Dr. Diana Harshbarger was recently appointed to International Pharmacy Board of Directors.
Diana Harshbarger, Pharm.D., owner of Custom Compounding Centers of America in Kingsport and Johnson City, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists. The IACP is an association representing more than 3,600 pharmacists, technicians, students, and members of the compounding community who focus upon the specialty practice of pharmacy compounding. Diana, a longtime pharmacist, is a devoted advocate for her profession and compounding. But one of the wonderful characteristics about Diana is her ability to relate well with people. It's easy to see that she truly cares for her customers and strives to assist them the best way possible.
This being said, it’s not surprising she was nominated by her peers for the Evelyn Timmons Advocacy Award, presented by Professional Compounding Centers of America, because of her passion and commitment as a female compounding pharmacist. Diana has more than 27 years experience in the pharmacy profession and has been a strong advocate for compounding, serving as a resource to legislators and regulators at the state and federal levels to help educate them about compounding pharmacy.
Compounding pharmacists work directly with prescribers including physicians, nurse practitioners and veterinarians to create customized medication solutions for patients and animals whose healthcare needs cannot be met by manufactured medications.
Each person has individual needs, body types, allergies and tastes. Compounding pharmacy takes all of this and more into consideration. To understand the process, compounding pharmacists combine or process appropriate ingredients using various tools. This may be done for medically-necessary reasons, such as to change the form of the medication from a solid pill to a liquid, to avoid a non-essential ingredient that the patient is allergic to, or to obtain the exact dose(s) needed. It may also be done for reasons such as adding flavors to a medication or altering taste or texture.
Many years ago, compounded medications provided the majority of prescription drug care for patients. Today, most medications are mass-produced by pharmaceutical drug companies. They are designed to treat a specific medical condition for a large group of the population. When a patient has a medical condition that can’t be treated by one of these mass-produced products, that’s when a compounding pharmacist, such as Custom Compounding Centers of America, can help.
The foundation of compounding pharmacy has always been the patient-physician-pharmacist relationship, also known as the “triad” relationship.
When a prescribed medication is made or modified to have characteristics that are specifically prescribed for an individual patient – it is known as "traditional" compounding.
While at Ketron High School in Kingsport, Diana knew she wanted to help others and, while many of her friends were talking about becoming doctors, she started thinking about becoming a pharmacist. She graduated from pharmacy school with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University in 1987 and has been devoted to her passion of helping people ever since.
The pharmacy profession is a family business for the Harshbargers. Diana’s son, Bob, also a Mercer pharmacy graduate, is now working alongside her at Custom Compounding Centers of America.
Two of Diana’s specialties include hormone replacement and anti-aging. While she focuses on women, she has also assisted men with hormone replacement.
“Menopause can completely change your life, cause depression and alter your mood,” Diana said. “After the patient is prescribed hormone replacement, I’ve had women come in feeling better than ever. Couples come in holding hands and tell me how much hormone replacement has improved their relationship.”
Diana is a member of The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), a U.S. federally-registered non-profit organization. The mission of A4M goes along with her focus on the advancement of technology to detect, prevent and treat aging-related disease.
“This is an interest for most women, even here in the Tri-Cities and I want to help them,” said Diana.
Because of her years of experience, she has many memories of successfully helping customers with a wide variety of medical problems. She recalled a gentleman who had surgery for lip cancer and his physician contacted Diana asking her if she could help him with a solution. The gentleman couldn’t even drink water because of the burning sensation on his lips after the surgery. The man received a formulated topical lip balm and when she saw him a few weeks later, his skin was healed and he was eating and drinking once again.
Visit Diana and the staff at Custom Compounding Centers of America for your prescription needs and for more information on compounding pharmacy.
Custom Compounding Centers of America is located at 109 Jack White Drive in Kingsport (423-245-1022) and at 701 N State of Franklin Rd. No. 9 in Johnson City (423-207-4290). Visit their website at www.cccarx.com for additional information.