American Associated Pharmacies and H. D. Smith Announce Joint Venture to Create New Managed Care Contracting Entity


PSAO Focuses on Access to Payer Contracts, Pharmacy Performance and Patient Outcomes

PHOENIX, AZ and SPRINGFIELD, IL--(Marketwired - February 29, 2016) - American Associated Pharmacies (AAP) and H. D. Smith today announce an agreement to combine respective pharmacy services administrative organizations (PSAO) into a stand-alone PSAO entity, servicing more than 2,300 independent retail pharmacies across the United States. The joint venture, known as Arete Pharmacy Network, will combine and succeed H. D. Smith's Third Party Network and AAP's United Drugs.

"Sustainable success within an evolving healthcare market requires us to provide enhanced value to our pharmacies and the patients they serve -- and Arete Pharmacy Network will do just that," said Dale Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, H. D. Smith Holding Company, and chairman of the Board of Arete Pharmacy Network. "Our shared commitment is to support and improve patient health by ensuring access to payer contracts, and helping independent pharmacies create better patient outcomes. Greater outcomes, with a plan to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness, will enable Arete Pharmacy Network to deliver more than the parent organizations were able to deliver alone."

United Drugs, based in Phoenix, Ariz., and Third Party Network, based in Springfield, Illinois, combine offerings to customers, with a focus on managed care contracting and expanding tools and services, allowing pharmacies to deliver quality care as a differentiator in their communities.

"The formation of Arete Pharmacy Network is the first step towards aggregating the nation's premier independent pharmacies into a high quality cohesive PSAO," said Greg Mitchell, Chairman AAP Board of Directors. "Together we provide a broad-reaching network, enabling patients to receive the level of care they deserve from their local independent pharmacy."

"We approached this business opportunity with the goal of helping pharmacies improve Star Ratings and other quality metrics by joining together and gaining efficiencies of scale," said Rob McMahan, President of United Drugs and chief executive officer of Arete Pharmacy Network. "This partnership allows each of us an expanded presence throughout the United States and enhanced capabilities that will make us a partner of choice for PBMs, plans and other payers"

The collective strengths of H. D. Smith and AAP position Arete Pharmacy Network as an important voice and negotiation force for independent retail pharmacy. Arete Pharmacy Network has enhanced capabilities to promote Star Ratings, educate and reinforce compliance, address underpaid claim reimbursements, provide audit protection and ensure all payments are processed to pharmacies as quickly as possible.

To learn more, visit

About H. D. Smith

H. D. Smith is the largest, privately held national wholesaler and a leading pharmaceutical brand support company for manufacturers and healthcare providers. The company creates value and an extraordinary customer experience across the healthcare supply chain, with solutions that include a complete line of prescription, health, beauty and wellness, and home healthcare products; specialty distribution, specialized 3PL and clinical trial procurement services; a unique suite of strategic programs for patient access and adherence on behalf of traditional and specialty pharmaceutical manufacturers; and a wide array of business solutions for retail pharmacies, institutions and health systems. Headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, the company has locations throughout the country. H. D. Smith operates Smith Medical Partners, Triplefin, HDS Healthcare Packaging, CompleteCare Pharmacy and Valley Wholesale Drug. Visit for more information.

About American Associated Pharmacies

American Associated Pharmacies (AAP), a member-owned cooperative representing approximately 2,100 independent pharmacies that work together as a cohesive network, launched in 2009 when United Drugs (founded in 1976) merged with Associated Pharmacies, Inc. (founded in 1987). Operating today as an AAP subsidiary, United Drugs is the largest national member-owned pharmacy services administration organization (PSAO) focused on delivering proven contract negotiation, central pay, audit protection, patient-care and compliance services to a dynamic independent pharmacy membership.

Recent Videos
Image credit:  Gorodenkoff |
Sun Screen, Photosensitivity, Pharmacy | Image Credit: sosiukin -
Catalyst Trial, Diabetes, Hypertension | Image Credit: grinny -
Various healthy foods -- Image credit: New Africa |
LGBTQIA+ pride -- Image credit: lazyllama |
Modern pharmacy building facade with large window showcasing the interior, as seen from the street view, promoting a welcoming atmosphere for customers. Frontal view. Generative AI - Image credit: Karrrtinki |