News

RxAlly closes: Vision of a national network to advance pharmacy practice fades

BY Jim Frederick

Goodbye to a friend of pharmacy.

In this case, we’re not talking about an individual; we’re talking about a fledgling company called RxAlly, and about its grand but ultimately unsuccessful plan to combine the collective strengths of thousands of pharmacies to advance a higher and more engaged form of pharmacy practice. So, as much as anything, we’re saying goodbye to an idea.

It was a good idea. RxAlly got up and running some 18 months ago with a noble vision: to bring together “an unprecedented alliance of pharmacies united to help patients achieve better health through personalized pharmacist care while reducing costs,” in the words of its leaders.

For a while, it did just that. At its peak before announcing last week that it was shuttering its operations, RxAlly had signed up a national network of more than 22,000 chain and independent pharmacies working to advance patient-care services and cost-effective solutions for patients and health plan payers.

What’s more, it was led by a couple of retail pharmacy thoroughbreds: CEO Bruce Roberts, who emerged as independent pharmacy’s most articulate and visible defender in his years as head of the National Community Pharmacists Association; and Rebecca Chater, who served as one of chain pharmacy’s top visionaries and champions on behalf of a higher form of pharmacy practice and patient care in her years as head of clinical services for Raleigh, N.C.-based Kerr Drug. Chater joined RxAlly in late 2012 as VP-health outcomes.

Announcing its board’s decision to shutter the operation, RxAlly said Friday it was “disappointed in this outcome,” but mindful of “the progress we made in developing a shared interest in advancing pharmacist care.” And there was progress, including supporting pilot projects to boost patient adherence and the release of a white paper in May, “Personalized Pharmacist Care: Healing America’s Post-Reform Health Care System,” that fleshes out the concept of “individually tailored, pharmacist-provided clinical and consultative services to improve patient quality of life and optimize clinical and economic outcomes” as a solution to America’s overwrought and overstretched health system.

The closing of RxAlly is a disappointment to some advocates of a higher form of pharmacy practice, but it doesn’t signal any retreat by the profession or the retail pharmacy industry from their long campaign to elevate pharmacy’s place in the U.S. health system and engage more directly with patient outcomes and cost-effective care solutions.

What’s your take on the closing of this 18-month effort to weld together a national force for advancing pharmacy-based clinical care? Is it a real defeat or just a setback on pharmacy’s road to a new and higher level of practice and patient engagement?


Are you a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant? Join our Facebook group to get all the latest news dedicated to delivering healthcare services to patients in retail pharmacy clinics.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

J.COBB says:
Sep-04-2013 11:40 pm

RxAlly was a good concept, something pharmacy has been wanting for years, but was doomed from the beginning. Pharmacists have been asking for more clinical roles for years, something RxAlly was to deliver, and to be paid fairly for these services, something RxAlly did not deliver. Our profession has been pushed around and dictated to for too long and RxAlly's failure highlights this fact. We are highly educated well trained clinical professionals and we deserve payment for our services that reflects this. We have proven our worth many times over, we are beyond proving, now is the time to demand proper payment for our services. RxAlly could have been the start of something big,instead it was a complete flop, not because of the idea or concept, but because of the lack of reasonable reimbursement. So for now goodbye RxAlly and SmartD maybe you will be resurrected in the near future with a payment structure pharmacy can live with.

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
News

Akorn buys Hi-Tech Pharmacal for $640 million in cash

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Akorn on Monday morning announced its proposed acquisition of Hi-Tech Pharmacal for $640 million in cash.

“This is a transformative event for our company," stated Raj Rai, Akorn’s CEO. "The portfolio of Hi-Tech products is a great strategic fit to our currently marketed products as it diversifies our offering to our retail customers beyond ophthalmics to other niche dosage forms such as oral liquids, topical creams and ointments, nasal sprays and otics. In addition, we are excited about Hi-Tech’s product pipeline which would further enhance growth opportunities for the combined platform," he said. “The acquisition of Hi-Tech will also add branded OTC products in the categories of cough and cold, nasals, and topicals to Akorn’s existing TheraTears brand of eye care products. We also plan to capitalize on the manufacturing capabilities of Hi-Tech to further expand our presence in the private label OTC business.”

Hi-Tech specializes in difficult-to-manufacture liquid and semi-solid dosage forms and produces and markets a range of oral solutions and suspensions, as well as topical ointments and creams, nasal sprays, otics, sterile ophthalmics and sterile ointment and gels products in both the pharmaceutical and over-the-counter arenas. 

Akorn currently has 57 abbreviated new drug applications filed with the Food and Drug Administration with a combined annual addressable IMS market size of approximately $5.6 billion. Hi-Tech has 18 filed aNDAs with a combined annual addressable IMS market size of approximately $2.6 billion, Akorn reported. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Akorn will pay $640 million in cash, or $43.50 per share. This represents a 23.5% premium over the closing price on August 26. The combined company is expected to have annual revenues in excess of $500 million.

The acquisition will be subject to customary conditions, including termination of the waiting period under the provisions of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. Pending the satisfaction of such customary conditions, Akorn anticipates closing the transaction in the first quarter of 2014.


Are you a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant? Join our Facebook group to get all the latest news dedicated to delivering healthcare services to patients in retail pharmacy clinics.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
News

Annual physicals occur just prior to BTS season

BY Michael Johnsen

Nearly 8-out-of-10 viewers who bring their child to the doctor’s office for a physical are doing so one to three months before school starts, according to an online survey of more than 500 AccentHealth viewers conducted in July. The majority of viewers indicated they begin their shopping about one month before school starts — either after or overlapping the timing for back-to-school physicals. To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is an exclusive consumer insights feature that appears regularly in DSN magazine, as well as the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask more than 6,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to reder@lf.com.

Source: AccentHealth. To view the demographic breakdown of participants, click here.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?