The Silicon Review
There have been serious debates over drug prices for years. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry is intelligently shifting the blame to the middlemen, pharmacy benefit managers in particular. As they currently operate widely, pharmacy benefit managers are part of the problem. But if you clearly understand their benefits, observe their roles and responsibilities, it is compelling that PBMs have a vital role in controlling runaway prices for prescription drugs.
PBMs started with the idea that their buying power would reduce health care costs and pass the savings on to consumers. They act like efficient buying networks for drugs, representing consumers from multiple employers and insurers. In simple words, they aggregate demand, which gives them leverage in the market.
PBMs use their utilization management strategies to lower the total cost of pharmaceuticals, and they have been largely successful. Many companies have chosen to contract with pharmacy benefit managers rather than manage drug procurement internally. In light of the foregoing, we introduce you to VativoRX.
VativoRx is an innovative solutions provider in Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM). The company specializes in the management and delivery of affordable prescription medications. It delivers a wide range of programs to businesses, including employers, managed care, and the government. VativoRx offers an alternative to the status quo in pharmacy benefit management. Its program is customized for each client and ensures convenience, accessibility with a high level of care and transparency.
VativoRx is based in Miami, Florida.
Lisa Quarterman is the CEO of VativoRx. She spoke about the company in an exclusive interview with The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. What motivated you to start VativoRx?
I have been involved in the pharmacy benefit management industry for over 20 years, I founded and owned Cypress Care, one of the largest Workers Comp PBMs in the space. When I sold that business, I was fortunate enough to step out of it for a little while and took a break. I then saw the need in the commercial healthcare space where technology and expertise in innovation could make an impact on managing people’s pharmacy spend.
So, I connected myself with Michael Bogachek, somebody who was already established in the pharmacy business. We were able to come up with an idea to start a new business in the pharmacy benefit management space designed to help manage spend, reduce costs, and add some innovation and creativity for the patient care. I got back into the business and came out of retirement.
Q. Please explain your services in brief.
We specialize in Pharmacy Benefits Management and Rebate Management services. Our target audience is the smaller to midsize Healthcare Organizations, Third Party Administrators, or Self-Insured Employer Groups, as well as Government Plans. We manage the prescription drug plan for their members. We go in, and identify ways in which we can design the right plan for the members based on the size of the employee group and the types of members they have. We study the area. Do they have a lot of pharmacies there? Do they have a lot of doctors? We do the research and plan a specific layout both clinically and financially for every one of our clients. We also manage rebates for our clients and return them the maximum value available for specific Brand medications with specific manufactures.
Q. There are already some big firms that deal with the same kind of business that you do. So what kind of challenges did you face in your initial years? How did you face the market competition?
When you start a new business, the biggest challenge is that you are not recognizable in the market. No one has heard about you before, so you face the challenge of introducing yourself. It’s like going on a first date with somebody. The biggest challenge for us was to convince people that we have the technology, we’re innovative, and that we have the ability to things that other people can’t do.
The problem is that it’s hard for people to trust or understand us as they’ve never heard of us, and we were like the new kid on the block. It was a big challenge to go up against the ‘big guys.’ If you can convince one person, you have a story to tell. That’s what happened to us… we finally found somebody who believed.
Q. Do you consider yourselves to be one of the ‘big guys’ now?
I would say that we are in the middle, revenue and client wise. We can do what the big guys can do, but we’re able to provide the same products and services at lower prices than the big guys do. We’re getting there.
Q. How do you manage transparency with your pharmaceutical partners and your clients?
In this industry, there are a lot of different ways to charge the customer for a drug. And transparency is our core technology because we allow customers full visibility into the actual click of a drug. Not everybody gives their customers full transparency.
Q. What are your future plans for the development of your company?
We’ve added a few new Sales Reps out on the West Coast and in the Midwest. We believe that these areas will require our services, so we’re going to try and grow into the market there. We’re also hiring some additional quality sales personnel throughout the Country to help build our team. We’re looking to raise some capital and maybe acquire some businesses where we can mold them to our model and grow that way.
Meet the Affable Leader
Lisa Quarterman is the CEO and one of the Partners of VativoRx. Ms. Quarterman has overseen PBM programs for patients, TPAs, and self-insured organizations since 1993. In 2001, she founded Cypress Care, the first PBM to serve patients receiving benefits under major insurer’s worker’s compensation programs. As CEO of Cypress Care, Ms. Quarterman implemented PBM programs for large self-insured organizations, including the California State Insurance Fund, and like funds in Georgia and Florida.