Border Compound Pharmacy

Business Name

Border Compounding Pharmacy

Location of Business

2/502 Smollett Street Albury

Your name

Ben Eshelby

Your position in the business

Founding Director

Tell us about your business.

Border Compounding Pharmacy is a high street pharmacy revolutionising people’s perception of community pharmacy.

As the pharmaceutical and personal care industry has risen with mass produced solutions, there has also been a corresponding widening of treatment gaps for the individual. So often, patients and doctors are unable to find a unique solution for their unique issue and health needs are not met by a one size fits all approach. We enable pharmacists to create quality products that solve health problems that arise with these gaps. As the face of quality personalised treatments, advice and effective solutions, we personify the trust of the community pharmacist.

Our knowledge and passion for creating skincare solutions has led to the development of a specialist, small batch manufacturing and formulating arm for personal care products. We have helped clients – from clinics to larger companies to people with an idea - all around Australia develop their own successful skincare ranges.

We have recently expanded this vision to Queensland, with a new store opening on the Sunshine Coast in Maroochydore.

How did you start? Why did you start?

For a pharmacist who always loved the science and chemistry behind pharmacy, working in a traditional community pharmacy always left me wanting more out of my career. After 13 years of working as a community pharmacist at various locations around the world, I realised it was time to focus on following my passion.

Border Compounding Pharmacy had very humble beginnings. We originally opened in a 50m2 space in Lavington. The fit-out was done largely by ourselves to save money which was required for expensive pharmacy equipment. We opened from 10am to midday, Monday to Friday so I could squeeze in a full time day job in local community pharmacies to make ends meet. On lunch breaks I would go and do marketing rounds with local doctor’s surgeries and on days off I would busily research new ideas for making pharmacy products.

Why/how is your business different to other similar businesses?

As a compounding pharmacy, every medicine, skincare product and nutritional supplement we make is done entirely from scratch and personalised for the individual. Many compounding pharmacies are part of an add-on service for regular pharmacies or operate via mail order. We are a compounding only service, that is bringing this specialised area of pharmacy to the high street. We cater for any person, with or without a doctor’s prescription, who has not found an effective manufactured product in a standard pharmacy. This may be for children who need to avoid certain colours, flavours or preservatives, or that cannot swallow their medication. It could be for an elderly person who wishes to try pain relief medications that are not available commercially, or for someone with a skin condition like eczema or acne that has not found relief in existing products.

The word innovation can be interpreted in many ways. Many of us think innovation is technology driven, when is doesn't have to be. What is your idea of innovation and how does it apply to your business?

A reduced pipeline of new drugs and slowing of manufacturing innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, has left a gap in the market for the development of new treatment options. In our case, innovation is developing risk mitigated systems, that allow pharmacists to practice their profession in a way that safely solve public health problems using out of the box thinking by using existing drugs in different ways.

How important would you rate innovation as a key driver of your current and future operations? Why?

In pharmaceutical compounding, innovation is required with nearly every transaction. Every person is different and their compounded pharmacy needs are met at an individual level. As we have matured as a company and looking forward, innovations in decision making processes are made to the way we innovate. Without innovation, we would cease to exist.

If you were guaranteed to reach the targets you set, using future planning and innovative thinking, what would your business look like in 5 years time?

Our target is to change the landscape of community pharmacy in Australia. It is our vision to have compounding pharmacies on the high street of every town and BCP(Border Compounding Pharmacy) a household name.

We are currently living in a very fast changing world, thinking about the last 3 -4 months…

What have you and your business learnt?

In a rapidly changing world, come rapid opportunities. Focus, block out the noise and take some well calculated chances.

What has changed and how have you been able to adapt to that change?

With the ‘Stay at Home’ message, society rapidly accepted a digital age as a matter of necessity and urgency rather than via a slow trend. As a high street retail business, we had to adapt to this and rapidly expanded our online presence, services and facilities. Our model changed from encouraging physical walk in traffic, to one that encouraged ‘virtual’ walk in traffic. We utilised online video conferencing to continue to be able to perform pharmacy and skincare consultations with local delivery services to ensure the products were delivered in a timely manner.

What challenges have you been able to overcome? How?

Over the last few months, challenges have arisen from every facet of everything we do. However, the one commonality that links all of these, and therefore the greatest risk has been: Uncertainty. Rather than concentrate on defensive strategies, we focused on developing a mindset throughout the business that embraced uncertainty. By embracing uncertainty, we harnessed creativity, adaptability and developed dynamism in the business to levels beyond anything we were expecting.

Looking back over your "journey", if you were to start your business from scratch today, what is the one bit of advice you would give yourself?

No matter what you do or how much money you throw at it, a business doesn’t grow quickly at first. It grows slowly over a period of time with lots of hard work, frustration and highs and lows. Then, out of the blue one day, it will cease growing slowly – and explode. Hang in there, stay passionate and focused and wait for this to happen.

If readers of this post wanted to get in touch with you, what are the best ways to reach out.

I can be contacted on, or my phone number is 0405733267.

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