Marla Ahlgrimm Explains How Madison Pharmacy Associates Began

Madison Pharmacy Associates, at one time among the most respected pharmacies in the country, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in the late 1970s. Marla Ahlgrimm and a colleague, began working with one “special” woman who suffered from severe PMS every month. According to Ahlgrimm, at the time, prescription tranquilizers , antidepressants and even a hysterectomy were the recommended treatment options for such PMS symptoms as depression, mood swings, and anxiety. “She was told her symptoms were all in her head,” Ahlgrimm recalls.

The founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates is often referred to as Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm by her many patients, friends and staff. She is known home and abroad for her revolutionary ideas in treating women’s health issues. Over 7000 physicians and 300,000 women have been educated and given the tools to help manage premenstrual syndrome thanks to her. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm goes above and beyond just patient consultation and has been known to consult with patient and physician when working a customized management plan. According to Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, it is this connection with her patients and their physicians that led to the success of Madison Pharmacy Associates.


Marla Ahlgrimm and her colleague, were able to identify these symptoms as PMS. As pharmacists, the future founders of Madison Pharmacy Associates worked with her doctor to develop a treatment for her. Using natual progesterone, Marla Ahlgrimm was able to help this first patient. Word of the work Madison Pharmacy Associates was doing soon spread reaching women and their doctors around the nation.

Even though she is sometimes referred to as Dr., Marla Ahlgrimm is a pharmacist and entrepreneur. As the founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates, she says that it has always been the practice’s goal to make patients feel like they are the most important person in the room. Her goals have never been to outdo her competition, but simply to create a pharmacy with a comprehensive understanding of women’s health needs. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm says that her experiences with her family’s business have helped her to guide Madison Pharmacy Associates to be the best, simply for the sake of being good at what they do. Following in Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm’s footsteps, the practice will continue to do just that.


In 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was founded as the first pharmacy in the country to specialize in women’s health. Today, Marla Ahlgrimm is proud to find that many of the women who once sought advice from Madison Pharmacy Associates about PMS are now turning to her again for support during perimenopause. Ahlgrimm, co-author of the books The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome, brought the term premenstrual syndrome to the U.S., helping countless women. In fact, she has helped over 300,000 women and 7,000 physicians since Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates in the early 1980s.

Though is she not a Dr., Marla Ahlgrimm is a pharmacist often referred to as “doctor” out of respect, recognizing her three decade long career focusing on women’s health. She and a colleague founded Madison Pharmacy Associates when they realized there was a blatant lack of respect for women with severe premenstrual symptoms. The firm in which they worked dismissed women who are having symptoms every month as neurotic. However, out of this negative energy, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm and her colleague found the strength to create Madison Pharmacy Associates in the early 1980s. Starting up any new business is a difficult task, and today, over 300,000 women are grateful that Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm persevered.


Ahlgrimm’s early work was inspired by a British physician, Dr. Katharina Dalton. Dr. Dalton was doing research on the syndrome when she coined the term PMS in the 1950s. Dr. Dalton’s book, Once a Month, led to research being done  worldwide, including the pharmacy where Ahlgrimm was working at the time. But while Dr. Dalton’s work fueled Ahlgrimm’s interest, Ahlgrimm spent hours compounding her own hormone replacement therapies, as well as working one-on-one with her patients, and this is what made Ahlgrimm a pioneer in her field.

Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is not a PhD; she is an author, entrepreneur and expert on women’s healthcare topics. In 1982, she and a colleague formed Madison Pharmacy Associates as the first pharmacy in the nation to focus primarily on women’s health. At the time, healthcare professionals considered PMS completely psychosomatic. It wasn’t until Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm and her specialized compounds begin reducing PMS symptoms in one specific patient that PMS began to get the attention it deserved. With her colleagues, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm began Madison Pharmacy Associates in a 700 square foot facility and today the firm has grown to treat women in many different countries.


Long before the term women’s health existed, Marla Ahlgrimm and her staff were listening to women talk about their health concerns—what they need, what works for them in managing symptoms, and what doesn’t. That shared history and experience forms the foundation for all of Madison Pharmacy Associates’ products and services. Today, Ahlgrimm’s consulting pharmacists and nurses combine over 100 years of experience in women’s health.

While she is not a PhD, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is well known throughout the medical community for spotlighting PMS as a condition that affects the lives of women worldwide. She is the cofounder of Madison Pharmacy Associates, which deals exclusively with issues affecting women, like PMS and menopause. The pharmacy almost never came to be. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm was highly criticized by other professionals in her field as well as bankers when she went to attain financing. The general consensus was that it would never take off. Fortunately, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is not one to take no for an answer and is now widely respected as a publisher of several books on the subject of hormones and PMS.


The information in this article has been previously published and is provided as a reference resource by Marla Ahlgrimm, R.Ph. The businesses referenced above were 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

Marla Ahlgrimm

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