CSI Pharmacy stories Uncategorized

CSI Pharmacy Expands Specialty Infusion Services in the Midwest

NASH, Texas, April 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — CSI Pharmacy, an independent, national specialty pharmacy and home infusion provider, announced today the opening of its third regional pharmacy location. Operating out of West Chester, OH, the new location greatly expands the company’s current dispensing capabilities.

“With the recent opening of our Connecticut pharmacy in February, the addition of our Ohio location positions CSI Pharmacy as a national player in the specialty infusion industry,” said COO Randy Broyles, RPh. “Multiple locations help us not only compete more effectively in local markets, but also improves our ability to secure in-network status with some regional and national insurance providers.”

“The addition of our Ohio location positions CSI Pharmacy as a national player in the specialty infusion industry.”

“It also means we are better prepared operationally in case of emergencies,” added Chief Pharmacy Officer, Jack Lemley, PharmD. “Having the capacity to shift dispensing locations in case of severe weather or other disruption means our customers have an extra layer of security with their care.”

The new state-of-the-art facility allows for complete duplication of its primary pharmacy operations in Nash, Texas. With 12,000 square feet of space, the West Chester pharmacy provides space for additional medication storage and distribution capacity, as well as a multi-chair infusion suite.

“While the vast majority of our customers are infused at home, infusion suites offer important benefits to some patients,” Lemley explained. “Those might be patients who either like the social environment of an infusion suite, require a higher level of clinical monitoring, don’t want to store their medications and supplies at home, or otherwise can’t or don’t want to bring their medical treatment home with them.”

About CSI Pharmacy

CSI Pharmacy is a national specialty pharmacy dedicated to serving patients with chronic and rare illnesses. Founded by pharmacists in 2014, the company specializes in treating rare diseases with biologics and plasma-derived therapies. It employs specially trained infusion nurses to provide these treatments to patients around the country. CSI continues to be led by co-founder and CEO, James Sheets, PharmD. Today, CSI Pharmacy is licensed to dispense in 48 states, plus D.C., and is accredited by two of the nation’s leading specialty pharmacy accrediting bodies: the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and URAC.


CSI Pharmacy stories Uncategorized

CSI Pharmacy Announces Limited Distribution Agreement for Gammaplex

NASH, Texas, March 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — CSI Pharmacy, LLC, an independent, national specialty pharmacy and home infusion provider, today announced an agreement with Bio Products Laboratory (BPL) for limited distribution rights to its immune globulin product Gammaplex®.

Access to Gammaplex means CSI Pharmacy is now able to dispense all FDA-approved immune globulin products. The company expects to begin stocking Gammaplex immediately.

“Gammaplex not only expands our product portfolio, but it increases treatment options for patients who have various conditions,” said COO Randy Broyles, RPh. “By diversifying our portfolio with BPL and other plasma product manufacturers, we’re strengthening our industry partnerships, as well as strengthening the supply chain for our patients and customers.”

Immune globulin products contain human antibodies, derived primarily from donated human plasma. Multiple immune globulin products are manufactured for the U.S. market. They are commonly used to treat conditions such as primary and secondary immunodeficiencies, autoimmune neurological and dermatological disorders, as well as hundreds of other conditions believed to be immune mediated.

“We want to thank BPL for trusting CSI to deliver a positive patient experience with its products,” remarked co-founder and CEO James Sheets, PharmD. “As our company continues to grow, we will need partnerships like this one to secure product availability for customers, now and into the future.”


CSI Pharmacy is a national specialty pharmacy dedicated to serving patients with chronic and rare illnesses. Founded by pharmacists in 2014, the company specializes in treating rare diseases with biologics and plasma-derived therapies. It employs specially trained infusion nurses to provide these treatments to patients around the country. CSI continues to be led by co-founder and CEO, James Sheets, PharmD. Today, CSI Pharmacy is licensed to dispense in 48 states, plus D.C., and is accredited by two of the nation’s leading specialty pharmacy accrediting bodies: the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and URAC.


CSI Pharmacy stories Uncategorized

CSI Pharmacy Expands Specialty Infusion Services on the East Coast

NASH, Texas, Feb. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — CSI Pharmacy, LLC, an independent, national specialty pharmacy and home infusion provider, announced today the opening of its second pharmacy location. Operating out of Enfield, CT, the new location augments the company’s current national dispensing capabilities, previously centralized in Nash, Texas.

