Use a clean room to build your compounding practice

March 15, 2011

For pharmacies in the compounding business, an attractive, centrally located clean room that is visible to patients will generate substantial return on investment, propel business growth, and market the pharmacy as an innovator.

Key Points

For pharmacies in the compounding business, an attractive, centrally located clean room that is visible to patients will cost more to construct than one tucked away in the back of the pharmacy. However, such a room will generate substantial return on investment, propel business growth, and market the pharmacy as an innovator.

The expense of designing and constructing a clean room, which must be USP 797-compliant to ensure complete conformity with federal and state regulations, is significant. The cost can exceed $100,000, but the rewards are well worth it: You are giving patients the ability to watch their prescriptions being filled, gaining their confidence in the cleanliness of the facility, reinforcing their perceptions of the staff's professionalism, and generating more business.

Here are some pointers on how your pharmacy can get the most out of its clean room:

Conclusion

Clean rooms that are designed only for functionality, placed out of sight and near an exterior wall for easy venting, are missing an opportunity to serve as a major marketing tool for those pharmacies that are focused on growth.

For a well-run and fully compliant pharmacy, the only downside of making a clean room more visible and more central to the business is the added expense. This expense is quickly negated by the increased volume that a prominently located clean room can generate.

Ernest P. Gates, Jr., RPh, FASCP, FIACP, is president of Gates Healthcare Associates ( http://www.gatesconsult.com/), a pharmaceutical and healthcare consulting firm that provides extensive clinical, programmatic, and regulatory knowledge and insight to organizations nationally and abroad.