Dr. Norrie Thomas earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees all from the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy. She helped develop the field of pharmacy benefit management and has held a number of senior management positions over the course of her career. From 2009 to 2010, Dr. Thomas served as an adjunct professor at the University, coordinating Dialogues in Managed Care Pharmacy Leadership, which sought to highlight leadership within the pharmacy profession. She currently serves president and managing director of Manchester Square Group.
Dr. Norrie Thomas begins her interview with a discussion of her early life and education. She describes her early work, the systemic problems she observed in hospital pharmacy, and her pursuit of further education in Social Administrative Pharmacy. The interview then turns toward her work on pharmacy benefit management companies and the many management positions she has held over the course of her career, with special attention to her positions at St. June Medical and Schering-Plough. She reviews some problems and solutions she sees in drug development and access to healthcare. Dr. Thomas then reflects on her time with the University. She describes her experience with Dr. Larry Weaver as dean of the College of Pharmacy, her work in the creation of the Academy of Managed Care, her work with Dean Marilyn Speedie, and her work on the Dialogues on Managed Care Pharmacy Symposium. She concludes with the importance of inclusivity and the responsibility of the AHC to foster interprofessional relationships.
Norrie Thomas was born in Detroit, Michigan but grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. She completed two years at a junior college in Rochester and transferred to the University of Minnesota in 1971. She earned her bachelor’s in pharmacy in 1976. She worked as a staff pharmacist at Saint Mary’s Hospital and the Mayo Clinic before returning to the University of Minnesota as a graduate student. She earned her master’s and doctorate in pharmacy administration in 1980 and 1983, respectively. She made important strides in developing the field of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) over the course of her career, co-founding one of the first PBM companies, Clinical Pharmacy Advantage, in 1990. Over the course of her career, Dr. Thomas has held senior management positions at all of the following companies: MedCenters Health Plans, Aetna, McKesson, PCS, Eli Lilly, St. Jude Medical, Schering-Plough, and Magellan Health Services. She also helped establish the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. From 2009 to 2010, Dr. Thomas served as an adjunct professor at the University, coordinating Dialogues in Managed Care Pharmacy Leadership, which sought to highlight leadership within the pharmacy profession. She currently serves president and managing director of Manchester Square Group.