In a year vividly marked by unfathomable loss of life, business and livelihood, we find ourselves saying an unexpected goodbye to the fledgling Indy Health, an unpredictable casualty of, among other things, the pandemic and its unforeseen forces that have left our world reeling in tragedy and uncertainty.
For legal reasons, the founders, investors and executives of Indy Health cannot speak for themselves (read here for additional information), and this message is not an attempt by PUTT to speak for anyone at Indy Health.
Though the post-mortems have only just begun, we can be sure of one thing: Indy Health was a good idea, a strong idea, a not-improbable nor pie-in-the-sky shot at a better approach to pharmacy benefit management. It was an opportunity for pharmacists to take control of their destiny, if not to head off the well-documented anticompetitive tactics by PBMs that are driving out small pharmacies making a handsome profit for themselves and their shareholders at literally everyone else’s expense.
And while a number of factors contributed to Indy Health's early demise, (see pharmacist Benjamin Jolley's compelling analysis of one possible factor), the truth is there are certain realities that cannot be ignored. The PBM market is oligopolistic and extremely difficult for competitors to enter - entirely by design. Prescription medication is only getting more expensive while those who could do something about it choose to pursue false solutions like foreign drug importation or removing rebate caps. There are enemies in the camp - not just the usual suspects - and pharmacists are among the few left fighting a battle that shouldn’t have been theirs to begin with.
Indy Health’s founders and investors saw the challenges and willingly faced them head on. In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, they dared greatly. To those people, and to the many pharmacists who believed in Indy Health and helped enroll their patients in Indy’s plans, we at PUTT thank you for your conviction, your willingness to risk, and your determination to put a stake in the ground for the future of independent pharmacy.
This won’t be the last time independent pharmacy takes a stand. We can only hope it won’t be too terribly long before independent pharmacists try again.
With ardent respect and admiration,