PANTHERx & Specialty Pharmacy Times enter Strategic Alliance Partnership

Specialty Pharmacy Times today announced it has joined with five specialty pharmacies as it expands its Strategic Alliance Partnership program. The new alliances facilitate collaboration and the exchange of knowledge among partners and increase the industrywide visibility of the participating pharmacy organizations.
Specialty Pharmacy Times, the specialty pharmacy industry’s number one journal and the most read publication among specialty pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, has now partnered with 57 groups and organizations.
“We are extremely proud of our partnership program and look to continue to build our trust with each of our partners as we provide quality content to meet the needs of our individual readers,” said Chris Hennessy, publisher of Specialty Pharmacy Times.
Joining Specialty Pharmacy Times are PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy, ModernHEALTH Specialty Pharmacy, Ardon Health, PerformSpecialty and ReCept Specialty Pharmacy.

PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., strives to make the process of referring patients to its service quick and easy. Its team of clinical pharmacists provide services in record turnaround time and handle the processing of all prior authorizations for prescribing physicians. In addition, the revolutionary myPANTHERx portal keeps physicians updated and more actively involved with their patients’ care.
ModernHEALTH Specialty Pharmacy in Los Angeles, Ca., is made up of regional pharmacies focusing on complex, community-centered disease states. It serves patients requiring a high-touch service model, including comprehensive medication management for HIV, cystic fibrosis, transplant, hepatitis C, and other diseases and treatments.
Ardon Health in Portland, Ore., provides a wide range of medications, such as injectables and oncology therapies. It also offers an elevated level of clinical support for safety and side effects.
PerformSpecialty in Orlando, Fla., is a full-service specialty pharmacy whose goal is to provide personalized patient care and better access to achieve healthier outcomes. Each patient works with a patient care coordinator who, along with the prescriber, creates a program to treat each condition individually and works to involve the patient in his or her own health.
ReCept Specialty Pharmacy, based in Ft. Worth, Texas, and serving patients throughout the Southwest, provides a unique service model uncharacteristic of large, impersonal chain/mail order pharmacies. Exceptional customer service drives its day-to-day activities.

About Specialty Pharmacy Times Specialty Pharmacy Times is a leading industry journal serving the business and practice of specialty pharmaceuticals and therapy. Published by Pharmacy Times, the journal focuses on key areas surrounding specialty pharmaceuticals and the enhanced practice needs of pharmacists in this arena. The journal is available at Specialty Pharmacy Times is published by Michael J. Hennessy Associates, Inc., a leading provider of healthcare publications, research, information and education.

For more information, contact: Becky Taylor, 609-240-6886,

Dr. Vanscoy featured as Personality of Pittsburgh

In this week’s Pittsburgh Business Times, Dr. Gordon J. Vanscoy, Chairman & CEO of PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy was featured as one of their “Personalities of Pittsburgh”.  The link is provided below (subscribers and print media only), and the entire interview has been transcribed below.

Personalities of Pittsburgh


Gordon Vanscoy is the son of a millworker and the first in his family to attend college. He is a pharmacist and among the first in the country to operate a blood anticoagulation clinic. Vanscoy also founded a string of startup companies, including Robinson Township-based specialty pharmacy PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy LLC. Specialty pharmacy medications defy the one-size-fits-all approach to treating serious diseases, offering instead the prospect of medicine that meets the particular needs of the individual. A lot has changed since the days in Glassport, where Vanscoy spent his youth. Today, it’s the pharmacist’s role in personalized medicine and the rapid evolution of specialty medications that captivates him.

Who was your first mentor?

My dad was my first mentor. My dad gave me my values and taught me how to treat people. I was born on my mom’s 40th birthday. My dad was 42, 43. They already had three children, so I was the baby. My dad worked at Teledyne, a mill. He worked there 30 years, but he always had two or three jobs, so while he worked at the mill, he also had a plumbing business on the side. My dad was my best friend. He taught me the foundation of business that I carry with me today.

How do you remember your parents?

For 10-plus years, I’ve endowed the white-coat ceremony in their memory at (the University of Pittsburgh’s) pharmacy school, where students get white coats in their first year, welcoming them into the profession. They’re pledging their lives to treating patients.

What was the origin of your interest in specialty pharmacy?

I was involved with the country’s first specialty pharmacy, Stadtlanders in Monroeville. That’s where I started. I began working with them through a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. This was back in the early to mid-’90s. These drugs were very high risk.

How were you shaped by that experience?

Our primary area was organ transplants and later patients with serious mental illnesses. Then came a partnership with Merck to provide Crixivan for patients with HIV. Tom Starzl started the transplant program at Pitt and they started calling for these drugs that were very expensive and hard to get. Suddenly, they would go home and wouldn’t be able to get their meds, so that’s how big-time specialty pharmacy began. Stadtlanders was the beginning. Since then, it’s become commoditized; it became all about getting the drugs out efficiently through mail order.

Tell me about the new degree program that you’ve developed.

It’s a masters of science degree in pharmacy business administration, a brand new program. There’s no degree like it out there. It’s a partnership of the school of business and school of pharmacy with industry leaders all the way through. It begins in January. This isn’t about business. This is about creating a future for ethical business leaders.

Your most recent venture is PANTHERx Specialty. How did it get started?

We were several alumni and current students at Pitt at the time, and we began to see what was happening in the Food and Drug Administration pipeline. Fewer regular drugs were getting through the FDA, and more of these specialty drugs were getting approved. The number of the drugs in the FDA pipeline that were considered specialty was increasing. They were expensive drugs and required a lot of clinical intervention. The four of us decided to get together and start PANTHERx.

What were the early years like?

It was started in a garage-like structure in Beaver. There was no air conditioning, and we operated there for well over a year. My goal with these partners, my enjoyment, is to give them the skill set necessary to make them all successful. We were giving patients these high-risk drugs — it was crazy.

What is PANTHERx’s niche?

Our niche is really looking at those ultra-orphan drugs. That’s really what we’re looking to capitalize on. Our core differentiator is managing these very few drugs for these very few people.

What kind of growth has PANTHERx seen?

In the first 12 months, there was less than $500,000 in sales. We’re now licensed in all 50 states, and the company is growing rapidly. We have tens of millions in revenue today, and we expect to exceed $100 million in the next 12 months.

What is the future of specialty pharmacy?

If you look at the number of prescriptions that are coming out, specialty probably represents 10 (percent) to 12 percent of prescriptions, but 35 percent of drug spend. Solid projections through 2017 suggest it will exceed traditional drug spend. The future of specialty is based on the drugs that are coming out of the FDA pipeline. What’s important to insurers — what’s costing them the most money — are these drugs. It’s not a matter of cost containment. It’s really about understanding which patients benefit the most and how society can afford this.

Title: Chairman and CEO, PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy LLC

Age: 53

Education: B.S., pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh; PharmD, Duquesne University; MBA, University of Pittsburgh

Experience: Vanscoy is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded specialty drug company PANTHERx Specialty in 2011. He also is a pharmacist and associate dean for business innovation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He developed a new master’s degree program at Pitt — a first of its kind — to better prepare students for the rapidly changing world of pharmacy.