by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | June 08, 2023
RLS, a Joint Commission accredited network of 31 radiopharmacies spread out across 18 states, will provide its compounding and delivery services at special pricing and prenegotiated terms to members of healthcare improvement company Premier, as part of a national group purchasing agreement between the two.
RLS is the third largest nuclear medicine pharmacy network in the U.S., and provides clean rooms built to ISO 1644-1 specifications for compounding, which revolves around preparing, mixing, assembling, packaging, and/or labeling radiopharmaceuticals. It also facilitates last-mile delivery of short-lived isotopes, transporting them directly to providers.
Within its portfolio of radiopharmaceuticals are technetium-99m (Tc-99m) and non-technetium products, Tl-201 chloride and I-123 ioflupane, as well as cold kits and accessories.
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Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Premier provides integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, consulting and other services to approximately 4,400 U.S. hospitals and 250,000 other providers.
"This agreement marks a major milestone in our ability to supply Premier members with streamlined access to our 24/7/365 network of accredited radiopharmacies, which compound and deliver thousands of patient-specific doses each and every day," said Stephen Belcher, CEO of RLS, in a statement.
RLS, which serves more than 1,500 customers and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, previously acquired GE HealthCare’s U.S. radiopharmacy network
in 2020, which provided it with its 31 radiopharmacies. RLS said that it planned to invest $2 billion over the next decade in expanding the footprint of pharmacies, as well as continue to invest in scientific and technological advancements.
At the time, GE HealthCare said the sale would allow its Pharmaceutical Diagnostics business to focus on its core portfolio of SPECT and PET imaging agents, and invest in new branded agents.