Our Leadership

Leadership

Ravi Ika

A noted entrepreneur and an innovator of disruptive business solutions, Ravi Ika founded RxAdvance in 2013 and serves as president and chief executive officer of the full service pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company. He launched RxAdvance to lower pharmacy, specialty and avoidable drug-impacted medical costs and achieve better outcomes, quality and compliance in the new era of value-based health care.

The RxAdvance platform Mr. Ika created from the ground up, the Collaborative PBM Cloud™, provides comprehensive automated services for all PBM administrative, clinical, specialty management, care stakeholder engagement, and compliance management functions. It does so in a way never before imagined in the PBM industry.

The Collaborative PBM Cloud™ combines pharmacy, medical, and lab information to deliver actionable intelligence. Prescribers receive this real time actionable intelligence at the point of care, pharmacists at point of sale, patients via mobile cloud and payers clinical and pharmacy staff engagement through their workflows. Among the valuable results: Lower costs, optimal utilization, better outcomes, higher quality, greater transparency and rigorous compliance.

Mr. Ika envisions a $950 billion PBM market long in need of transformation. The five largest PBMs, which manage over 80% of $325 billion in pharmacy benefit spend, provide limited, siloed services using antiquated, legacy platforms. Their lack of holistic vision introduces an additional $350 billion of avoidable drug-impacted medical costs into U.S. health care. In addition, $275 billion in poorly managed “buy and bill” specialty drug spend needs to be converted to a “Value-Based & Outcome-Driven” model.

More than 15 years ago, Mr. Ika recognized a similar transformational opportunity in health insurance. Industry insiders, challenged to reduce administrative costs by 30% and avoidable medical costs by 20%, saw the goals as unachievable. Mired in paper-based processes, the industry also struggled with a myriad of fragmented, inflexible, and expensive legacy systems.

Mr. Ika responded to this opportunity with ikaSystems, an enterprise payer-platform company. Disrupting obsolete paradigms, he delivered unprecedented change long before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The ikaSystems platform decreased administrative costs for many health insurers by as much as 50% and significantly reduced avoidable medical costs. With these results, ikaSystems raised more than $120mm capital from Providence Equity and Essex Woodland Ventures.

Known for building and inspiring world-class teams, Mr. Ika takes a hands-on approach to ensure his clients’ success. Over the years, healthcare industry leaders have come to rely on his vision and talent for creating enterprise platforms that radically disrupt legacy business paradigms and deliver significant value.

Mr. Ika has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Old Dominion University and worked as a research scientist at Harvard University prior to his entrepreneurial career.

Anand Tati

As a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Anand is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining overall RxAdvance corporate strategic initiatives. In this capacity, Anand will lead overall corporate strategy, innovation, strategic partnership initiatives, and business development. Leveraging his deep involvement since inception of RxAdvance, his primary goal is to translate RxAdvance’s vision, mission, and values into reality in a complex and dynamic healthcare environment.

Anand brings more than 20 years of corporate experience in strategy, leadership, technology execution and service delivery. Prior to joining RxAdvance, Tati was a senior manager and on a partner track at Deloitte Consulting. While at Deloitte and as part of the Information Management practice, Tati provided strategic technology advisory and implementation services to commercial, federal, and state government clients such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Time Warner, and Walmart. Prior to Deloitte, Tati was a product manager at IMS Health and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and was a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He began his career at Infosys as a software engineer.

Tati has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Technology, India, and a master’s degree in technology management from Penn Engineering and the Wharton School.

John Jacobsen

As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Jacobsen oversees the financial operations of the company. With 30 years of progressive financial experience he has developed best practices in operational processes. Mr. Jacobsen has spent most of his career assisting software and SAAS companies build structure and account for their operations. Mr. Jacobsen has been involved with multiple corporate transactions including company sales, mergers, acquisitions, and fund raising.

Mr. Jacobsen holds a BS in accounting and finance from Northeastern University and is a certified public accountant.

Mr. Jacobsen Is the proud husband to wife Wendy and father of Christopher, Matthew, Kyle, Cameron and Ashley.

Madu Narahari

Madu is responsible for overall operations of the company including administrative, clinical, financial, and service delivery. He is also responsible for spearheading all internal resources to ensure optimal implementations and ongoing service execution.

Madu brings 20+ years of experience in software industry with focus on architecture, product development and client implementations in Health Insurance, Financial industries and Government services. Prior to joining RxAdvance, Madu was Senior Vice President of Product Strategy and Service Operations at ikaSystems. During his 10+ year tenure at ikaSystems Madu developed many Commercial and Medicare products, including the flagship product MedicareGateway; and implemented these products for multiple Health Plans.

Madu has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology, India, and a master’s degree in engineering from Northeastern University.