“The opening of our Connecticut pharmacy signals the next step in CSI Pharmacy’s growth strategy,” said co-founder and CEO James Sheets, PharmD. “Having a presence on the East Coast gives us, not only additional capacity to expand within a highly populous region, but additional resources to be able to respond rapidly to customers’ needs and continue providing five-star service to existing customers.”

The new 4,000-square foot facility reinforces the company’s ability to serve patients and referral sources across the eastern United States, with more state pharmacy licensures planned for in the coming months. The additional location enables CSI Pharmacy to navigate complex payer and regulatory requirements more effectively in the region. Moreover, it offers redundant pharmacy services, distribution, and medication storage capabilities in the event of localized service disruptions.

“We are working carefully to solidify our national presence by building a robust pharmacy network,” said COO Randy Broyles, RPh. “Connecticut offers a prime location for us to begin moving toward that goal.”

CSI Pharmacy is also nearing completion of a third pharmacy, to be announced in the coming weeks.

“The home setting continues to grow as the preferred setting for infused medications,” Sheets added. “Patients want choices, and they deserve choices,” he continued. “The more we expand, the better we can meet this growing demand. But we’re adamant that we will not sacrifice the personalized attention our customers rightfully expect.”  

About CSI Pharmacy

CSI Pharmacy is a national specialty pharmacy dedicated to serving patients with chronic and rare illnesses. Founded by pharmacists in 2014, the company specializes in treating rare diseases with biologics and plasma-derived therapies. It employs specially trained infusion nurses to provide these treatments to patients around the country. CSI continues to be led by co-founder and CEO, James Sheets, PharmD. Today, CSI Pharmacy is licensed to dispense in 48 states, plus D.C., and is accredited by two of the nation’s leading specialty pharmacy accrediting bodies: the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and URAC.


CSI Pharmacy stories

Another Set of Trained Eyes

Dr. Ed O’Bryan isn’t one to sit around. In fact, he stands—dances, even—even when he’s working at his desk.

He practices as an ER doctor, teaches emergency medicine, started and serves on the board of trustees for two nonprofit organizations, and founded a number of health-related companies, several of which he still serves as a board member for. He has a long list of peer-reviewed publications and given countless talks, including a TEDx talk in Charleston. And he’s always looking for better ways to provide the absolute best healthcare for patients. 

In August, Ed arrived at CSI Pharmacy to serve as our first chief medical officer. 

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset,” says Ed, who in addition to achieving a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina also earned an MBA from the University of Tennessee.

As CSI Pharmacy grows, expanding services across the country and growing the number of therapies we now offer, Ed provides clinical oversight to ensure we continue to provide the best care for those who depend on these treatments. He works with pharmacists and nurses to monitor therapies and patient outcomes, and he coordinates communication with healthcare providers so they are continually informed about their patients’ progress.

“We work with complex diseases,” Ed says. “They’re difficult to treat, and every patient is different in how they respond. Adding that extra layer of clinical oversight, whether it’s for patient questions or challenges that our nurses may have, just makes us better and further sets us apart from other pharmacies.”

Among his priorities is developing a digital evaluation process to monitor the impact of treatment on both the patient’s condition and quality of life. Gathering this data over a period of time can help pharmacists and physicians understand what’s working best to improve patient outcomes. It may even add to the scientific understanding of diseases such as myasthenia gravis, myositis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), primary immunodeficiency diseases, and other conditions we treat.

Ed also wants to create a physician advisory council for CSI Pharmacy. Having a relationship with a group of specialists and researchers will help us stay on the cutting edge of new and expanding therapies that can best serve our patient communities.

“We want to show that patient outcomes are better when they get their infusions at home versus going to a hospital setting,” Ed says. “Having an extra set of trained eyes on our patients will help to make sure that their complex and chronic diseases are being managed in the best way possible. This can really take us to the next level.”

When he’s not working, Ed enjoys hanging out with his wife, Claire, a nurse practitioner, and their daughters, Evy (age 7) and Tillie (age 5). And while surfing is one of his favorite pastimes, he doesn’t get to do this much since he moved from Charleston, South Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee.

“I just want patients to know that that I’m here to be a resource for them,” Ed says. “These disease states are so complex and challenging from a lot of different standpoints. I’m really excited to be an advocate for them.”

CSI Pharmacy stories

Becoming Family

When Roxanne Marlar was first approached with the offer to join a new specialty pharmacy in Texarkana, Texas, she declined. The job was providing infusion therapies to mostly adult patients in their home. But she was a neonatal intensive care nurse working with premature babies, and she loved her job. She was not interested in making a change. Ever.

