SUWANEE, Ga., Jan. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- With the close of 2018, United Pharmacy Partners ("UPPI") celebrates its 20th anniversary as the largest association of independent and university-based nuclear pharmacies serving the diagnostic imaging community in the nation. Over its twenty years, UPPI has witnessed significant changes to the market to provide better care to patients; helped the market for nuclear imaging grow, saving thousands of patients and lowering the cost of procedures even as other major healthcare costs continue to rise; and has reached major landmarks and accomplishments to help its members grow.
Since its founding, UPPI members have been dedicated to providing nuclear imaging services to patients across the country, from urban centers like New York to the rural desert of West Texas. During that time, UPPI members have provided more than 25 million doses of individual patient prepared radiopharmaceuticals for use in nuclear imaging tests and treatments. We have saved tens of thousands of lives by helping in early detection of cancer, cardiac issues and other medical challenges, facilitating early treatment, and have saved thousands more by making life-saving drugs available at costs and in places that others could not accomplish.
UPPI members have seen their collective revenues and share of the nuclear imaging market grow from 12% to more than 20% as a result of UPPI's committed leadership and engagement.
UPPI has also been instrumental in working with hospitals and other clients to keep cost increases down and even reduce expenses by providing collective purchasing power.
Some notable milestones that UPPI has achieved include:
- The organization has been the leader in advocating for the conversion of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) medical isotopes toward the adoption of non-HEU and Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) radionuclides to reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation. Branded as the UPPI "LEU Walk", UPPI has led the removal of HEU - labeled "one of the most dangerous materials on the planet"1 – from the market. UPPI and more than 35 members have been recognized by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and other government agencies for the success of the UPPI LEU Walk.
- An outgrowth of the UPPI LEU Walk was an initiative to retain and increase the CMS added reimbursement for non-HEU Tc99m products (Q9969 Code) to help hospital imaging centers to receive adequate and appropriate reimbursements for their transition to non-HEU produced medical isotopes. UPPI facilitated the creation of a broad-based coalition that includes hospitals, GPOs, non-proliferation groups, manufacturers and others. This coalition has successfully advocated for the continuation of the reimbursement, and continues to advocate for a higher, more appropriate reimbursement rate.
- UPPI also contributes to technical, industry guidance and practice, providing significant guidance to the FDA, and other regulatory bodies to ensure that UPPI member interests and policies for better patient care are represented. For example, UPPI contributed as a stakeholder in the formulation of guidances for radiopharmaceutical preparation, revisions in USP Chapter <797> and the recent draft of USP Chapter <825> .
- Working with Vizient, the largest member-driven healthcare performance improvement company in the nation, UPPI drafted a White Paper entitled: Can the SPECT nuclear imaging modality be sustained? The white paper took an overall look at the nuclear imaging modality, and assessed the effect of the transition to non-HEU, radiopharmaceutical pricing and other factors impacting today's SPECT nuclear imaging.2
The capstone achievement, however, was receiving the Vizient 2017 Distributor of the Year award3 for "helping [Vizient's] members provide exceptional, cost effective care." This distinction was the first-time award to a radiopharmaceutical supplier, and recognizes the value, ingenuity and innovation that UPPI Members provide to providers and patients across the country.
"We are very proud to receive the Vizient 2017 Distributor of the Year award," said John Witkowski President UPPI. "This distinct recognition underscores UPPI's work on solutions to effect strategic and care goals. We are very proud of our efforts to help the patient care continuum."
"The first 20 years has been extraordinarily successful to UPPI and our Members," concluded President Witkowski. "We look forward to the next twenty years as we continue to develop strategies for the launch of radiotheranostics and improvements in reimbursements of costs to the hospital imaging community."
CONTACT: Joe Rubin, 202 557-4180
SOURCE UPPI LLC