Aruna Wickremeratne

Aruna currently serves as the Chief Administrative and Revenue Officer at RxAdvance and is responsible for Pharma rebate contracting, Pharmacy network contracting, and internal financial metrics.

Aruna brings to RxAdvance over two decades of experience in finance, accounting, HR, corporate development and operations. Prior to joining RxAdvance Aruna worked at ikaSystems Corporation (ika) DBA Visiant Health for over 14 years. He contributed significantly to the growth and success of ikasystems during his tenure there, initially serving as the CFO from inception through the acquisition of ika by Providence Equity. He later served as the VP of Operations and VP of Account Management for the company. Aruna was instrumental in creating a smooth transition during the integration of ika and Visiant using his vast knowledge of the business and his friendly team player approach to supporting staff and clients alike.

Aruna is a CPA and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is an avid runner.

Prakash Tallabattula

Prakash Tallabattula, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, oversees all technology operations, research and development, both onshore and offshore. Tallabattula is an effective leader and hands-on technology strategist with over 15 years of documented achievements in start-up, turnaround, high-growth, and Fortune 500 corporate environments. He is a driving force behind innovative strategies, processes, and technology solutions delivered collaboratively through strong cross-functional relationships built across the organization.

Prior to joining RxAdvance, Tallabattula worked as a senior enterprise architect at Fannie Mae, where he was responsible for the organization’s technology roadmap. He was also a senior architect at Verizon, where he played a key technical role on Verizon Dialup/DSL/FIOS solutions. In addition, he headed technology teams and was a member of executive teams at Sylvan Learning, Hanleywood, and other companies. Tallabattula earned his bachelor of engineering degree in computer science from the University of Karnataka and has his MBA in international business from Walden University.

Mark W. Owen

Mark W. Owen is currently Chief Transformation Officer at RxAdvance. Prior to joining Mr. Owen was President, Government Programs, for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC).

Previously he served as vice president of the Federal and Individual Business Divisions for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; and vice president and general manager of Medicare products and Commercial Individual products at Medica Health Plans in Minnetonka, Minn. He also held multiple executive positions with Humana in Louisville, KY.

He earlier served as vice president and general manager of Medica Health Plans in Minnetonka, Minn., where he oversaw two business segments – Medicare products and Commercial Individual products. From 1994-2000, he held multiple executive positions with Humana in Louisville, KY.

Prior to starting his career in health care, he spent 18 years in the transportation industry with Schneider National, a large truckload carrier based in Green Bay, WI.

Owen holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and a master’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Bijendra Malik

Bijendra Malik, Executive Vice President and Chief Security Officer, is responsible for overall RxAdvance operational infrastructure management and security.

Malik has more than 25 years experience in the insurance, finance, manufacturing and telecommunications industries, including strategic positions with Government Works, Inc., ikaSystems, GE and LG Electronics. His versatile background and experience in creating strategies for disaster recovery and processes to improve and maintain high security and service levels provide RxAdvance with the solid foundation necessary for designing, improving and maintaining complex infrastructure and software applications.

Malik holds a BS degree in electrical engineering and numerous certifications including CISA (Certified Information System Auditor), PMP (Project Management Professional), ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), IBM’s Certified Lotus Professional (CLP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Checkpoint Certified Security Administrator (CCSA), Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) and Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA).

Nirali Rana

Nirali Rana, PharmD, RPh, Vice President of Clinical Solutions, is responsible for overseeing all clinical operations, implementation, and sales initiatives.  She provides the overall direction for Commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and State programs; formulary strategy, and development and management of related processes.  She is also responsible for oversight of the Utilization Management program.  Nirali is well-known for developing high performing and strongly engaged teams.

Nirali is a licensed pharmacist with over 19 years of experience including community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, managed care, and academia.  Prior to joining RxAdvance, Nirali had a successful career with Walgreens.  She has extensive knowledge in pharmacy operations, specialty, Medication Therapy Management, account management, strategic thinking, leadership, and many lines of business including Medicaid, Medicare, and Commercial.  Nirali is a proud Summa Cum Laude 2004 graduate of Northeastern University where she obtained her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.   She also served as Governor at Large for the Massachusetts Pharmacist Association.

Michelle Mayer

In this role, Michelle is responsible for new and existing product or service development and tactical implementation of products and services related to Pharmacy Network and Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Rebate.

She oversees all negotiations related to RxAdvance’s pharmacy network contracts and pharmaceutical manufacturer rebate contracts.

Michelle is an accomplished sales and market access executive with three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. At Lilly USA, Michelle executed new product launches for oral and biologic agents, collaborated with public and private industry partners on drug portfolio access and formulary strategies as well as market share goals, and led advocacy efforts that resulted in increased patient access to life-saving treatments.

