Women’s Health is Unique, Says Marla Ahlgrimm
Q: Why is it so important to focus solely on women’s health needs?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Women and men have genetic differences. There is no other way about it.
Q: How did Madison Pharmacy Associates begin?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Back in the mid-70s, women who suffered recurrent symptoms of what we now know as PMS had very few options for feeling better. We began doing research which set off a chain reaction that led to Madison Pharmacy Associates.
Q: How were women treated for their symptoms at that time?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Most women were told they needed tranquilizers or antidepressants because many practitioners assumed that these symptoms were “all in a woman’s head”. Many women were persuaded to receive unneeded hysterectomies, despite the fact that an actual diagnosis was unavailable.
Q: How did the Madison Pharmacy Associates story get set into motion?
Marla Ahlgrimm: I was working at a traditional pharmacy and a colleague and I had one patient that would come in every month with the same symptoms. We discovered that doctors in Europe had been using progesterone to treat what they called PMS for many years.
Q: Is this the woman who is widely regarded as the first PMS patient in the US?
Marla Ahlgrimm: She is, yes...
Q: How you treat women with different hormone concerns?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Madison Pharmacy Associates offered specialized diagnostic testing. Additionally, customized prescriptions were created using bio-identical estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone.
Q: Do all hormone related issues require the same treatment?
Marla Ahlgrimm: No, because all women are different and will have different needs even if they present with similar symptoms. Simply put there is no “one-size-fits-all” therapy regimen.
Q: How is hormone therapy (HT) administered?
Marla Ahlgrimm: HT may be administered with transdermal creams or patches and vaginal creams. Additionally, hormones are available in tablets and capsules.
Q: It sounds as though there are many options for women needing HT...?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Fortunately, there are almost as many dosing options as there are possible compounds.
Q: How did Madison Pharmacy Associates lead to Women’s Health America?
Marla Ahlgrimm: As Madison Pharmacy Associates grew, so too did our understanding of women’s healthcare needs. Women’s Health America began as a way to influence a healthy lifestyle for women and to treat a variety of other female related complications.
Q: Did Women’s Health America and Madison Pharmacy Associates develop their products around real women or just clinical research?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Both companies have done all they do based on the needs of actual patients. Each pharmacist listens and charts what works and what doesn’t for each individual.
Q: How did Madison Pharmacy Associates grow from a small company to the women’s healthcare empire it is today?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Of course, that was no easy feat. In the beginning, it was very slow – painfully slow. However, as women began feeling better they would tell their friends, who would tell their friends, and so word-of-mouth recommendations became our greatest ally.
Q: What set Madison Pharmacy Associates apart from other female-centered pharmacies?
Marla Ahlgrimm: It was our policy to employ only the profession’s most trusted experts. The consultant pharmacists and healthcare professionals and educators at Madison Pharmacy Associates presented over a century of combined women’s health experience.
Q: Is it true that Madison Pharmacy Associates distributed educational materials free of charge as well?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, Madison Pharmacy Associates has been quite diligent in making sure that every patient is up-to-date on current breakthroughs in women’s health news in life-enhancing products.
Q: What is the Marla Ahlgrimm scholarship fund?
Marla Ahlgrimm: The Marla Ahlgrimm Scholarship fund was founded in 1992 for pharmacy students at the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy to continue their studies in the areas of women’s health.