Andrew Hanna is a certified compounding pharmacist. Andrew is the founder of the pharmacy Cotton Mill Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy that compounds prescriptions for clients. A specialty pharmacy is a pharmacy that makes medications from scratch. This helps patients receive the precise amount of medication that is needed for their treatment. Andrew enjoys being able to create solutions for patients with complicated pharmaceutical needs.
Cotton Mill Pharmacy can also make custom flavor formulations for children, like medicated gummy bears and lollipops to help ease the children into a routine of taking their medications rather than trying to force them to take a pill or medication that can be easily be rejected by children making it harder for them to follow a routine required to keep the healthy.
Separate from his compounding business, Andrew is also a medical cannabis consultant. He helps set up clients who are interested in learning about and obtaining cannabis for medical purposes, such as pain relief, nerve pain, and mental health. He also provides topical Botox facial creams at his pharmacy. Andrew’s Topical Botox provides benefits similar to a facelift, but without injections that some might find uncomfortable.
Andrew Hanna attended Laurentian University with his Bachelor’s degree and then went to Misr University for science and technology to complete his degree in pharmacy and on to the University of Toronto he participated in the bridging program for his degree in Pharmacy. Before starting his own specialty pharmacy, Mr. Hanna got his early experience with pharmacies within retail outlets including Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, and Costco.
What surprised you the most when you started your career, what lessons did you learn?
I was surprised when more experienced staff would come to me with questions, and I had to learn to make quick decisions.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting in your industry?
I would say enjoy your work and take the time to learn it so you will do well. I love what I do and I love to stay on top of the industry to see what is next and how I can be a part of that.
If you could change anything about your industry what would it be and why?
I would change the way that pharmacists are perceived. We are the most readily accessible healthcare professionals out there, but few people seem to realize they can come to us for help. We are often viewed as someone selling a product rather than someone to come to for our expertise.
Getting to know my patients and their medical history helps me do my job to make sure they are taking their medications properly and they understand how to monitor if they are having any side effects that they might need to tell me or their doctor.
How would your colleagues describe you?
I believe they would describe me as ambitious, fearless, and a risk taker. Many of my colleagues come to me for advice or to work something out. We respect each other because we know we are here to help our patients.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I have not had a good work/life balance. I have often focused a lot on work. I am trying to create a better balance now and taking some time to enjoy being outdoors and rollerblading. I need to take some time out for myself and to be with friends and family in order to be healthier and stronger, mentally and physically.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
There are several apps on my phone that help me to stay in touch with the world that I really appreciate. My staff uses a virtual care software that allows us to interact with patients virtually. They can message us or chat with us through that software.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I have felt inspired by the lives of scientists such as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Nicholas Tesla because they were creative scientists who created amazing things that we are still using today, though we still can’t figure out how they did it.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Do the best you can. It really is that simple. If you are doing the best you can then you know that you have given everything to what you are working on and that is all anyone can ask of you.
What does success look like to you?
To me success is inner peace. That is also what freedom is. It is being at peace with yourself. It is not necessarily related to money or financial achievement.