Alexandria, Va. - Feb. 22, 2012
National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement in response to the announced formation of the RxAlly Performance Network, an alliance uniting a number of pharmacy buying groups that represent many independent community pharmacies, regional chains, and the Walgreens pharmacy chain:
"NCPA believes in, and advocates for, aligning the interests of patients, payers and pharmacists to achieve better health outcomes at lower cost. Establishing the Mirixa Corporation is one example of NCPA's extensive work to advance that goal. Similarly, NCPA supports other efforts to unify and network independent community pharmacies, which are highly regarded by consumers, serve diverse geographic locations, and generate value as vital small businesses in communities throughout the United States. The launch of RxAlly represents a unique combination of the strengths of community pharmacies with the corporate resources of Walgreens. Recognizing the value of the pharmacist in serving patients has long been a challenge of the profession and RxAlly believes it can help address this problem.
"Health problems such as the proper use of medications and the worsening primary care shortage cry out for new solutions. As accessible, highly trained health care professionals, community pharmacists are ideally situated to help address these and other needs. Identifying this opportunity, in 2006 NCPA founded Mirixa, which has proven the effectiveness of community pharmacy-based patient care by reducing medical costs for payers and improving health for patients.
"The pharmacy model of an independent community pharmacy and that of a publicly traded company like Walgreens clearly differ in a number of respects. A publicly traded corporation must answer to its shareholders and deal with quarterly earnings expectations. While pharmacy small business owners should exercise due diligence, the potential for a network combining the unique strengths of independent pharmacies, regional chains, and Walgreens creates an intriguing business venture. It's worth noting that Walgreens has espoused its desire for a health wellness business model that takes advantage of its physical locations and services its pharmacies would provide. The recent Walgreens-Express Scripts, Inc. standoff and the decision to sell its pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) seem to reinforce that strategy.
"NCPA commends the intentions of the pharmacy groups behind RxAlly. Pharmacist-delivered medication adherence and other patient care services are cost effective tools to improve patient care and lowering overall healthcare costs. RxAlly has the potential to be an important part of those efforts."
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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