We are delighted to announce Nora Kabbani from Newport High as the winner of the student essay contest.
This year, student authors were asked to describe their experience about compounding pharmacy lab and how to improve community awareness on personalized medicine.
We extend a hearty congratulations to our winner, and to every student from Newport High who entered the essay contest. Thank you for participating!
Student Essay by Nora Kabbani
First off, I would like to mention just how grateful I am to have experienced the Key Compounding Lab. Even though we were only there for a short period of time, I undoubtedly gained a lot of information and knowledge that I will surely pass on to others!
Before the tour, we got the chance to hear a presentation about the Key Compounding Lab as well as the amount of time, energy, resources, attention to detail, specific patient and manufacturing information, money, and math that goes into it. I had no idea before coming in that manufacturing drugs would be both difficult and rewarding at the same time. The ability to produce medication and pharmaceuticals from scratch that are specifically catered to the patient’s various needs and restrictions is incredible to me. I realize now how much patience, intuition, and understanding it takes to perform a job correctly at the Key Compounding Lab. Likewise, I am now aware of how much of an impact you can make on someone’s life by working in a facility like this- not just for those you are developing pharmaceuticals for, but also for those who work around you. One of the greatest takeaways from the entire experience was the overwhelming sense of community that was present in the entire company. The goals of the Key Compounding Lab, as opposed to other companies’ is to empower individuals through granting them personalized care. That moto and statement is not only selfless, but it is realistic, which is the greatest promise of the company.
During the tour, I learned so many things about compounding that I was not aware of before entering. First and foremost, you have to wear booties on your feet when you enter the lab! I had no idea that that even the dirt that is picked up by your shoes can affect the quality and effectiveness of the specific products that are contrived in the lab. I thought it was very beneficial to take the time to introduce all of the safety precautions needed in order to enter and tour the lab, even though we weren’t going to manipulate anything.
I was extremely fascinated by the way that the capsules were set up and then filled. I was unaware up until I asked that the capsules themselves were made out of gelatin! That was new information for me, which definitely answered a lot of other questions I was wondering about. Additionally, the machine used to smooth out creams and lotions very much stood out to me as well because of its versatility as well as how easy it was to clean! Being in Biotech this year has taught me a lot about equipment safety and sanitation, so I was definitely impressed with how well that machine, as well as others were cleaned so easily and effectively.
I was unfamiliar with the fact that about a quarter or more of the building was dominated by the transportation of pharmaceuticals to and from the facility all over the country. Considering they ship to about 44 states, it is no wonder the business side of the company is so important and successful! I was surprised to hear that some students that intern at the Key Compounding Lab start out first with the deliveries, then move on to the pharmaceutical end of the company. I was pleased to hear how easy it was to apply for an internship where you can gain both the hands-on learning as well the exposure to working with other individuals- both necessary skills needed in the future.
I especially liked how we were able to make chap stick at the end of the tour! It only took about 10 minutes to get through all 30 of us, so that was impressive in it of itself. We were able to gain lots of practice using syringes with both small scale and larger scale measurements alongside them. I had no idea that syringes that only held a milliliter could be used for lotions and creams! I personally found testing out those lotion-filled syringes very entertaining, but I can see how there is an applicable need and use for those small measuring devices for restricted individuals.
A great and effective way of educating the community about compounding is by advertising to the widest range of audiences in order to appeal to as many different types of individuals as possible. The most important thing to emphasize is how all medications can be tailored to meet the specific and individualized needs of the patient. Most people assume that the pharmaceuticals they need are the same over the counter ones everyone else takes: the ones advertised on the television that supposedly relieve all pain in one general medication. Compounding should also be advertised in all locations where medication is sold, as the majority of clients will come from there (i.e. Bartel Drugs, Rite Aid, Safeway Pharmacy, etc)! What I would stress the most is to emphasize how Key Compounding Lab is not like any other place where you obtain your medication, and that the treatment found at the lab is unlike the treatment found at other places because each capsule, lotion, pill, patch, etc. is made for you and only you!