15 May

I am not a medical professional, nor do I claim to be. The below article is my own research with links to public domains to show where this was located and found. I myself am a Zepbound user (only) and not compounded medications. Please remember, compound medications are not FDA approved drugs or regulated, while the API that make up the compound may be. Therefore, it is my opinion that it is important to know what is within the compound you are taking.  As part of my YouTube videos deep diving into compound tirzepatide I am showing my audience where I found information and how they can find it as well. A lot of pharmacies and platforms were eliminated immediately based on who they prescribe to (which pharmacies). I am not making any claims to the safety or effectiveness of any drug product(s). Links below may contain affiliate programs or sponsorships where I may earn additional earnings. 

Let me show you how I looked up information on compounding pharmacies!

My name is Jennifer, I have currently been on Zepbound - Tirzepatide for 13 weeks as of today (5.15.24). I have documented my entire journey via YouTube vlogs (found here). 

During my journey taking tirzepatide (prescribed via my local endocrinologist originally, who could not get the PA approved - and ultimately via Weight Watchers Clinic/Sequence who DID get he PA approved) I have seen a lot of people reporting out that their insurance does not cover weight loss medication and have been paying out of pocket utilizing the Eli Lilly Savings card (coming to around $550/month) or utilizing compounded medications that can range from ~$300 - $1000+ per shipment, depending upon titration and pharmacy. 

*If you would like to try WW Clinic, here is a referral link for money off your enrollment! Currently WW Clinic only prescribes FDA approved medications. And they also currently assist in prescription locating via the care team.

In one of my previous videos, I obtained a compounded medication just to show how easy the process was - and this sparked a lot of conversations around "ok you showed us information on where you would not obtain it based on your research, so what about other methods to obtain a compound?" 

FYI - If you do watch this video I have found additional information around the location of their tirzepatide source per their CoA. You can find that Here, and Here. Pay close attention to the import refusals from this manufacturer, as well as the excel download from the FDA website of inspection details around the rejections. A lot of "affiliates" of the platform I use or use other platforms that source from this location want to argue that I did not fully research and I promise you, I did. This API supplier import log alone, the fact they are not even on the FDA compounding inspections list, their last state inspection being a BIG fail, not to mention the public forums or angry consumers. The platform never asked for even a video or any record to show I was who I claimed to be? In my state you have to have a full visit for ANY prescription. I would never use anything sent to me from this location. And I stand by that even now. 

Watch Vlogs Here on YouTube

As you may already know, my research into what I received resulted in my leaving this within my refrigerator with full expectation of a manufacturing company legal team one day asking me to turn it over to them as evidence in some type of court case (as mentioned here in the head of the APC letter regarding compounds). In a recent legal case between Eli Lilly and a Compounding facility they stated they had found impurities and also just sugar water being sent out to patients. It was questioned how they obtained such samples that were meant for individual patients. (Raising my hand) People like me willingly turned it over to them for testing. 

Or, as easy as it was to obtain what I did obtain, all they had to do was send a message and input a residential address. No medical record was checked via the process I went through. The platform had emailed me separately as well that the provider who filled my prescription was licensed in my state. Come to find out, no they are not. I looked up their NPI number. So there were a lot of lies and questionable things around that experience for me. 

So let's move on from that and move into what I have since looked into that may help anyone in search of a 503a facility (possibly backed by a 503b facility) that IS listed on the FDA website (listed as 503a - and yes this is located on the FDA website despite the numerous people in my comments on YouTube angrily stating it is not). THIS is where you can find the 503a pharmacies and ALSO look up their inspections, warnings, recalls, and yes, even closures.  Note that a lot of pharmacies with have a "dba" - doing business as - name that is different from their LLC/business entity name. You can additionally look up on any state pharmacy board a pharmacy license (here is an example). It will tell you what type of state inspections they have had and what they are licensed for (i.e. they are licensed for sterile compounding). 

I think it is important for everyone to know where their compound will be coming from and to also look up what they can on that facility. Something I have noticed in the weight loss compound platforms is that they often will not tell you exactly where your medication will be coming from. I personally do not like that. Why somewhere different each time? or why not just be upfront and honest with the public BEFORE they enroll and pay your service platform fees? You may not mind this, and may not care. That is not me. I want to know who, what, where, why, how, and when they were last inspected and what was found. Again, I do not use a compound I use Eli Lilly Zepbound (brand). It is only $25 for me, an FDA approved drug, and from audited and regulated manufacturing facilities. I have done plenty of research on Lilly as well. Coming from a pharmaceutical manufacturing background myself, I know how to dig around into APIs, clinical trials, FDA submissions, warning letters, 483s etc a little more than the general public. I opted to take Zepbound/tirzepatide over Ozempic/Wegovy for numerous reasons that I will move into a separate blog post, one day. 

