Arete Pharmacy Network, LLC (“Arete”), a national pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO) and Topco Associates, LLC (“Topco”), a privately held cooperative of regional grocery stores and wholesalers, have announced a collaborative venture that will enable Topco’s member pharmacies to pursue contractual relationships with payers as a unified entity. Based on the terms of the relationship, Arete and Topco will collaborate to create a new grocery chain contracting option for payers, which will serve as a network of high-quality pharmacies with national coverage.

“The relationship with Topco is centered on the importance of building and maintaining a high-performing quality network of pharmacies. Topco and its member pharmacy organizations show a strong focus in this area, and the strategic alignment between our organizations became apparent very early in the conversations about a potential partnership. The entire team at Arete has embraced the opportunity to work with like-minded regional grocers,” said Rob McMahan, Arete’s chief executive officer.

For Topco’s member-owners that operate pharmacies, the strategic relationship offers the benefit of aggregation, which delivers increased flexibility and a sustainable competitive advantage. Topco’s member pharmacies will utilize Arete’s managed care contracting expertise to market a national network of pharmacies with high quality ratings and exceptional delivery of care to patients. Additionally, Topco’s member pharmacies will have access to Arete’s Quality Center, a web-based innovative performance toolkit of demonstrated value. The emphasis on quality improvement and outcomes is the driver behind the collaborative venture.

“Topco’s collaboration with Arete Pharmacy Network delivers the scale our members need to gain access to a broader network of patients. By partnering together to increase our network, Topco member pharmacies will be able to more effectively compete in their respective markets and better serve their customers and communities,” said Randy Skoda, president & CEO of Topco Associates.

About Topco Associates, LLC

Topco Associates, LLC is an over $14 billion, privately held company that provides aggregation, innovation and knowledge management solutions for its leading food industry member-owners and customers, including grocery retailers, wholesalers and food service companies. Topco leverages the collective volume, knowledge and commitment of these companies to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace by reducing costs and offering winning business-building capabilities. For more information, please visit www.topco.com.

About Arete Pharmacy Network

Arete Pharmacy Network serves independent community pharmacies and regional chains through a portfolio of expanded tools and services designed to help pharmacies deliver quality care to their communities. With a core focus on managed care contracting and service excellence, Arete Pharmacy Network supports the effective management of the financial, quality, and operational aspects of pharmacy business. For more information, visit www.areterx.com.