Ernst & Young (EY) honored Rebecca M. Shanahan, Esq., the CEO of Avella Specialty Pharmacy and the president of the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP), with the Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Award in the Mountain Desert region’s health care category.
The award was selected by an independent panel of judges, recognizing entrepreneurs who excel in areas including innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. (Click here to watch our interview with Ms. Shanahan.)
What began as a single pharmacy in Scottsdale, Ariz., nearly two decades ago is now one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation. Today, Avella houses its own cleanroom facilities, a national distribution center and community-based pharmacies across multiple states.
“I’m honored to join such a prestigious group of executives and visionaries in receiving this award,” Ms. Shanahan said. “However, I’m equally proud to be at the helm of an entire organization that is filled with people who are so passionate about improving care and, in many cases, saving lives.”
As the Avella CEO and president of NASP, Ms. Shanahan is working on enabling positive changes within the industry. For example, she is collaborating with health care advocates and legislators to mitigate the increasingly dangerous and negative consequences of Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees. These fees drive up costs for sick seniors with complex and life-threatening diseases and threaten the specialty pharmacies that serve their unique needs, she said.
“Big pharmacy benefit management firms have worked hard to make DIR fees so complicated that very few people understand how seniors are impacted by them, not to mention the dangers ahead if these fees persist,” she said. “Americans across the country agree that runaway prescription drug prices should be reined in. It is wrong for these firms to burden seriously ill seniors by requiring them to shoulder the brunt of DIR fees. These fees also prevent specialty pharmacies from providing our vital clinical services and breakthrough medications for millions of the most vulnerable Americans.”
Since 1986, EY has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation and discipline have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and had a positive effect on their communities. Over 31 years, the program has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as Howard Schultz, Starbucks Coffee Company and James Park, Fitbit.
As a Mountain Desert region award winner, Ms. Shanahan is eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of the Year national program. Award winners in several national categories, and the Entrepreneur of the Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced in November.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Avella is a National Accredited Specialty Pharmacy, providing individualized care and support to patients since 1996. The company offers a nationwide distribution service to complement its retail locations.