Madison Pharmacy Associates’ founder Marla Ahlgrimm saw the need to start a pharmacy specializing in women’s health when she realized her own boss was unsupportive of the work she and her associates were doing to help women manage the symptoms of PMS. “Women are all neurotic anyway and should be on tranquilizers,” Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Marla Ahlgrimm recalls the manager saying.
Still, starting a new business isn’t easy. When she and a colleague decided to found Madison Pharmacy Associates, a Madison, Wisconsin based business focused on women’s health, she found almost everyone tried to talk her out of it. Financial institutions balked at the idea and the Madison Pharmacy Associates founders learned they’d have to interpret state and federal regulations to meet their own business’ specialized focus.
According to Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Ahlgrimm, most Americans had never heard the term premenstrual syndrome or PMS, although research had been done in Europe on the syndrome. Madison Pharmacy Associates focused on developing unique treatments for women dealing with irritability, mood swings, depression, headaches and other moderate to severe symptoms each month.
Because PMS was a new field, Madison Pharmacy Associates had to develop all of the educational materials. The staff at Madison Pharmacy Associates introduced customized natural hormone prescription compounding which is now provided from pharmacies through out the country.
Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Marla Ahlgrimm, R.Ph. recalls the challenges of starting a new business. “Gearing up to start a small business means confronting questions about financing,” states the co-founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates. “How will I know how to do everything from bookkeeping to managing employees? What if I make a wrong decision? Will I have the energy to make the business grow?”
Over time, Madison Pharmacy Associates worked through all of these issues and more, becoming one of the country’s foremost leaders in the field of women’s hormonal health. Beginning small—in the early days, Madison Pharmacy Associates was only 700 square feet—Madison Pharmacy Associates gradually added experienced pharmacists, nurses, and health educators who added to Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision.
“In contemplating starting a business, the most important challenge lies in evaluating and following your personal values which, while tangible and immeasurable, not only define your path to success, they insure it,” Marla Ahlgrimm, co-founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates, concludes.
The information in this article has been previously published and is provided as a reference resource by Marla Ahlgrimm, R.Ph. Madison Pharmacy Associates was sold in 2011. Marla Ahlgrimm is also the co-founder and President of Cyclin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The company sells proprietary products for the women’s health market as well as ProCycle PMS and ProCycle Gold products. For more information, go online to www.cyclinpharma.com