A growing number of British Columbians are seeking
alternative treatments at pharmacies for age-related symptoms
As a well-respected compounding pharmacy located in the affluent and bustling community of Kitsilano in Vancouver, Vita Vie Pharmacy owner Hanna Habdank serves a large percentage of baby boomers – and beyond – seeking to improve their quality of life.
“The oldest lady I serve regularly is 90 years old,” says Habdank, whose eldest patient seeks complementary treatments such as herbal remedies from her Vancouver pharmacy. “She tells me her doctor says to her, ‘You don’t want to accept the fact that you’re old,’ and she simply says to me, “No, I don’t!’”
In Habdank’s experience, this attitude towards aging and quality of life is becoming prolific among her long-time customers, many of whom are seeking individualized treatments such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help with PMS management or the effects of aging in menopause and andropause.
“I find it very, very much needed in the population of aging baby boomers,” she notes. “Aging is a part of life, and an area where we often need some guidance.”
In addition to filling standard prescriptions, Habdank offers comprehensive, personalized consultations to her customers seeking complementary treatments to ensure an effective treatment plan is created that takes all current conditions and medications into account. Often times, this involves working closely with physicians to ensure continuity of care.
“It’s all about prevention, prevention, prevention – especially when considering age-related issues such as osteoarthritis, dementia or cardiovascular diseases.”
– Hanna Habdank, Vita Vie Pharmacy
“Most of the time, prescriptions are the suggested approach, but often patients can still feel better through other recommendations such as vitamins, herbs and amino acids that can support their treatment and slow down aging,” she notes. “It’s all about prevention, prevention,
prevention – especially when considering age-related issues such as osteoarthritis, dementia or cardiovascular diseases.”
While Habdank stocks a wide range of supplements, up to 90 per cent of her compounding business is focused on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
(BHRT), in which plant-derived molecules mimic the molecules that are produced in the human body and can be prepared into a variety of different applications. “Very often, this is why my patients have come to me,” she says. “They send their sisters and friends. It has improved the quality of life for many, many women.”
Habdank has found a surge in male inquiries, and notes often times wives, sisters and friends have encouraged the men in their lives to pursue complementary treatments.
“Middle-aged men are often very stressed people,” she says, adding that many of her clientele include high-level professionals and executives seeking supplemental or hormonal therapies for a wide range of issues such as insomnia, stress and anxiety, low energy, as well as age-related decrease in sexual function.
“There can be great benefit to both women and men when it comes to addressing hormonal health.”
By Angela Poon
Article featured in Tablet Magazine Nov /Dec 2016