“The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today announced that Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, has decided to conclude his eight-year tenure as Executive Vice President and CEO on June 25, 2010...Roberts will join BeneCard PBF as President and CEO.”Let me give credit where credit is due. Mr. Roberts has accomplished a lot during his tenure at NCPA, most notably his work in boosting the pharmacy industry’s influence in Washington, DC. The NCPA’s advocacy ensured that the new health care reform bills included many policies favorable to the retail pharmacy industry.
BeneCard PBF appears to focus on pass-through PBM contracts, although it’s a fairly small player right now. According to the most recent Pharmacy Benefit Trends and Data Report, BeneCard has 160 clients, covers 250,000 lives, and gets 80% of its business from the public sector.
But I am curious about a subsidiary called Benecard Central Fill, a prescription mail service pharmacy. I’ll be interested to see how the company’s strategy changes given Mr. Roberts previous statements about mail order. Here’s a sampling of his thoughts on mail:
- "When patients use mail order they lose the face-to-face relationship that occurs inside their community pharmacies with clinically trained health care professionals who are dedicated to promoting safety and improving health outcomes.” (source)
- "Mail order programs claim to provide patients greater convenience and lower cost. In fact, patients say they have to wait too long for their drugs and some are paying twice for them.” (source)
- "Deliveries can be delayed, sent to the wrong address, or damaged. Patients consistently complain to community pharmacists about having to do without their medication due to late mail order delivery.” (source)
- "Further, mail order is touted as a way to ensure patients stick with their medication therapy. But if deliveries arrive too late or are compromised, patient adherence is severely undermined, not encouraged.” (source)
And to the many folks who emailed the news to me...No, I will not be applying for the job.