Steve Hoffart Pharm.D., Magnolia Pharmacy

There are also a whole group of tests that Magnolia Pharmacy offers that happen in the pharmacy, but have to be sent out to the lab for results. So they’re not exactly point-of-care tests in the same way that the flu and rapid strep tests are.

For example, Magnolia Pharmacy offers blood testing for thyroid function, inflammatory markers, and nutrient depletions. Then there’s testing for urinary metabolites and iodine levels. The pharmacy offers salivary testing for hormone levels, too.

Hoffart highlights the value of a few of these tests. “We know almost every single drug on the market causes nutrient depletions,” he says. “A lot of side effects can be addressed if we look for vitamin and nutrient depletions due to prescription medications. The company we work with, SpectraCell Laboratories, brings a phlebotomist into our store on a regular basis, and we’ll do about 15 to 20 of those tests every quarter.” Once the results are back, Hoffart can sit down with the patient and look at 35 vitamins and minerals. “We talk about what vitamins and minerals the patient is deficient in, and then we actually tailor a course of supplements specifically for that patient.”

Another area of testing Hoffart has had great success with is testing from ZRT Laboratory for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). “This is one that we started out with a long time ago,” he says. “And it’s been very critical in our success in treating men and women with hormone issues. We can check levels of their sex hormones and generate a cortisol profile, which I think is also extremely important.” This too leads to a supplement regimen to match exactly what each patient’s body needs.

“You’re spending all this money for your vitamins and supplements,” notes Hoffart. “Why not use some simple tests to customize and make sure you’re taking exactly what you need? That’s been a real win for us in terms of vitamin supplements sales, providing clinical consulting and education opportunities.”

One other test Hoffart points to enthusiastically generates a patient’s cardio-metabolic profile. He calls this really unique, and finds that other pharmacists get excited when they hear about the success he’s had with it. “We don’t just look at cholesterol numbers,” he says. “We look at the atherosclerosisty of cholesterol. We look at how inflamed it is, how oxidized it is. We look at inflammatory markers. We look at your good-fat, bad-fat ratio. These are better markers of overall risk of heart attack and stroke.” CT