During her time at Lilly USA, Michelle received numerous professional honors, including the President’s Council Award and Peer-to-Peer Awards, mostly recognizing her superior team-building abilities.

Michelle holds a master of science in biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of science in toxicology from University of the Sciences. She participates on the Leadership Council of the Wistar Institute and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Board of Visitors. She is also an active member of the Healthcare Business Woman’s Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson, Director – Compliance, is responsible for the RxAdvance Corporate Compliance Program, Standard of Conduct and overall compliance with all state and federal regulations. In this role, she will work collaboratively with clients and internal departments to ensure all delegated services are fully compliant with all regulatory requirements.

Prior to joining RxAdvance, Heather was VP of Business solutions at Beacon Health Solutions, responsible for overall client engagement including compliance, audits and CMS deliverables. While at Beacon, Heather is accountable for leading her team to ensure all operational/compliance areas are exceeding CMS service levels. Prior to Beacon Health Solutions, as Director of Medicare at IkaSystems, Heather was responsible for overall compliance across all lines of business. In fact, throughout her 17 years’ healthcare professional career working for TPAs, health plans, and health technology companies she has always been involved interpreting CMS guidance, communicating these interpretations to stakeholders, and automating these regulations by leveraging the technology.

She holds a bachelor of science from Philadelphia University.

Steven T. Sager, Esq.

Steven T. Sager, Esq., Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel, oversees the full range of legal affairs for RxAdvance and provides strategic legal advice to RxAdvance’s leadership. Mr. Sager brings more than 28 years of legal experience to RxAdvance, including guiding companies of all sizes through a wide range of legal issues, including mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity finance, strategic partnering, employment and operational issues, and regulatory matters.

Mr. Sager is a founder and managing partner at Sager & Schaffer LLP, and has advised start-ups as well as publicly traded companies in many industries, including health care. Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Sager conducted his practice through a Boston law firm, where he concentrated on corporate law and business litigation. Mr. Sager graduated from Allegheny College and cum laude from Western New England University School of Law. Mr. Sager has held leadership positions in many civic and non-profit organizations.

Board of Directors

John Sculley

John Sculley is one of America’s best-known business leaders, with one foot in the storied history of Apple technology and the other planted firmly in 21st century innovations that change the way the world does business. Drawing upon many years of experience as a corporate executive, investor, entrepreneur, mentor, and rainmaker, Sculley has become a sought-after global advisor helping experienced entrepreneurs build a new generation of transformative companies.

In his 10 years as Apple CEO he worked together with Steve Jobs to launch the Macintosh computer, desktop publishing, and the first multimedia computers. By the end of his decade as Apple CEO, the Mac had become the largest selling PC in the world and Apple’s revenue had grown over 1000%.

John Sculley has domain expertise in data science innovation, predictive analytics, consumer brand building, supply chain systems, and growth equity investing.

The companies John has advised cover many industries: health-tech (RxAdvance, Rally Health, MDLIVE, FLEXPharma, SleepMed); fin-tech (Lantern Credit); mobile-tech (MetroPCS); and marketing–tech ( Zeta Interactive).

For 15 years John Sculley was on the Board of Overseers of both the MIT Media Lab and Wharton Business School. He received Wharton’s highest honor, The Joseph Wharton Award for Outstanding Leadership. He was selected as marketing CEO of the Decade when he was Apple CEO. John Sculley received an honorary PhD from Johns-Hopkins University and 10 other universities. In 2015 he was awarded The Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

John Sculley is author of “Moonshot “Game Changing Strategies to Build Billion Dollar Businesses”. He is married to Diane Sculley who is also his partner in Sculley Family Office.

Ravi Ika

A noted entrepreneur and an innovator of disruptive business solutions, Ravi Ika founded RxAdvance in 2013 and serves as president and chief executive officer of the full service pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company. He launched RxAdvance to lower pharmacy, specialty and avoidable drug-impacted medical costs and achieve better outcomes, quality and compliance in the new era of value-based health care.

The RxAdvance platform Mr. Ika created from the ground up, the Collaborative PBM Cloud™, provides comprehensive automated services for all PBM administrative, clinical, specialty management, care stakeholder engagement, and compliance management functions. It does so in a way never before imagined in the PBM industry.

The Collaborative PBM Cloud™ combines pharmacy, medical, and lab information to deliver actionable intelligence. Prescribers receive this real time actionable intelligence at the point of care, pharmacists at point of sale, patients via mobile cloud and payers clinical and pharmacy staff engagement through their workflows. Among the valuable results: Lower costs, optimal utilization, better outcomes, higher quality, greater transparency and rigorous compliance.

