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Clark Professional Pharmacy

Making a move

by Sally Mitani

From the March, 2013 issue

Clark Professional Pharmacy is moving into a bigger space, in Arlington Square at Washtenaw and Huron Parkway. It's one of a handful of local pharmacies offering an alternative to the cookie-cutter products of the big three chains.

"It's an integrative pharmacy," says Patrice Shook, who's in charge of quality assurance. "Integrative in that we cross over between traditional prescriptions, one-of-a-kind compounds, and nutritional supplements."

Clark Professional Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy. That's traditionally been a source of pride for owners Ed Salamen and Nathan Worthing, both of whom are doctors of pharmacy. Since the New England Compounding Center distributed fungus-contaminated steroids (see p. 25), it's a subject approached warily.

Unlike NECC, Clark is accredited and adheres to rigorous testing protocols. Shook explains that the east coast firm, in addition to running a dirty, unaccredited shop, "was compounding something that was available through a drug manufacturer. That's against the law. Every prescription we compound has to be prescribed by a doctor to a patient."

Rigorous testing and quality control and single-dose manufacturing are expensive. Shook says that after the NECC scandal broke, "we got phone calls from doctors asking if they could buy serum from us. When we told them it would cost $15 a dose, they said, 'But we were getting it at $2.50 a dose from NECC.' Well? Doesn't that tell you something?"

Clark was founded by Olya Lash in 1980, whom Shook calls a "brilliant pharmacist who was customizing hormones for fertility doctors way back in the eighties." She sold the pharmacy to Worthing and Salamen in 2008. Worthing is also a certified nutritionist and a certified menopause practitioner (both roles considered "educational," so not usually covered by insurance). The new store will also expand the skin care and nutraceuticals sections.

Clark took its name from its original location--the Clark Professional Building on Clark Road--and is keeping it. The partners hope to be in the new space by the first week of March.

Clark Professional Pharmacy, 3280B Washtenaw, 434-7333. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Closed Sun.    (end of article)

[Originally published in March, 2013.]


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