Compound interest in drugs
By ED SOUTHORN
WANT medicine for your lizard, prescription gel for your cat or anaesthetic lollipops for kids going to the dentist?
Hong Kong-born Horatio Ng is one of only about 100 compounding pharmacists in Australia.
As well as dispensing medicines from drug companies, he makes them himself for patients who may be allergic to dyes or other non-active ingredients in mass-produced pharmaceutical products.
Mr Ng also helps patients requiring special dosages or who are unable to swallow tablets and can only take medicine in liquid suspension.
And he provides veterinary medicines, for cats and unusual pets like reptiles.
Mr Ng has a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Sydney and recently set up a compounding chemist at the Showcase shopping centre in Coolangatta.
He said yesterday that up to 20 per cent of people required compounding prescriptions, although only one per cent of his turnover was presently from compounding.
He has a mortar and pestle used by chemists up until the 1950s, but mostly uses more sophisticated machines for his compounding, able to measure minutely accurate dosages, and works in consultation with GPs and vets.
Mr Ng came to Sydney when he was 17, completed his university studies and opened a compounding pharmacy at Dural in north west Sydney.
He likes Australia's sense of opportunity and sunshine.
His wife Irene and two young children are in Sydney and he commutes weekly to Coolangatta.
Mr Ng intends to train pharmacists in compounding and set up a compounding laboratory as part of his Coolangatta business.