Chinese Medicine Business – Herbal Pharmacy

Do you have an herbal pharmacy at your place of practice?  Do you believe that having one in one’s own practice is important?

Z’ev Rosenberg

I have an herbal pharmacy with granules and liquid extracts at present, or send patients out or drop ship if raw is required.  I used to have a raw pharmacy years ago, but I had to hire someone full time to run it, and lost a lot of money on it.

David Berkshire

We do have this, however I think in larger cities such as Portland it is not necessary as others will take care of the expense and the labor for you.

Seamus Kennedy

Yes, I have one, it is still under development. I do not know that it is important, particularly if you live in a town with a pharmacy you can send patients to. I wanted a pharmacy for the potential income, having my hands in the herbs (we are the only show in 5 counties), being able to send a patient off with herbs in hand, and for the wicked cool factor! Plus, we carry naturopathic products by Standard Process, Integrative Therapeutics and homeopathic remedies.

Monica Rudestam

I have an herbal pharmacy consisting of bulk herbs and homemade tinctures at my studio space in Aurora. In Portland I use my colleaugue’s medicinary which consists of granules and supplements. I do not think that it is necessary to have your own pharmacy. If you work in Portland there are plenty of awesome quality medicinaries that will fill your formulas- but it is convenient to have a formula made and ready to give your client when they walk out the door.

Emaline Gray

Yes. We have gone mainly with granules, and largely carry Legendary Herbs (single herbs) and Heiner Fruehauf’s Classical Pearls. Of course people should practice in the way they best shine. If one has not been trained as a herbalist certainly don’t carry herbs. There are enough people out there herb guessing. But if you have herbal knowledge, I think it is incredibly important to have a medicinary. Joe and I are mainly acupuncturist’s (under Dr. Edward Neal), but there are some things I just can’t touch without herbs, and herbs have a completely different direction and gesture than acupuncture. To be full Chinese Medicine physician you have to have herbs.

Eric Grey

We have a full medicinary with bulk (mostly Spring Wind) and granules (mostly Legendary Herbs and Classical Pearls).  Some of our practitioners use the Green Tea Apothecary decoction service sometimes.  Some of our practitioners use Classical Pearls encapsulated formulas, and we mostly go through Golden Cabinet Herbs for that.  I love the medicinary and would spend all of my time there, if I could.  We don’t have any plans to expand or significantly change it.  We’re just always looking to lower our costs, and thus, our prices – that’s an ongoing battle!

I think it is important in some situations, and not in others.  If you’re one of relatively few practitioners in your area, it can be a critical part of your practice.  If there are a ton of medicinaries around, and you’re not a person who needs to have your hands on the herbs every day, then I think outsourcing makes a lot of sense.

Ann Krueger

We do. In Portland there are several herbal pharmacies available, so I don’t think you need to have one at your practice in order to use herbs, prescribe herbs, and have your patients pick them up within a reasonable time/distance. But I love having access to the herbs at our clinic. I think it allows for easier further scholarship. If I’m thinking about an herb, I can generally walk in the back and look at it, smell it, make tea from it. I can get formulas to patients incredibly quickly, which is important in acute situations. I can also change and re-prescribe and re-fill very quickly, in case I want to make a change. It’s a real luxury to be able to do that, and I don’t take it for granted! It’s one of the selling points for our clinic, I think.

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