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Executive Summary

IOWA PHARMACISTS ASSN. JOINS KANSAS & NEBRASKA IN REGIONAL GROUP-BUYING PROGRAM that is growing in the Midwest under the aegis of PACE Shared Services Group of Sioux Falls, S.D. The Iowa Pharmacists Assn., whose board has approved establishment of a new for-profit corporation to develop a community pharmacy cooperative buying group, reports that 30% to 40% of lowa's 800 pharmacies have indicated an intent to participate in the program. The Kansas Pharmacy Service Corp. of Topeka, organized by the Kansas Pharmacists Assn., earlier estimated a potential membership of 500 pharmacies in its group purchasing program affiliated with PACE. In addition, the Nebraska Pharmacists Assn. has signed a letter of intent to join the alliance, and pharmacy groups in several other midwestern states are contemplating affiliation. Pharmacy Business & Services Inc., the tentative working-name for the Iowa group, has sent a letter of intent to work with the PACE operation. The Iowa assn.'s board is forming a steering cmte. of five or six pharmacists to propose initiation fees, investigate whether the lowa group should be served by a single whslr. or multiple whslrs., and devise specifications that whslrs. and mfrs. will be asked to meet when submitting bids. The board is headed by the assn.'s President Sue Yeakel. In authorizing formation of the wholly-owned subsidiary of the lowa assn., the Board of Trustees said it intends to provide community pharmacy owners with "a system of product acquisition which enables them to purchase legend drugs at lower cost in order to improve their competitive posture in the retail pharmacy marketplace." The assn.'s Professional Affairs Director Allan Zaenger added: "There is increasing evidence that the environment is conducive for development of a new mechanism which enables community pharmacists to exercise collective strength in purchasing drug products rather than being resigned to accepting the seller's offers when acquiring inventory of drug products." PACE, a nonprofit subsidiary of Presentation Health Systems Inc., is part of a consortium called Healthcare Group Purchasing Assn. which administers volume-purchasing of pharmaceuticals and other hospital-related products for over 125,000 hospital beds in eight states.

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