But she reluctantly agreed to meet with pharmacist James Sheets for dinner at a restaurant near her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. She found him funny and quirky and maybe a little overly optimistic. He talked about his plans for the new company he and two partners were starting. They were going to grow from a small, local business to a nationwide pharmacy in the next few years. Didn’t she want to be in on the ground floor and be part of this success?  

“It just sounded crazy,” Roxanne says. “I had never heard of immunoglobulin therapy. How could I do this when I don’t even know what it is? So I looked it up and it sounded interesting, that you could send a nurse into a patient’s home to give them this drug. I didn’t even know that was an option in nursing. It piqued my interest, so I decided I would just try it out. If I didn’t like it, I could always go back to the NICU.”

So in May of 2016, she started out with two patients as the only full-time nurse, and the business actually did grow into that nationwide service James had predicted. Today, CSI Pharmacy serves nearly 650 patients in 46 states. Roxanne is now Vice President of Nursing, leading a team of 103 infusion nurses, a director of nursing, five regional supervisors, and several support staff. She also oversees dozens of agency nurses contracted in geographic areas where CSI Pharmacy doesn’t have a nurse on staff.

Roxanne has always been a people person, so the thing she loves about this work is being able to spend time with patients—a minimum of four or five hours for every monthly intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) infusion—and the chance to get to know them on a personal level.

“At CSI Pharmacy, every patient has a primary nurse who comes to do the infusion every time,” she says. “They start out as a stranger in the patient’s house, but that changes quickly. A relationship is built, and the nurse really becomes like family for the patient.”

As an administrator, however, Roxanne doesn’t get that special time with patients as much as she would like. Now she spends most of her time overseeing the nursing staff, making sure they have the resources they need, and making sure patients receive the highest quality care possible. Still, she fills in to infuse patients in her area when needed, because she knows how important it is to spend time with patients, even for administrators.

“Our supervisors usually continue as the primary nurse for at least one or two patients, so they are still in the field,” Roxanne says. “It’s always good to lay your hands on the patient so you remember that what you’re doing on the administrative side is still all about making a difference for patients.”

The relationship that develops with the patient and their caregivers is sometimes a surprise to the nurses Roxanne hires. The infusion world is very different from working in the hospital or other areas of nursing. It gives the nurse a lot more flexibility and autonomy and the chance to be with patients in a whole different way. When nurses come to CSI Pharmacy, they often say they want to take on just a few patients. Just like Roxanne did, it doesn’t take long, before they ask for more and say they want to do this full time.

“Home infusion has my heart,” Roxanne says. “Taking this job has been the best decision I ever made. I will never do anything else.”

CSI Pharmacy stories

Making Our Patients Feel at Home

If there’s one thing that CSI Pharmacy always wants to do better, it’s to help those who need our services feel more comfortable when they arrive on our doorstep.

“A patient’s first experience with a specialty pharmacy can be very confusing,” says Elizabeth Duruz, RPh. “Getting their treatment approved by the insurance plan and all of the steps that need to take place before the patient even gets the medication, can cause a lot of anxiety.”

That’s why Elizabeth is here. She is a Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP), an Immunoglobulin Certified Pharmacist (IgCP), and she was recently hired to serve as Clinical Programs Manager at CSI Pharmacy. Together with our Patient Care Coordinators and Patient Advocates, Elizabeth will welcome new patients to our service, educate them about their therapy, answer their questions, and facilitate the preapproval process.

Elizabeth has been a registered pharmacist for twenty-two years and worked in specialty infusion pharmacy services since 2009. Prior to joining CSI Pharmacy, she was part of a large corporation where her work kept her at a distance from the people she served. That’s why she’s especially happy to take on this role at CSI Pharmacy where she can once again develop the kind of personal connections with patients that make her job so rewarding.

One of her major goals will be to make patients a partner in their own care. She will work together with patients and caregivers to understand their goals for treatment, track the effectiveness of their care, and adjust the treatment plan to optimize their therapy.

“Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) can be uncomfortable for some patients,” Elizabeth says. “A lot of patients just don’t know there are options. Maybe we can slow down the infusion, for example, or spread it out over more than one day. We don’t want the treatment to be a bigger burden than the condition.”

For Elizabeth, it’s an important asset that she also lives with a rare autoimmune condition called sarcoidosis. It’s an inflammatory disease that causes abnormal masses called granulomas to form in the lungs and other organs in the body. The granulomas often change the way the organs work, causing, for example, shortness of breath and cough.

