Q: Where did you grow up?
I grew up on the Near North Side of Chicago. Even though Chicago was (and obviously still is) a big city, everyone knew everyone in my town back then. I started working at the local drugstore (with a soda fountain!) at the age of 14 and have been involved in pharmacy ever since.
Q: Where did you go to college/graduate school?
I graduated from the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis (formerly St. Louis College of Pharmacy). I also have my AAHIVP certification with the American Academy of HIV Medicine.
Q: What are your favorites?
Food: You’ll never find me passing up anything Italian. I grew up in an Italian family and my mom, aunts, and grandmothers were all excellent cooks and pastry chefs.
Movie: Hands down, Cinema Paradiso.
Musicians: Frank Sinatra, Elton John, and Josh Groban.
Destination: Prior to the recent unrest, I really enjoyed traveling to Eastern Europe. My favorite place to travel in the United States is Palm Springs, California.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m a big fan of both music and travel. If I can combine the two, even better! When we travel—whether it’s around our neighborhood, within the United States, or internationally—we try to find restaurants with live music to go along with the local cuisine.
Q: What kind of work does your company do in 340B and what makes it stand out?
Avita Pharmacy is the largest independent nationwide provider of pharmacy services and solutions for Ryan White/STD Grantees, AIDS Service Organizations, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. But Avita’s value goes way beyond that of a traditional contract pharmacy. We also provide 340B program administration to our partners, including all the TPA services a covered entity would typically have to go elsewhere to find. We’re known for our specific expertise in supporting partners who work in HIV, PrEP, and HCV care, and we pride ourselves on our cultural competency and commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. Along with dedicated account management and 340B financial analyst support, we also offer covered entities of all shapes and sizes proprietary tools that help them maintain a real-time view of their 340B financials. We’re here to help our partners better serve their patients and sustainably grow their businesses.
Q: Why did you choose to work in the 340B space?
The 340B Drug Discount Program has a history of helping organizations fund health services for some of America’s most vulnerable patients living with a host of complex conditions. Due to high demand and increasingly sparse resources, these organizations have never been more crucial to the well-being of community health—or more challenged to sustain their very existence. My commitment to the 340B space is really an offshoot of my dedication to both the LGBTQ+ community and those living with HIV and AIDS. As an advocate for these groups for over 30 years, I know how critical the 340B program is to ensuring health equity in our nation.
Q: What do you feel is your most significant contribution to the 340B world or to a 340B customer/client?
When the 340B Drug Discount Program was first created in 1992, I immediately realized its value to communities that historically had poor access to quality healthcare. Due to my advocacy for those living with HIV and AIDS, I understood that the program could exponentially expand the ability of covered entities to care for populations that were (and still are) stigmatized. When combined with my specialized clinical HIV knowledge as a pharmacist, my understanding of the intricacies of the 340B program allows me to help educate covered entities, providers, and patients. Working together, we can make sure the program continues and patients get the care they need.
Q: What advice do you have for a young professional who has recently launched a career in the 340B space?
Remember: The end user is always the patient. Making sure the underserved have access to the medications they need is really what the 340B program is all about. You’ll need to balance an understanding of its complex financial aspects with the intricacies of patient care. On a superficial level, the program can seem dry, confusing, and bogged down by bureaucracy. It’s the human face of 340B we all need to keep top of mind.
For questions, Glen can be reached at Glen.Pietrandoni@avitapharmacy.com.