The New Integrative Pharmacy

As more people turn to alternative medicine, the demand for integrative health services increases. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, in Boulder, Colo., is meeting that demand by offering one-stop shopping for holistic health care. Customers come for science-based information about prescriptions, OTCs, nutritional and herbal supplements, drug-nutrient depletion issues, and drug-herb interactions.

Pharmaca is a full-service pharmacy with high-quality traditional and natural health products displayed side-by-side, and a reference library with printed materials and computer access.

"Sixty percent of people who use alternative medicine don't share that information with their physicians, so it's really important to have pharmacies as resources to help educate customers," says Pharmaca's Brenda Mehos, Pharm.D., one of four staff pharmacists.

Staffing is key to Pharmaca's success—registered pharmacists, certified herbalists and nutritionists, and a homeopathic practitioner all work as a team to provide comprehensive information to customers. In weekly staff meetings, the group chooses a specific category, such as sports supplements, and analyzes each product in that category by reading ingredient labels and evaluating the product's scientific studies.

—Catherine S. Gregory

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