Pharmacology is the science and practise of preparation, conservation, presentation and distribution of medicines, although the modern era has turn the traditional pharmacies into dispensers of products more than into laboratories where the pharmacist master elaborates his or her magistral preparations to treat any kind of illnesses. Esperanza Serna Montero keeps alive this handmade tradition in her pharmacy in the neighbourhood of Torrefiel (Valencia) where it still can be found handmade magistral preparations.

Q: Since when do you run the pharmacy in Torrefiel?

A: We just burst into the second decade. It is a neighbourhood pharmacy that lives in tune with the citizens. Torrefiel is one of those neighbourhoods where everyone knows each other and, maybe because of that, it is one of those places where the magistral preparation has more sense.

Q: What is a magistral preparation?

Actually it is not more than a specific preparation, generally based on natural products, and in many times it is personalised. Although it is a high technical activity with a great importance in the field of pharmacotherapy, but it is been set aside to many pharmacies against the existing industrial products and the development of big laboratories and pharmaceutical companies; in fact, this is the greatest part of the service of any pharmacy, including ours. What is happening is that, because of my education in homeopathy and mi interest in herbalism, I like to have products thought for a client’s especial necessities. Also, there are currently several monographs in which you can consult typified magistral preparations and the official preparations recognised as medicines.

Q: What kind of magistral preparations do you make?

A: we combine products that requested to us from different clinics with products that we have been developing over the years in the pharmacy, through experimentation or through traditional preparations that are ideal to many affections. Of course, we always are in favour of combine them and or coordinate them with the medical prescribed treatments. We support conventional treatments throughout products or/and natural preparations that have antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Or, for example, specific preventive treatments against lice or atopic skins.

Q: Where do you prepare these preparations?

A: In our pharmacy we have a small formulation laboratory which is totally equipped and adapted to the current normative of Normas de Correcta Elaboración y Control de Calidad de Fórmulas Magistraler y Preparados Oficiales. It has the proper staff, space and equipment, documentations and raw materials. However, we also collaborate with other external laboratories that provide us specific preparations or those which require unusual products. Therefore, we produce several preparations such as personalised anti-age creams, body lotions or hair lotions, etc.

Q: How are these magistral preparations presented?

A: Our magistral preparations are delivered completed seal and properly tagged in order to avoid any manipulation from the exit of our pharmacy until the person uses it. We keep a traditional aesthetic because it is a product made with love and respect for the job’s tradition. That is why we keep handwriting the formulation and the format of the containers.