UAMS BioVentures Company to Market Cost-Cutting Services for Pharmacy Benefit Programs

By Kelly Gardner

LITTLE ROCK – The concept behind a unique program that saves Arkansas millions of dollars in Medicaid drug costs has spawned a new startup company through the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) BioVentures.

RxResults, LLC, and UAMS have formed a strategic partnership that will expand the client base of Arkansas’ Evidence-Based Medicine program (EBRx), which is designed to cut prescription drug costs while ensuring patients receive the most effective, high quality medicines available. 

The state Department of Human Services partnered in 2005 with the UAMS College of Pharmacy to form EBRx to analyze the clinical data for the effectiveness and safety of prescription drugs. The program’s leaders have found that selecting the most effective medicines doesn’t necessarily mean picking the most expensive drugs. Also, by creating a preferred drug list, the program, which serves about 500,000 Arkansans, has created a major incentive for drug companies to lower their prices.

On average, the cost of medicines selected to EBRx’s preferred drug list drop by about 47 percent, resulting in savings of almost $2 million a month for the Medicaid program.  It has produced dramatic savings as well for the State Employee Benefits Division and Public School Employee programs.

The success of EBRx led to the recent creation of RxResults through UAMS BioVentures, the technology transfer and commercialization arm of UAMS. The company was formed by Tery Baskin, Pharm. D., CEO and president.

RxResults, through an exclusive license, markets the services provided by the EBRx program to other states, large self-insured businesses and other entities that offer pharmacy benefit programs, including fully insured programs. Customers pay a monthly fee for the drug evaluation services, with a portion going to the College of Pharmacy. The college also is expected to use the vast amounts of data from new clients to conduct additional research.

“This is a wonderful partnership for RxResults and the College of Pharmacy,” said Michael Douglas, Ph.D., director of UAMS BioVentures. “RxResults will increase revenues for the college, create a learning lab for pharmacy students and provide a wealth of data for its researchers.”

In addition, Baskin said, RxResults customers will save money and provide superior pharmacy benefits to their clients. The company employs four people but expects to have 10 employees within about a year.

Baskin, a graduate of the UAMS College of Pharmacy, has served as the chief operating officer and chief marketing officer for National Medical Health Card Systems Inc. (NMHC), a publicly traded Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) headquartered in Port Washington, N.Y.  He served 14 years as president of Pharmacy Associates Inc., a company acquired by NMHC in July 2000. He has owned three community pharmacies and worked on staff at a tertiary care hospital. Baskin has served as president of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association and on the Board of Trustees of the American Pharmacists Association.

UAMS BioVentures was formed in 1997 to help UAMS researchers get their discoveries into the marketplace, whether through licensing agreements or forming start-up companies. In addition to assisting with licensing of UAMS intellectual property, BioVentures has helped numerous start-up companies turn their UAMS-generated products and services into profitable businesses. UAMS BioVentures is housed in a 17,000-square-foot facility designed to provide office and lab space for up to 12 new companies. Its efforts have led to the establishment of 25 companies with an $18 million annual payroll.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,652 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year.