COCKEYSVILLE, Md. —Despite his role in the foundation of independent pharmacy buying group Epic Pharmacies, president and CEO Angelo Voxakis takes pride in the democratic nature of the company. Its 14 board members, including Voxakis, are pharmacy owners elected to three-year staggered terms.
Traditions aside, a lot has changed at Epic over the past year. Last year, the group had 650 members. Now, that number stands at more than 1,000—a 35% increase. Part of the buying group’s growth stems from its partnership last year with Spartanburg, S.C.-based wholesale drug company JM Smith.
“They’ve been a great partner to work with, as well as our other partners,” Voxakis told Drug Store News. Additional partners include McKesson, Cardinal Health and others.
But another major change for Epic has been the Pharmacy Compliance Alert Program, or PharmCAP, which was created to help pharmacies establish compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Medicare Part D. The program already has drawn a positive response from members.
“Many of our stores have thanked us for this program,” Voxakis said.
According to PharmCAP’s Web site, the program is able to provide Medicare Part D compliance policies, training materials and certification forms for fraud, waste and abuse, and conflict of interest; forms, training materials and policies for HIPAA and other resources; and help members comply with requirements for employee background checks.
Epic also has a subsidiary, the EpicNetwork, which now serves around 1,900 stores. The network negotiates with third-party payers and ensures that member pharmacies get maximum reimbursement from their third-party contracts.