Magazine article Drug Topics

Some Pharmacy Directors Welcome Outsourcing

Magazine article Drug Topics

Some Pharmacy Directors Welcome Outsourcing

Article excerpt

Outsourcing is getting a bum rap. That's how Elaine Levy, system director of pharmacy services for Sharp Health Care, sees the growing trend to bring outside help into hospital pharmacies. Her six-hospital, 1,400bed system, based in San Diego, recently signed a contract with Cardinal Health that bundles drug purchases, automation, and management services.

"I should be the one who is leery of this kind of deal," Levy said. "If anyone feels threatened, it should be me, the pharmacy director. But I feel comfortable with the arrangement. Cardinal has far more resources than Sharp could ever have on its own. They're willing to invest in the clinical programs that most pharmacies can only talk about"

Sharp is the latest example of Cardinal's move toward bundling pharmaceutical care services with product distribution. The goal, said Connie Woodburn, Cardinal executive v.p. for corporate sales, is to sell integrated pharmaceutical care systems, not just drug products.

For Sharp, that meant combining drug distribution, automation, and pharmacy management. Cardinal guaranteed to cut Sharp's costs by approximately 5% in order to land the $125 million, five-year agreement. Additional savings are split two-thirds to Sharp and one-third to Owen Healthcare, Cardinal's wholly owned pharmacy management subsidiary. Owen is also hiring a full-time pharmacist to create and manage clinical programs under Levy's supervision.

"We know that if you put in an $80,000 clinical manager, you'll get a solid return on that investment," explained Harlan Stai, Owen's executive v.p. "A pharmacy director has to compete with other departments for those kinds of resources. We can make the investment ourselves. We have to invest in these people and programs in order to make our contract goals. That's the only way we can make this business work. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.