Keith Cook

In 1996, John D. Musil, PharmD, opened the first Apothecary Shop, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Since then, the company has expanded from a regional compounding pharmacy to a national specialty pharmacy operation, with 17 locations in seven states and a national distribution center that services all 50 states.

To reflect this growth, the company plans to launch a new corporate identity in August. “We have made a transition from a strong regional specialty pharmacy to a national player in specialty pharmacy, and the rebranding is the culmination of those efforts,” company president Keith Cook told Specialty Pharmacy Continuum. Pointing to the “huge shift in the pipeline to more specialty products,” Mr. Cook noted that the company is well positioned to fulfill “the unique requirements it takes to properly dispense” these products.

image‘Avella,’ the new company name, is intended to create brand consistency and streamline communication with partners and customers on a national level, according to the company. The letters within Avella are selected from key words in the company’s mission statement; Health, Devotion, and Excellence, according to a company press release. The firm’s infinity logo “further illustrates the continuous and uninterrupted commitment to patients and providers,” the press release stated.

To date, The Apothecary Shops (TAS) is not the only name under which the company has operated; for instance, the Greater Sacramento Pharmacy, a TAS take-over, still operates under its own name, while another acquisition was renamed ‘TAS Specialty.’ “’The Apothecary Shops’ is a generic term–like ‘The Paper Shop,’” said Todd Speranzo, vice president of marketing. “We cannot trademark or claim exclusivity to the name.”

The company remains steadfast to its mission—“to optimize patient health through a relentless devotion to clinical excellence.” This is achieved through the devotion of its staff, according to Mr. Cook. “We believe that people still value exceptional customer service and our team is focused on exceeding [customers’] expectations,” he said.

Avella will continue to acquire and open pharmacies in strategic markets, the company noted. Future plans also include expanding their national distribution center, creating a web portal that will allow the tracking of prescriptions and the channeling of more resources into the areas of rheumatology and dermatology.

The specialty pharmacy industry is experiencing rapid growth in recent years. “By 2014, revenue for specialty pharmaceuticals is forecasted to exceed all other drug categories and surpass the $100 billion spent in 2010,” according to Xcenda, a consultancy group and managed market agency.