PHARMACY

Report: Former pharmacy chain CEO Rick Keltsch dies

BY Allison Cerra

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The former head of a now defunct pharmacy chain has died, according to published reports.

Rick Keltsch, who led the Keltsch Bros. pharmacy chain as the company’s president and CEO until its merger with Scott’s Food & Pharmacy — a regional chain that was a subsidiary of Supervalu before being acquired by Kroger in April 2007 — died unexpectedly on Wednesday. He was 64 years old.

Keltsch is survived by his wife Jennie, children and grandchildren.

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PHARMACY

ISPC to DoD: Reject exclusive networks in TPharm

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A group representing specialty pharmacies is calling on the Department of Defense to not use exclusive networks in the Tricare pharmacy program.

The Independent Specialty Pharmacy Coalition said exclusive arrangements for the program, also known as TPharm, were anti-competitive and harmful to patients who rely on specialty care by reducing patient choice and disrupting the continuum of care for them, and that reductions in pharmaceutical costs would not necessarily reduce overall healthcare spending.

“We hope that the DoD will keep in mind the best interests of the ultimate consumers here,” ISPC executive director Russell Gay said. “Narrow specialty pharmacy networks should be rejected because … exclusivity arrangements diminish the quality of patient care.”

Gay also criticized specialty operations owned by pharmacy benefit managers, saying the ownerships created conflicts of interest. “PBMs who own specialty pharmacy services have an incentive to drive business to their own operations, and, ultimately, everyone pays more when these conflicts exist,” Gay said.

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NCPA applauds legislation that will boost PBM oversight in Mississippi

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing the nation’s community pharmacies has applauded legislation introduced in Mississippi that will increase oversight over pharmacy benefit managers.

The National Community Pharmacists Association lauded Mississippi S.B. 2445 and expressed its support of the bill in a letter to state legislators. The bill, NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said, "would end the special treatment for out-of-state, mail-order pharmacies and put local Mississippi pharmacists first."

NCPA noted that there are 441 independent community pharmacies serving patients and employing nearly 5,000 people in Mississippi.

Click here to view the letter.

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