“I really believe this gives me the ability to see things from a patient standpoint,” she says. “My disease causes extreme fatigue and pain, and my insurance has refused to pay for the specialty medication that was helping me. So I can definitely relate to these same challenges that many of our patients have.”

Elizabeth is a native of Ohio but has lived in Atlanta for nearly a decade where she works remotely. She is also a soccer mom, with two players in the family, a son who is 11 and a 21-year-old daughter. Their family also includes two rescue dogs.

“Because of my illness, I’ve had to stop hiking and the other active things that I liked to do,” Elizabeth says. “But I’ve taught myself how to crochet, I make note cards, and I like to work challenging jigsaw puzzles…things that don’t require a lot of energy to enjoy.”

“I feel really at home at CSI Pharmacy, and I have a very strong passion to make sure our patients do too,” Elizabeth says. “I take it very personally if someone can’t get the treatment they need. So it’s my number one priority to see what I can do to overcome whatever barriers they are encountering.”

Advocacy CSI Pharmacy stories

CSI Pharmacy’s Plasma Donor Superhero

Maddie was in high school when she developed juvenile dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease of the muscles that made her so weak she couldn’t walk. Bill developed myasthenia gravis, another autoimmune neuromuscular disease, after having anesthesia for bypass surgery. Amanda and her daughter have immune deficiency diseases that make them susceptible to all kinds of infections. Immune globulin (IG) has been a life-saving therapy for all of these individuals.

IG is one of a number of treatments that can only be made from donated human plasma. This year, as a result of coronavirus restrictions, plasma therapeutics companies have experienced a significant drop in donations, which will limit supplies of plasma products such as IG by the end of the year. For patients, this is their worst fear. It means they may not be able to get the medications that allow them to live a normal life.

When Justin McNeill learned that plasma donations were down by as much as 40%, he thought of patients like Maddie, Bill, Amanda, and her daughter. Much of CSI Pharmacy’s business involves providing home infusion services for those who depend on IG therapy. As a delivery technician for CSI Pharmacy, it’s Justin’s job to pack up shipments of immune globulin and the supplies needed to administer it and make sure it all gets to the patient’s home in time for their infusion. 

In the spring, CSI Pharmacy joined the Immunoglobulin National Society in an effort to raise awareness about plasma donation and to inspire more healthy donors to contribute. As part of that effort, the company initiated an internal contest to encourage employees to become plasma donors. Justin was among the first to respond.

“We were told that with all the coronavirus restrictions, people aren’t donating plasma as much,” Justin says. “That means patients aren’t going to be able to get the medicine they need. I figured I’m able to give, so there’s no reason not to.”

Justin started donating in May and has given twice a week ever since—the maximum weekly donations allowed. To date, he has donated plasma 24 times. And even though he works full time and goes to school in the evenings, showing up at the BPL Plasma donation center is part of his weekly routine. He plans to keep on giving as long as they’ll let him.

Justin may have run away with this contest, but he’s not the only CSI Pharmacy employee to participate in the plasma donor drive. Eleven other members of the staff have also donated at least twice. (Regulations require two donations before the plasma can be used to make plasma protein therapies like IG.)

The rules governing who can qualify as a plasma donor are very strict. Justin, who is 24 years old and healthy, had no problem qualifying. When several other employees attempted to donate, however, they were turned away because they have chronic health conditions or other restrictions. This only made Justin more committed to continue donating.

“I knew a lot of the people here in the office couldn’t donate because of various health issues or medications, so I said, why not me?”

“Justin is very modest,” says James Sheets, CEO of CSI Pharmacy. “I know he doesn’t like to call attention to himself. But for us he is a superhero. We are pleased that our employees take this so seriously and are willing to donate plasma. And we’re extremely proud of Justin for his ongoing commitment to making plasma donation a part of his life.”

For Justin, it’s all about Maddie, Bill, Amanda and her daughter, and others for whom he packs up the products and supplies for their home infusions. He urges anyone who qualifies to consider becoming a plasma donor.

“We’re probably about to get hit with a really bad shortage of IG products,” he says. “Our patients need this medicine that’s made from human plasma. We’ve got a lot of people who are really sick and really need this medicine. Even donating just twice will help save lives. You can make a big difference.”

As the winner of CSI Pharmacy’s Plasma Donation Incentive Program, Justin McNeill was presented with a trophy and a monetary gift during a ceremony in September.

Find a plasma donation center near you.

