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DSNTV: Peter Kounelis, VP, Elevate Provider Network

BY Rob Eder

Kounelis talked to DSN about Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s unique approach to preferred pharmacy networks, how its strategy differs from its competitors, what factors impact the company’s decision to participate — or not to participate — in a preferred network, and how it is educating its Good Neighbor Pharmacy customers on why participating in every network can hurt their business.

“Two years ago, we caught a lot of heat because many of our competitors were putting out information that you absolutely needed to be in every preferred cost-share network because otherwise you’d lose access to patients,” he told DSN in a candid discussion. “Not only was that not true, it turned out it wasn’t a very smart strategy. There is a point of diminishing return where participating in every network … because you lose the ability — the time, the resources, the wherewithal — to treat the patients you have. At some point it just collapses on its own logic.”

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DSNTV: Chuck Reed, Group VP, Pharmacy Innovation and Solutions, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

BY Rob Eder

Reed told DSN about the work AmerisourceBergen has done to build its Elevate Provider Network into a “smarter” pharmacy services administration organization, enabling its customers to maximize reimbursement opportunities, plug profit leaks, deliver access to patient lives, and perhaps most important, how it is helping its customers to outperform the rest of the pharmacy market in both the EQuIPP Star ratings and prescription growth.

“Seventy percent of our members have a five-star ranking in one or more of the adherence measures in the EQuIPP Star ratings system. Of those, 40% of our stores have one or more scores in the top 20% of all pharmacies,” Reed said. And citing data from IMS for the 12 months ended May 2016, “the market grew at 1.9%,” he told DSN. “Drug chains had only 2.9% growth and independents were flat, yet our independents grew 3.4%.”

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DSNTV: Chuck Ball, SVP, Distribution Services, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp.

BY Rob Eder

Ball talked to DSN about the work the company has done to improve its customer experience, including a massive $1 billion investment in infrastructure that has modernized its supply chain, including several new distribution centers and new technology that is helping to make it easier for its customers to do business with AmerisourceBergen — and helping the company reach new levels of what Ball describes as “operational agility.”

Using the example of a recent major generic drug launch, Ball told DSN about how the investments are allowing AmerisourceBergen to respond faster than ever to customer and manufacturer needs. “Because of FDA requirements, we couldn’t release the orders until 12:01 am that Monday, but the manufacturer wanted distribution to all customers on Monday morning,” he explained, adding that in the past, it would have had to deliver the orders that Tuesday. “I am proud to say we got 99.9% of the product delivered on Monday.”

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