Let's talk about what you are likely here for. What platform did I research? and What 503a pharmacies do they use?


Additionally, here is $25 off your first 2 shipments from Emerge platform (totaling a savings of $50 total). This is a referral link you can utilize and trial this out. Here are some highlights below why I think this platform will be well liked. 

The Pros:

- They only utilize 503a pharmacies, Hallandale, Empower, and South Lake (I will additionally place 411 on each of these are the bottom of this blog post for easy access) One has no additives, one adds b3, one adds b12

- You can pause at any time for any reason

- They accept HSA/FSA according to their website 

- NO minimum BMI

- Refills at week 3; via text

- It is a licensed MD and Nurse practitioners that run this via texting. You CAN ask anything at anytime.

- If you get nausea and vomiting and need something like Zofran, you can also request this via text to be called into a local pharmacy

- There are 0 shipping fees

- There are 0 requirements or commitment to so many months

- There are 0 platform or Dr fees (yes NO platform fees)

- You can special request a 12.5 mg compound (current patients only) 

- OVERNIGHT shipping on cold packs via FedEx, and yes they provide you the tracking! 

*Pricing (below prices are PRE coupon code above. Therefore you would take $25 off these prices for the first 2 months with the link above) *Prices are subject to change at any time - this was taken from the emerge website directly on 5.15.24. Currently serving all states, except CA. 

The Cons

- Depending on your state telehealth requirements, this will dictate what type of intake is required for you and if you need to video or can simply test. (Use the link in blue here to look up your state)

- They do not prescribe name brand, only compounds via these 3 pharmacies

- 2 of the 3 options add in B vitamin additives, however you can ask the MD/Nurse can they submit to the option with no other additives

- I am still gathering information from these pharmacies around their compound quality control testing methods

- For patients whose insurance covers name brand, switching to a compound can be costly. 

What I did after I found out the 3 pharmacies they use was to contact each of them and ask what they add (if anything) to their tirzepatide. Some of them have it listed on their website, some do not. According to Hallandale pharmacist, they do not add anything - this was their response: 

One thing that stood out to be above other than they do not use any additives (which I like because I have allergic reactions to B vitamins, and this would have to be the option I would use because of that) but they went a step further and ALSO told me who their supplier of their tirzepatide was. Much like the YouTube video pharmacy I reviewed told me via their CoA that theirs came directly from THIS supplier (who has had everything rejected at import for awhile now). Hence why I left that compound in my fridge and still to this day have never opened it. 

Here is Darmerica same platform report for inspections via the FDA. This is who Hallandale uses. One thing to note is that Darmerica regardless of where they obtain their tirzpeatide from, being an FDA approved distributor should mean that they are testing the purity and integrity of every raw material they receive BEFORE distributing it out to pharmacies, like Hallandale. I did find that they had a self recall (mislabeling) in previous years. I did reach out to Darmerica for a CoA of their tirzepatide, with no response to date. Here is an additional list of compounders via the FDA website

Below is a quick list of each of the pharmacies that emerge uses and links to external data on each of them. Yes, I heard you all, I did the research for you! Now it's up to you to look at it.  YES, you can request that your shipment comes from a specific center via Emerge. You also can request a certain dosage/titration and to titrate up or down - with explanation to the medical staff. 

*The below information is to provide additional 411 to the public for research, each link is clickable to an external public record. It is not intended to demonstrate purity, sterility, effectiveness, etc. of each pharmacy compounded medication

Pharmacy - State License Link503a/b?Additive to tirzepatidePCAB Accredited?FDA Link to Inspections/Warnings

A little more about empower via Video: 

The above YouTube video covers all of these findings for the Emerge platform pharmacies. 

As with any company you are going to be able to find real patient reviews, BBB submissions, and additional information via social media platforms or google. I would review everything possible before making a choice. If information is not available via the FDA website you can additionally request via an FIOA form. Be sure to search the FDA full digital library prior to making any requests for information. You can also contact the state pharmacy board for additional information if the state online system does not have it available. You can also contact pharmacies directly, like I did. 

Here are some of the additional (non government system) feedback on each of these places (link information subject to change based on date. If you find something to share, save it/bookmark it): 

*I have previously also stated that Olympia Pharmacy being 503b supplying a 503s facility would be a compound I would also consider or look into. The pricing for this is listed below. This seemed to be unrealistic pricing to most of my audience for their prices to be so close to name brand out of pocket costs. To me, my concern with them has been the lack of information they are willing to provide outwardly. 

Make sure you follow my Zepbound journey - HERE! Follow me on Youtube  

Happy researching everyone! 

- Jennifer 

* The email will not be published on the website.