Walgreens, Pfizer & AstraZeneca Executives Join Board of Directors for National Association of Specialty Pharmacy


Three healthcare veterans join NASP's governing board of directors.

Today, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) announced the addition of 3 new healthcare veterans to its governing board of directors, welcoming senior executives from Walgreens, Pfizer Inc. and AstraZeneca. In addition to their new responsibilities representing the interests of over 1500 corporate and individual NASP members nationwide, Ed Kaleta serves as Walgreens Vice President of Federal Government Relations and U.S. Public Policy; Tolga Tanguler serves as Pfizer Inc.’s Regional President of North America for Rare Disease; and Blaine Squires, RPh serves as AstraZeneca’s Executive Director.

“The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy is excited to add leadership representation from three influential players in our industry: Walgreens, Pfizer and AstraZeneca,” said Sheila Arquette, Executive Director of NASP. “Ed Kaleta, Tolga Tanguler, and Blaine Squires are three experienced, accomplished and seasoned industry veterans, tasked with elevating the practice of specialty pharmacy, promoting the education and certification of pharmacists, and advocating for public policies that ensure patients have appropriate access to specialty medications on behalf of NASP’s multi-stakeholder membership. These three remarkable leaders will be instrumental in helping to ensure patients receive the high-quality, high-touch patient care and support services that are critical to optimally managing and living with complex, life-altering, and often life-threatening diseases. And what’s more, that these patients can seek the care they need from the specialty pharmacy of their choosing.”

“It’s an honor to serve on the board of an organization dedicated to helping our communities deal with the most devastating of diseases,” said Kaleta, Walgreens Vice President of Federal Government Relations & U.S. Public Policy. “I believe our pharmacies and pharmacists are the best at what they do, and are vital to the provision and sustainability of healthcare for America. We must ensure that lawmakers understand and recognize their value so that our patients receive the therapy and resources they need to be well.”

“I am honored to be elected to the board of the NASP,” said Tolga Tanguler, Regional President, North America, Pfizer Rare Disease. “I am certain it will provide new opportunities to partner with other industry leaders to raise the standards of patient engagement and ensure access to treatment options for rare disease patients who often do not have other alternatives.”

“Being part of the NASP team is a tangible way for me to connect my professional work to the broader impact of pharmacy across patient, industry and advocacy arenas,” said AstraZeneca Executive Director Blaine Suires, RPh. “I will support the NASP efforts to continue this important work with positive and significant outcomes.”

About Specialty Pharmacy

Specialty pharmacy provides medications to treat patients with serious, chronic, rare, progressive, or debilitating disease (or fatal if left untreated or undertreated). Examples of these illnesses include cancer, hepatitis C, infectious disease, infertility, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, organ transplantation, human growth hormone deficiencies, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. According to the Drug Channels Institute and other sources, specialty pharmacy drugs will represent 44% of the U.S. drug spend by the year 2020.

About Edward Kaleta: Walgreens, Vice President of Federal Government Relations & U.S. Public Policy

Kaleta leads the federal lobbying and public policy activities for Walgreens, one of the nation's largest drugstore chains. Walgreens operates 8175 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy provides patients who have chronic, complex and rare health conditions with easy access to their specialty and traditional medications and comprehensive support, including everything from helping patients with medication adherence and therapies to connecting patients with financial assistance programs and providing refill reminder and automatic refill services. Prior to Walgreens, Kaleta served as the Director of the Washington Office for Humana, where he was responsible for navigating the company through the historic health reform legislative effort, as well as tripling the size of Humana’s Political Action Committee (PAC). Kaleta’s experience also includes serving as Caterpillar's Washington Manager of Governmental Affairs, and as the Chairman and co-founder of the Employers’ Coalition on Medicare, a coalition of over 60 companies and organizations that helped ensure favorable employer provisions and final passage of H.R. 1, the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003. Kaleta is also a founding member of CCPM, the Coalition for Competitive Pharmaceutical Markets, a coalition which helped provide better access to safe and effective generic pharmaceuticals. The University of Richmond graduate began his career at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He spent over six years in various capacities including Congressional and Public Affairs, ChamberBiz, and the Office of the COO. Kaleta currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Business Government Relations Group and Illinois Group.

About Tolga Tanguler: Pfizer Inc., Regional President, North America for Rare Diseases

Tolga leads an organization of more than 200 colleagues across marketing, sales, access, medical and corporate affairs and a portfolio of 6 assets to ensure they are focused on one objective: to transform patients’ lives. A key focus is to ensure that the engagement and experience of rare disease patients and their families are at the forefront of all programs; while ensuring the organization is prepared for the next phase of scientific breakthroughs, including gene therapy. Tolga has more than 15 years of experience in the global pharmaceutical industry, including leadership roles in both developed markets such as the US, Japan and the Nordics and emerging economies including Africa/Middle East and Latin America. Most recently, Tolga was the Vice President, Global Marketing for ELIQUIS. Throughout these various assignments, the organizations led by Tolga were recognized for their rapid growth performance, as well as their strong culture that led to a significant improvement in colleague engagement. Tolga has Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics & Finance from University of Istanbul, and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and Supply Chain from Michigan State University. He also has a Post Graduate Degree in Marketing from the University of California. Tolga was recently appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of NASP.

About Blaine Squires, RPh: AstraZeneca, Executive Director

Squires leads AstraZeneca teams that oversee Field Reimbursement Managers, AZ’s internal HUB, AZ Access360, as well as all affordability programs including AZ&ME, commercial co-pay programs, and global product donations. He has worked across the healthcare industry from retail pharmacy, home infusion and currently in the pharmaceutical industry, performing a wide range of roles from clinical management of specialty pharmaceuticals, to sales and reimbursement. Squires is known and respected for innovative and strategic thinking around process, with a focus on patient outcomes and therapeutic impact. His pharmaceutical career has included roles at Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, and now AstraZeneca, as well as clinical and business development roles with Apria, Coram Healthcare, as well as several start-up pharmacy companies. Squires received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from The University of Texas, Austin and is a licensed pharmacist in the state of Texas.

About National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)

NASP was founded in 2012 and is the only national trade association representing all stakeholders in the specialty pharmacy industry. The core mission of NASP is to provide educational programs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, and to promote specialty pharmacist certification for specialty pharmacy professionals. NASP also serves as an advocate for public policies that ensure patients have appropriate access to specialty medications in tandem with critical services. In addition to providing medications to severely ill patients, specialty pharmacy also focuses on support programs and services to ensure patients realize the maximum clinical benefit from their medication, therapies and services, working to ease the treatment burden for patients, families and caregivers as they work to manage these tough conditions.

NASP President Rebecca Shanahan recently wrote a letter calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to curb these below-cost reimbursements to specially pharmacies by PBMs, clarify Medicare definitions, and promote accurate and responsible reimbursement. She also authored an Op-Ed for The Hill, calling on Congress to protect seniors and taxpayers from these unwarranted fees. For more information, visit www.naspnet.org.

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