July 15, 2010 - Cmdr. Krista Pedley of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps has been tapped to become the next director of the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA).
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Associate Administrator Joyce Somsak made the announcement in a letter released the evening of July 14.
Pedley, who has led OPA's patient-safety initiative and served as project manager of the office's Pharmacy Services Support Center and Prime Vendor Program, succeeds Jimmy Mitchell, who announced his retirement in January. Mitchell has been OPA's sole director since 1999 and served as its acting leader during the preceding two years. HRSA, the pharmacy office's parent agency, conducted a nationwide search for the post but in the end decided to promote from within.
A doctor of pharmacy with a master's degree in emergency management, Pedley has spent her entire career in public service. After receiving her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, she worked as a PHS pharmacist assigned to the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Generic Drugs. After five years she transferred to the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, where she analyzed U.S. hospitals' capacity to respond to acts of bioterrorism. Pedley has been at OPA since 2007. She earned her master's degree in engineering management and systems engineering with a concentration in crisis, emergency and risk management from The George Washington University in 2008.
Takes command amid big changes
Pedley takes the reins at OPA during one of the most momentous periods in its 11-year history. More than 1,000 hospitals became eligible for 340B drug discounts with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the new health care reform law. The measure also provided $3.6 billion over five years for the expansion of federal qualified health centers (FQHCs), all of which qualify for 340B.
And that's just part of what awaits Pedley in the OPA director's in box.
HRSA is facing a mid-September deadline to issue final regulations setting up a new 340B dispute resolution process. It also has to begin providing 340B ceiling prices to covered entities, to develop a 340B credit and refund process, and to implement health care reform's 340B program integrity provisions. Then there's the ongoing matter of cleaning up OPA's covered entity data base.
Ted Slafsky, executive director of Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access (SNHPA), congratulated Pedley on her appointment. "We look forward to working with Commander Pedley and her colleagues at OPA during this time of historic change for the 340B program," Slafsky says.
HRSA also announced that Lt. Cmdr. Jae Choi of the PHS will serve as OPA's deputy director. He has spent the past three years at OPA as a project manager with responsibility for the OPA covered entity data base. Choi has a doctor of pharmacy degree and a bachelor of science degree in engineering, both from the University of Maryland, and a master of business administration degree from the University of Missouri.
Both he and Pedley are scheduled to speak at sessions during the 340B Coalition annual conference, being held July 19-21 in Washington.