PHARMACY

Centric Health Resources head to address 5th Annual Rare Disease Leadership Summit

BY Michael Johnsen

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. The 5th Annual Rare Disease Leadership Summit being held Wednesday in Arlington, Va., will feature a presentation from Craig Kephart, president and CEO of Centric Health Resources, around the importance of patient care in administering orphan drugs.

“It is important to know your patient — in fact, it is a requirement,” Kephart stated. “This presentation will explore the importance of understanding what your patient really wants and how to drive patient satisfaction,” he said. “It’s not simply providing individuals information about the benefit of a new drug, it’s also about providing a higher quality of life. Pharmaceutical manufacturers who grasp this concept stand a better chance of building loyal customers for life.”

Kephart will focus on the opportunities for manufacturers to forge relationships and build patient allegiance, starting with the launch phase of an orphan drug.

“Manufacturers will have a better understanding of why it is valuable to shed the traditional large-market pharmaceutical commercial models that until now, have dominated the market,” he explained. “These transaction-based models may be a short-term solution to get the drug into the marketplace, but they do not offer a long-term solution that is best for the patient. What works best for patients is helping them to live a better life.”

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Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy names new VP operations

BY Alaric DeArment

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. Privately owned Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has hired a new executive to oversee its day-to-day operations, Diplomat said Monday.

The company hired Robert Fleckenstein as VP operations, a position in which he will manage operations at Diplomat’s national distribution center, patient service operations, call center, oncology department and other services at its headquarters, reporting to SVP operations Jeff Rowe.

“It is a very exciting time for Diplomat Pharmacy, and I am very pleased to be part of the team,” Fleckenstein said. “As the individual responsible for operations at the new Great Lakes Biotech Center, I plan to develop the training modules and management tools that allow us to continue to grow efficiencly and effectively without losing sight of the patient-care model and the culture that has allowed us to reach this point.”

Fleckenstein previously served as VP pharmacy operations for Allion Healthcare and VP pharmacy operations at CVS ProCare Mail Service.

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NCPA: Other options exist for mail-order pharmacy customers

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Planned cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service, particularly cancellation of Saturday delivery, have had mail-order pharmacies and patients worried about how patients will get their medications in an efficient and affordable way, but the National Community Pharmacists Association is using the problem as an opportunity to promote independent pharmacies.

“The hand-wringing about what losing a day of mail services means for patients is overblown because common-sense remedies are available through independent community pharmacies,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Evidence suggests that Americans, whether they live in densely or sparsely populated areas, have access to independent community pharmacies that can fill the void, even providing home delivery services.”

The organization sent a letter Monday to U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission chairwoman Ruth Goldway to promote independents as an alternative to mail-order medication delivery.

“NCPA believes that other options exist to ensure patient access to needed medications if changes are made to mail delivery,” read the letter, signed by NCPA SVP government affairs John Coster. “These include eliminating mandatory mail-order programs that deny patients the opportunity to receive medications from their local community pharmacist, as well as utilizing home-delivery programs where community pharmacists deliver medications to the patient’s doorstep.”

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