RxAlly Closure Announced

The closure of a national network of pharmacies aimed at personalized care and reduced cost elicits questions on the future of pharmacy.

Bruce Roberts, RPh, chief executive of RxAlly, announced that RxAlly closed today on August 23, 2013, after 18 months in operation. I guess many will be asking why and a lot of reasons might be suggested. I do not have any personal knowledge of what happened, but I do have some concerns about what it might mean for our profession as we move forward.

The vision of RxAlly was “to transform into reality…the vision of advancing the role of pharmacy to improve patient care at a time when our health care system is poised to undergo dramatic and much needed changes.” Does this closing mean that the marketplace does not accept the profession in this role? I sure hope not.

Perhaps this was an effort that was ahead of its time and couldn’t be sustained until the marketplace catches up with the profession. I hope it doesn’t mean that independent pharmacists and regional chains cannot work together cooperatively to prove quality care.

Our profession must find a way to assure that quality and consistent pharmacist services can be delivered across a network of providers so payers will have confidence to contract with a network of care. Community pharmacists cannot compete with expanding health systems with their employee networks of providers. Independence may have been a virtue for pharmacists in the past, but it isn’t going to be a virtue for the majority of pharmacies in the evolving health care system. Do you agree?