Advocacy CSI Pharmacy stories

It’s Our Turn

As a member of CSI Pharmacy’s patient advocacy team, it’s my job to create materials for our campaign to increase plasma donations. We’re working to encourage people, especially family members and friends of those who rely on immune globulin therapy, to roll up their sleeves and give back by giving their plasma.

The coronavirus crisis has slowed donations of this life-saving serum from which immune globulin (IG) therapies are made. Together with the Immune Globulin National Society (IgNS), CSI Pharmacy is supporting the #ItsMyTurn campaign, encouraging those of us who are not on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 to consider this opportunity to be a hero in a different way.

While I sat safely socially isolating in my home, organizing webinars, writing patient stories, and creating social media memes, this voice kept nagging at the back of my head: You could donate, it said.

I could, I thought. But the closest plasma donation center is an hour away from where I live in Central Virginia. But it would take me half the day to donate. But I’d have to do it on a regular basis; a one-time shot won’t work.

Still, I just couldn’t sit here urging others to do this important work if I weren’t willing to get off my “buts” and do my part too. I work remotely all the time anyway, and I could bring my laptop and check social media while I donated. I could commit to donating once a week. So I made an appointment and started donating.

But I’m not the only member of the CSI Pharmacy staff getting out of the workplace to donate plasma. Our leadership is making this a movement by encouraging all employees to become plasma donor heroes. And CSI Pharmacy CEO James Sheets is leading the way to the donation center.

“This is an opportunity for us to give back to our community of patients who depend on this life-saving therapy,” James says. “Our patients are our family, and we can’t let them down. We have to do what we can to be sure they can get the treatments they need.”

For my colleagues who work at the pharmacy headquarters in Wake Village, Texas, there is a certified plasma donation center just three miles away in Texarkana. CSI Pharmacy team members are given time to donate during working hours. Those who donate receive a special #ItsMyTurn t-shirt. James has even created a contest to encourage employees to make donating a routine part of their week.

“Our team members are motivated to this cause, because they’re so connected to our patients and their therapies,” James says. “They know how challenging it can be for folks when IG products are in short supply.”

With seven donations under his belt so far, delivery technician Justin McNeill is leading in donations among the CSI Pharmacy employees. He’s grateful for the time to give, but for him it’s not really about the contest or the modest payment he receives as a donor. 

“If there’s a shortage on our IG products, our patients aren’t going to get the medicine they need,” Justin says. “I figure I’ve got it to give, so I might as well.”

Roxanne Ward, CSI Pharmacy’s Regional Nursing Supervisor in Little Rock, Arkansas got three of her nurses together to make an event of their trip to the plasma donation center. Knowing that plasma donations are down right now is what made her want to take this extra step for her patients.

“I treat so many people who rely on this,” she says. “I felt like donating is the least I can do to help the people I care for.”

Not everyone at CSI Pharmacy will qualify to donate plasma, though. Eligibility guidelines are strict, so those with certain medical conditions, those who take certain medications, or those who may have been exposed certain blood-borne pathogens won’t be able to give. These team members can still participate in our program, however, by recruiting someone else to donate in their place.

“We’re really proud of the response from our team members,” James says. “It’s an important effort, and we’d like to invite other businesses and organizations to join this effort to short-circuit an IG shortage by encouraging their employees to donate plasma. Together we can make a difference.”


CSI Pharmacy stories

Therapies Unique as Fingerprints

When James Sheets and his partners decided to create a business that focused on home immune globulin therapy, they didn’t really know what to call it. The traditional dispensing pharmacy they already operated had a name: North Heights Pharmacy. But they felt this local focus would limit this new venture, which they expected to expand beyond their current Texas/Arkansas/Louisiana area.

“When I was presented with the challenge of coming up with a name, I didn’t really have any ideas,” James says.

At the time in late 2013, specialty pharmacies were just starting to emerge from other fields of pharmacy, so James decided “specialty” would be part of the name. He also wanted the word “clinical” to be in there, because with a team of outstanding pharmacists with decades of infusion experience, he and his business partner Barry Buls felt it was their commitment to providing comprehensive clinical services that set this new business apart.

Then one night in the middle of the night James woke up from a dead sleep with a picture of the whole plan.

“I sat up in bed and said, ‘Wait a minute. We’re going to call this thing Clinical Specialty Infusions, and we’ll use the name CSI Pharmacy,’” he says. “People will remember it, because they will think of the TV show Crime Scene Investigation.”

