Medical community continues to expand in Unser Gateway.

Compound pharmacy opening at Unser Gateway

A new type of business in Rio Rancho will nestle itself into the Unser Gateway, joining New Mexico Orthopaedics, Gonstead Physical Medicine and others.

Olive Tree Compounding Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy that creates non-sterile customized medications for people and animals, will open its $300,000, 1,504-square-foot space at 1920 Westside Blvd., Suite B by Feb. 10.

The operation is currently a one-woman show ran by Ndidiamaka Okpareke, who graduated from the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy in 2008. She injected her 401k into the project, attained more than $200,000 in funds from U.S. Bank and constructed the office with Mullen Heller Architecture. Now Okpareke is on the last leg of her journey to open her first business.

She said Olive Tree will be the “first and only” such service in the area.

“If you look in the surrounding area of the City of Vision, if you go up to Bernalillo, even on the west side of Albuquerque, there are no compounding pharmacies over here,” she said.

Other compounding pharmacies, such as Duran Central Pharmacy on Central Avenue SW and Rancho Seco Road NW, do exist around the city, including on the Westside.

Compound pharmacy revenues are projected to have an annual global growth of 3 percent through 2020, totaling $6.4 billion, according to research firm IBISWorld.

Okpareke admitted that running this type of business can be difficult — compounding pharmacies in Albuquerque like the Hormone & Anti-Aging Center of New Mexico have failed in the past. The self-declared prevention advocate said she plans to combat that with involvement in the community.

“What I plan to do is use my pharmacy as a point of reference for people who are looking for information, for people who are looking for seminars, hosting educational awareness programs for the children in the communities, for the women,” she said.

In December, Business First reported John Mechenbier of Mechenbier Construction Inc. started a $3.5 million project of new medical office spaces at Unser Gateway, which is anchored by Presbyterian’s Rust Medical Center.

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