SOURCE: 340B Prime Vendor Program

August 10, 2007 14:56 ET

340B Prime Vendor Program Transitions to Nonprofit Status Under Apexus

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - August 10, 2007) - The 340B Prime Vendor Program announced today that the Provista (formerly Healthcare Purchasing Partners International) board of directors approved the creation of a nonprofit subsidiary corporation called Apexus Inc., which will be dedicated to managing the 340B Prime Vendor Program.

"As a federal purchasing program, the Prime Vendor Program has maintained a neutral position in terms of group purchasing organizations and by transferring the Prime Vendor Program to Apexus Inc., further separation is created to reinforce our existing firewalls between Provista's (GPO) and the 340B Prime Vendor Program operations. This company transition supports our core mission and will enable the program to deliver even greater savings. The change is expected to be seamless to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the program's participants," said Chris Hatwig, senior director of the 340B Prime Vendor Program. HRSA has approved the transition of the 340B Prime Vendor from Provista to Apexus.

Provista won the competitive bid from HRSA on Sept. 10, 2004 to become the prime vendor for the 340B Program. Provista's key objective in operating the Prime Vendor Program is to improve access to affordable medications and other value-added pharmacy products and services for safety-net health care organizations that participate in the program.

Under the management of Provista, the program had many successes including:

--  Establishing contracts with 13 national, regional and specialty
    distributors to serve all participant groups
    
--  Expanding to over 5,400 participants
    
--  Expanding to 50 suppliers representing over 2,800 products and
    services
    
--  Establishing advisory councils of participants to provide feedback on
    contract strategy specific to disproportionate share hospitals, community
    health centers, and Title X family planning clinics
    
--  Partnering with national organizations representing 340B covered
    entities to conduct 340B-related education and compliance programs
    

"This is an exciting time for the 340B Prime Vendor Program. Our goals remain the same, and we will continue to improve upon past successes under the management of Apexus," said Hatwig. Apexus will have its own governing board, which will include representatives of the various 340B entity types served by the program.

About Apexus

Apexus is the HRSA's Office of Pharmacy Affairs awarded contractor to serve as the prime vendor for the 340B Program. The program was established to negotiate deeper discounts than those already offered under Section 340B of the U.S. Public Health Service Act. The prime vendor's role is to secure sub-ceiling discounts on outpatient drug purchases and discounts on other pharmacy related products and services for participating public hospitals, community health centers, and other safety-net health care providers electing to join the program.

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