Mr. Ika envisions a $950 billion PBM market long in need of transformation. The five largest PBMs, which manage over 80% of $325 billion in pharmacy benefit spend, provide limited, siloed services using antiquated, legacy platforms. Their lack of holistic vision introduces an additional $350 billion of avoidable drug-impacted medical costs into U.S. health care. In addition, $275 billion in poorly managed “buy and bill” specialty drug spend needs to be converted to a “Value-Based & Outcome-Driven” model.

More than 15 years ago, Mr. Ika recognized a similar transformational opportunity in health insurance. Industry insiders, challenged to reduce administrative costs by 30% and avoidable medical costs by 20%, saw the goals as unachievable. Mired in paper-based processes, the industry also struggled with a myriad of fragmented, inflexible, and expensive legacy systems.

Mr. Ika responded to this opportunity with ikaSystems, an enterprise payer-platform company. Disrupting obsolete paradigms, he delivered unprecedented change long before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The ikaSystems platform decreased administrative costs for many health insurers by as much as 50% and significantly reduced avoidable medical costs. With these results, ikaSystems raised more than $120mm capital from Providence Equity and Essex Woodland Ventures.

Known for building and inspiring world-class teams, Mr. Ika takes a hands-on approach to ensure his clients’ success. Over the years, healthcare industry leaders have come to rely on his vision and talent for creating enterprise platforms that radically disrupt legacy business paradigms and deliver significant value.

Mr. Ika has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Old Dominion University and worked as a research scientist at Harvard University prior to his entrepreneurial career.

Jesse Hunter

Jesse Hunter currently serves as Executive Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions and Chief Strategy Officer for Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 multi-national healthcare enterprise.  Since joining Centene in 2002, he has held multiple positions with increasing responsibility that have contributed significantly to the growth and success of the organization.

Mr. Hunter has over two decades of experience in healthcare finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate development, strategy and operations. Prior to joining Centene, Mr. Hunter worked in mergers and acquisitions at Humana Inc. and for Healthcare Financial Partners, a publicly-traded specialty finance company.

Mr. Hunter received a Bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.  In 2014, Mr. Hunter was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni from the Olin Business School.

Mr. Hunter is also committed to community service as evidenced by his leadership role in multiple organizations. Mr. Hunter serves as the President of the Board of Directors at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA). He is a member of the Health Economy Forum, a community healthcare initiative lead by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and  advisor to the Community Health in Partnership Services (CHIPS), a free clinic providing services to uninsured individuals in the St. Louis Community. Additionally, he serves as a Trustee for the Forsyth School and is a Board member for American Heritage Trees.

Mr. Hunter is a proud husband to wife Linda and father of Riley (13), Kate (11), and Jackson (9).

Richard Ashworth

Richard Ashworth is president of operations for Walgreens, one of the largest drugstore chains in the United States, based in Deerfield, Illinois. Ashworth leads a nationwide organization comprised of more than 230,000 employees across all operational and commercial aspects. Walgreens operates more than 9,500 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ashworth was named to his current position in November of 2017. Prior, he served as president of pharmacy and retail operations since 2014.

Ashworth joined Walgreens in 1992 as a store service clerk. He was promoted through store management levels, holding various roles of increasing responsibility, including being named vice president of pharmacy operations in 2010 and operations vice president for the western United States in 2011.

In 2013, he was appointed director of healthcare and health and beauty in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland at Alliance Boots, while serving on the Boots UK operating committee. Ashworth led development and delivery of health care strategy, including responsibility for pharmacy, optometry and hearing care teams.

Ashworth received a Doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD) from Nova Southeastern University in 1999 and a master’s degree of business administration from the University of Phoenix in 2004. He currently serves as vice chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

James Harpel

Mr. Harpel is a serial entrepreneur. He is currently a general partner of both Palm Beach Capital, a mid-range Private equity firm; and of First Reserve Corp, a multibillion dollar energy related private equity firm—both of which he helped found. Additionally, he is also a founder and Senior Partner of Two Roads Development, a substantial real estate development company in Florida, that is currently or has been involved in the construction of over $1billion of Florida real estate.

He is also involved in a series or ventures ranging from a revolutionary vaccine company to a fintech mortgage software company. He enjoys the challenge of solving problems and building companies. Over the years he was also a well-known successful money manager on the cover of Barron’s; and was also a corporate turnaround manager at a very young age.

Mr. Harpel has been very involved with Harvard for many years. He started and sponsored a multiyear, interfaculty substance abuse research group. On the Board of The Kennedy School of Government, he has an endowed Chair at the School. He was on the Dana Farber Board for many years and has been on The Belfer Center Board at Harvard for many years.

He also ran an International Council for the Harris School of Government at the University of Chicago for about ten years. In Addition, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In Palm Beach, Mr. Harpel is on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Kravis Center.