The logo would be a thumbprint overlaid with a magnifying glass, also tying in the idea of the detective. And the motto would be “Individualized therapies designed to be as unique as you,” because, like one’s fingerprint, CSI Pharmacy’s treatments are designed for the specific needs of each patient.

CSI Pharmacy is now licensed in 39 states and the District of Columbia with plans to acquire licenses in all 50 states. North Heights Pharmacy is still part of the business, filling retail prescriptions in Texarkana, Arkansas.  The headquarters, which includes an infusion center, are based at a second physical location in Wake Village, Texas. Soon CSI plans to expand their individualized care by acquiring new bricks-and-mortar locations in at least two additional states.

“We are truly focused on making a difference in people’s lives,” James says. “And I’ve always said if we take care of patients, if we are there for the prescribers, and if we take good care of our employees, the rest will take care of itself.”

CSI Pharmacy stories

CSI: A Special Specialty Pharmacy

“I’d always had a dream of owning a little mom-and-pop pharmacy,” says James Sheets, CEO of CSI Pharmacy. He’d had a number of jobs working in both big box pharmacies and smaller shops in and around his hometown of Texarkana, Texas, and he preferred a small, local business where he and his staff could get to know their customers.

In 2013, James’s dream came true when he and two other pharmacist friends, Barry Buls and Mark McMurry, had the opportunity to partner up and purchase North Heights Pharmacy, a shop that had been in business in Texarkana since 1975.

North Heights was doing some retail sales, but they also provided medications for some local hospice services. They also did compounding, mixing up specialized medications for individualized patient needs. The plan, when James took over as chief pharmacist, was to build on these services, with outstanding customer service as their main goal.

In a previous job, however, James had started a successful home infusion program. The service provided treatments such as intravenous antibiotics, cardiac medications, and intravenous nutrition. It was a way for patients to receive these intensive treatments at home, rather than having to go to the hospital or stay in a nursing home.

He wasn’t really trying to get back into home infusion services at North Heights, but one day James got a call from a local neurologist who had several patients who were desperate for someone to provide intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) therapy in the home. These were people with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) who had been cut off from this service because the big national pharmacy chain that once provided it had decided it wasn’t getting paid enough by the patients’ health insurance.

“These were patients who were stable on IVIG, who had been doing well for years, yet they were losing their home infusion services,” James says. “Naturally we wanted to take care of them. Some of these patients we knew from our previous experience, so we already had a personal relationship with them.”

So James and his partners decided to go all in with home infusions, especially IVIG. They made some infrastructure changes to add the necessary facilities at North Heights, and they hired Tracy Knox, a nurse who specializes in infusion therapies, to work just with these patients. They also hired several other staff members who were experienced with the processes necessary to administer infusions, including pharmacy technician Natalie Edwards, IV technician Jet Richardson, intake coordinator Vanessa Noble, and Abe Cardenas, who serves as warehouse manager.

The pharmacy also needed a new name, one that more accurately reflected this new focus.  Clinical Specialty Infusions was born and immediately became CSI Pharmacy.

“What really sets us apart is that we’ve developed clinical programs around the different types of patients we serve,” James says.

In addition to people with CIDP, CSI also has patient communities for those with myositis and myasthenia gravis, both rare, autoimmune neuromuscular diseases. A new patient community is also developing with people who live with pemphigus and pemphigoid, which are rare autoimmune diseases that affect the skin and/or mucus membranes.

In caring for these patients, James and his team don’t just take an order from a physician and give the customer the medication. CSI hires or contracts with infusion nurses who know how best to administer immune globulin and how to monitor the patient during and after the treatment. More than that, though, they work with the whole CSI team, including physicians, pharmacists, patient advocates, and insurance staff to be sure the patient receives the individualized care they need.

More importantly, because staff spend so much time with patients, both administering the medications and working to get insurance coverage for these expensive treatments, they get to know them as friends not just patients. Staff and patients exchange personal stories, check in with each other, and share the success when the patient’s condition improves.

Infusion nurse Tracy Knox, for example, has been working with James since the beginning. “I can see the difference I’ve made in people’s lives, and I like that,” she says. “I’ve been doing infusions for this one patient for many years now. She used to have to use a wheelchair, but now I see her in Walmart and she’ll say, ‘Look! I can walk with a cane now!’”

Over the past few years, CSI has grown from a small, hometown pharmacy into a thriving nationwide specialty pharmacy with two physical locations and plans for more and a mission to make sure every patient receives the care she or he needs regardless of how much they get paid for it.