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Executive Summary

CAROLINA PHARMACY NETWORK JOINS PPSC BUYING GROUPS, bringing the purchasing power of Pharmacy Provider Services Corporation Group (PPSC) to more than 3,000 pharmacies nationwide. In an Aug. 22 release, PPSC announced that "Carolina Pharmacy Network (CPN) has contracted with PPSC for group purchasing program implementation and operational assistance." The Carolina network provides services to pharmacy owners throughout South Carolina. PPSC, first coordinated by the Florida Pharmacy Association in 1984, now has pharmacy members in 21 states, including Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Florida, Louisiana, and a large representation from the southeast U.S. The corporation has contracts with roughly 40 vendors/manufacturers for over 2,000 products. According to PPSC, the Carolina Pharmacy Network is now in the process of selecting participating wholesalers in South Carolina. The group anticipates that the type of products and implementation will be similar to that of the overall PPSC operation. Pharmacies in the buying group receive products at wholesaler's cost. The wholesaler then receives a "chargeback" from the vendor for the difference between the buying group's contracted price and the regular wholesale price. The "chargeback" is a way "to keep control on who is getting the pricing," added PPSC. "This way there's a track record being kept on where those products are going." PPSC said that each month the corporation gives the vendors a list of all the participating pharmacies. Addressing the buying groups' panel session at the National Association of Retail Druggists' first annual PSAO (pharmacy services administrative organization) conference last May, PPSC Senior VP William Mincy said that PPSC also uses generic price ceilings -- a kind of MAC. If the pharmacist can buy below the set price, he can keep the difference. Currently, PPSC is in the process of sending out new pharmaceutical comparative proposals to vendors. The corporation reviews the competitive proposals once a year for Rx and OTC drugs. In addition, new products are addressed by the group "on a case-by-case basis," as they are introduced.

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