Prescription for success — Transcript Pharmacy continues fast growth
In 2011 when Flowood-based Transcript Pharmacy was once again ranked in the Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the nation, president Cliff Osbon, R.Ph., attributed Transcript Pharmacy’s growth to the trust patients, health care providers, payors and other third parties put in his company.
Now, that trust factor has been augmented as Transcript Pharmacy, which made the Inc. 5000 for five consecutive years, recently earned specialty pharmacy accreditation from URAC, an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization. The company now holds dual accreditation as well as Board of Pharmacy permits allowing it to serve patients in all 50 states.
In addition to meeting the mandatory accreditation requirements, Transcript Pharmacy also met URAC’s leading indicators, which are non-weighted, optional elements highlighting effective practices not yet widely adopted in health care, but could be implemented in the future.
“This recognition further proves our commitment to excellence as we provide patients with customized solutions to their specific, long-term medical needs,” Osbon said.
Trust in Transcript Pharmacy is especially important for its patients, who suffer from serious, long-term medical needs and typically face high drug costs that can run $2,000 or more per month. Those needs include: Solid organ or bone marrow transplants; hepatitis C; rheumatoid arthritis; Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis; multiple sclerosis; oral oncolytics for various cancers; and other conditions.
As Osbon points out, the drugs his company dispenses can be obtained from any specialty pharmacy. What has fueled Transcript Pharmacy’s growth is the service it offers and the faith others have in the company to deliver.
“If you call here, the phone will be answered by a live person within four rings,” Osbon said. “Over the last 12 months, we’ve had one call go to voice mail, which immediately prompted an emergency in-service meeting.
“Nobody has to use us. They can choose any specialty pharmacy. We use technology to be more efficient, but we don’t let technology be a barrier to delivering personal service.”
Osbon has personally shown faith in Transcript Pharmacy, too. A native of Monroe, La., he earned his pharmacy degree from the University of Louisiana-Monroe before practicing pharmacy and consulting on the corporate and private level.
Seeing an underserved market, he “got off the corporate train” in the Jackson area and founded Transcript Pharmacy, which began operation in Flowood in 2003. Originally, the company focused on the organ transplant market. Then in 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing the closure of some transplant centers and a re-thinking of Transcript Pharmacy’s business model.
“It really hurt our business,” Osbon remembered. “We had to look at diversifying.”
It proved a watershed moment for the young company. With the expansion came more patients and more growth. The challenge was to meet the growing patient base with timely service.
In addition to dispensing drugs, Transcript Pharmacy must offer other services, such as pre-shipping counseling to explain how the drug is to be used and a nurse provided at company expense to go out and teach the patient how to take injections.
Those challenges remain, but the company sees a bright future.
“We have been told by insurers that specialty drugs is the fastest-growing pharmaceutical segment, increasing at about 20 percent per year, and 70 percent of the drugs in the FDA pipeline are specialty drugs,” Osbon said.
When asked about the potential impact of health care reform, Osbon said he and his team are watching and waiting.
“I would say right now, it’s a mixed bag. Some of our patients have seen a drastic rise in their co-pays while others now have coverage they didn’t have before,” Osbon said. “If you ask 12 people what they see as the impact of health care reform, you’ll get 12 answers. The jury is still out.”
Osbon added that just keeping up with regulations and compliance issues takes up much of the Transcript Pharmacy team’s day. He said it’s not always easy, but the single father of two daughters who enjoys live music, outdoor activities and reading, makes it more than evident that he is enjoying Transcript Pharmacy’s success.
“I never measure success by how much money we have made. It’s the number of people we have served and the outcomes,” he said. “Our future goals are to continue to serve people from this Lakeland Drive office, hire locally, add more insurers and build relationships with more pharmaceutical manufacturers.”
For more on Transcript Pharmacy, visit www.transcriptpharmacy.com.
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