. “It would be an interesting place to work with. There are a lot of exotic animals that could use more creative dosage forms.”
Although San Ysidro Pharmacy was one of the first in the area to adopt a compounding lab, others will catch up quickly, Hoyt said.
“It’s going to continue to grow,” he said. “You’ll see more pharmacies get involved in compounding.”