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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Mark Drugs Pharmacy Offers Customized Medications

Sep 17, 2019 12:40PM

Craig Batogowski, Pharm.D., IACP

by Carrie Jackson

Health care is not one-size-fits-all, and the prescription medicine we take shouldn’t be, either. That is the philosophy at full-service Mark Drugs Pharmacy, with locations in Roselle and Deerfield, that specializes in the custom compounding of medications for both people and animals. Since 1990, they have been providing tailored prescriptions, medical equipment, nutritional services and comprehensive, holistic health care planning to patients wishing to take control of their own health. By integrating the knowledge and treatment modalities of a variety of practitioners, they have established themselves as a compounding leader and innovator in Illinois.

        Mark Drugs staffs a team of doctors, nutritionists, pharmacists and other specialists that collaborate to ensure each patient’s specific needs are met. In addition to compounding, Mark Drugs offers consultations for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, probiotic therapy, weight and dietary management, and pain management. The Roselle location houses an 1,800-square-foot warehouse of medical equipment for sale or rental. Both locations offer supplies for clients that have had mastectomies or chemotherapy, including breast prosthetic bras, wigs, lymph sleeves and bathing suits.

        Craig Batogowski, Pharm.D., IACP, is a prescription compounding specialist in the Deerfield location who has been with Mark Drugs since 2008, and says that compounding is an invaluable resource for patients with allergies or that need unique dosages. “Many common prescription and over-the-counter medications contain fillers other inactive ingredients that people and animals can be sensitive to. These can include gluten, peanut oil, lactose, corn or preservatives. We create a formula with the same active ingredients, but none of the allergens, specifically for each patient. We’re also able to customize a specific dosage, such as slow release, or create a lozenge, transdermal gel or suppository for patients who can’t swallow a regular pill,” he explains. The pharmacy also delivers to Wisconsin and Indiana, as well as the greater Chicagoland area.

        Mark Drugs sees a number of patients that receive bioidentical hormone therapy to restore and maintain hormone balance. “Men and women both start to lose hormones as they age, including estradiol, testosterone, DHEA and progesterone. This can result in unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, low libido, hot sweats and general fogginess. By using hormones that are biologically identical to the ones produced in the body naturally, we create a treatment to meet each patient’s body chemistry that allows them to feel truly balanced,” says Batogowski.

        Weight loss is another highly personal process that the pharmacy helps tailor to the individual. Their team of nutritionists and pharmacists work to customize a plan that may include the use of HCG, a naturally produced hormone that has been shown to help the body release fat in conjunction with a low-calorie diet. “Our comprehensive programs include not just hormones and supplements, but meal plans, recipes, education and emotional support,” says Batogowski.

        The team at Mark Drugs treats almost as many animals as they do humans. “We see a lot of canines and felines and other pets who need specific dosages for chemo medications and other complicated conditions. Medicated chew treats are popular with many of our animal clients, in flavors they love. If the animal can’t swallow, we make a transdermal gel that is applied topically and passes through the skin directly to the bloodstream,” says Batogowski.

        Mark Drugs also carries supplements, including their own line called Synergy Blends. “We see a lot of vitamin D deficiency, which supplements can help with. We also sell a lot of fish oil, probiotics, iron, magnesium and CoQ10. The high quality of ingredients make them highly absorbable and easier for the body to utilize. We’ve seen a recent increase in demand for CBD oil, which has been shown to help with sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety and inflammation. Some digestive enzymes contain bovine spleen or stomach, which can be very effective, but aren’t suitable for vegetarians or vegans. For people with a lot of sensitivities, we tend to recommend supplements with rice flour, which is a very low allergen risk,” Batogowski explains.

        Community education is just as important as filling prescriptions, so that patients can maintain their path to wellness. Mark Drugs hosts seminars, exhibitions, professional conferences and more, including a summer lecture series on the last Saturday of the month from May through September.

        Because Mark Drugs operates on a smaller scale than other commercial pharmacies, the staff has more time to devote to each patient. “Part of my job is problem solving. Sometimes I see a patient with a diagnosis of a condition I’ve never heard of, and I have to come up with a formula to match the prescription the doctor wrote that is just right for the patient,” says Batogowski. “It’s an interactive process; part art and part science, with much more communication than at normal pharmacies. We get to know our patients and go out of our way to meet their every need and ensure their overall health and wellness.”


Mark Drugs Pharmacy is located at 1020 N. Milwaukee Ave, Ste. 140, in Deerfield, and 384 E. Irving Park Rd., in Roselle. For more information, call 847-419-9898, email [email protected] or visit MarkDrugs.com.

Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.