LOUIS G. SOKOS, B.S.Pharm., M.B.A., R.Ph. (firstname.lastname@example.org), is the Director of Specialty Pharmacy Services at Allied Health Solutions Specialty Pharmacy, which is a division of West Virginia University Health System. He has been the director of the program since its inception in 2014. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Director of Inpatient Pharmacy at WVU Hospital.
Sokos has grown the specialty pharmacy business from a small operation in the back of one of system retail pharmacies in 2014 to a 12,000 square foot facility with over 55 employees. The specialty pharmacy manages all major disease states from inflammatory conditions to oncology. The specialty pharmacy employs operational pharmacists, clinical pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, insurance specialists, business associates and couriers. The staff is located in both the primary pharmacy location in Morgantown as well as several clinics on campus. The pharmacy holds licenses in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia.
Sokos received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1987 from West Virginia University. He later received his Master’s in Business Administration in 1999 from West Virginia University. Louis has been an active member of ASHP since 2006 and a strong advocate for health-system based specialty pharmacy. He currently serves as Chair of the SAG on Workforce Development. The SAG was very active in its first year of operation and was able to provide several meaningful deliverables including a formal presentation to the Commission on Credentialing regarding potentially new standards for a PGY1 community residency with a specialty pharmacy focus.
Sokos has been married to his wife Rita for 31 years and has four children, Elias, Zachary, Olivia and Alexi.
I have had the good fortune to work in retail pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry, hospital pharmacy, and specialty pharmacy. Each one of these jobs had unique challenges requiring various skill sets to be successful, but the common denominator was that they required good leadership and the ability to effectively communicate.
Specialty pharmacy has pieces of all the industries I have worked in, and I have had to take knowledge from all of those segments to navigate the challenges for our specialty pharmacy at West Virginia University. As chair of the Workforce Development SAG, we quickly recognized there is not a standard residency format that produces a fully prepared new clinician in specialty pharmacy. We advocated for a revised PGY1 community residency with a specialty focus and presented those standards to the Commission on Credentialing. I am hopeful they will adopt some of our recommendations. I will utilize my leadership position on the Executive Committee to advocate for DIR reform, provide insight on LDD access and site of care issues, gain a better understanding of PBM contracts, and advocate for appropriate residency training tailored to specialty pharmacy.
I believe it is critical for health-system specialty pharmacies to be the leaders in outcomes-based research. Our integration with our providers and the shared electronic health record place us in prime position to gain a competitive advantage. Our providers generate most specialty prescriptions in our health systems. We have to leverage our relationship with our providers, coupled with better outcomes and a common electronic health record to advance our place in this industry.