4 minute read 21 Jan 2022
Larch tree in mountain

Five to Thrive: RareMed’s Dr. Gordon Vanscoy on integrity and long-term vision

By Andrew Jordan

EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Director and Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Passionate about supporting entrepreneurs. Married to an entrepreneur. Proud father of four. Striving for an active, healthy lifestyle.

4 minute read 21 Jan 2022

The CEO is a pioneer in therapies for patients with rare diseases. Here are some of his takeaways on navigating the pandemic and maintaining perspective.

Welcome to Five to Thrive, where we ask five questions of successful and innovative entrepreneurs and thought leaders about building resiliency, withstanding constant change and redefining business in the next year and beyond.

Dr. Gordon J. Vanscoy has pioneered the field of rare pharmacy, delivering breakthrough therapies to patients with rare diseases. He is Chairman and CEO of RareMed Solutions LLC, a solutions provider for patients with rare and devastating disorders. He also is the Founder and Executive Advisor of PANTHERx Rare, the nation’s only pure rare disease and orphan drug-focused pharmacy. In late 2020, PANTHERx, a multibillion-dollar nationwide entity, was acquired by Centene, a Fortune 50 corporation. Dr. Vanscoy is an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 National Award winner and represented the US at the global awards in June 2021.

What pivots have you made during the pandemic that you hope will continue?

GV: The opportunity for us was to introduce virtuality in our workforce, which is so important to us as we serve these patients with rare diseases. This hybrid work structure allowed us not only to continue to deliver quality, but also to keep our people employed and actually grow the company. It was a fundamental pivot for us that will continue in the future. Just think about having the pandemic hit patients that already have a devastating disease. We had no choice but to adjust and keep serving.

What have you learned about yourself as a leader during these times?

GV: It’s interesting because you’re home a lot more and have an opportunity to reflect. I realized the trait that I admire most in my colleagues and peers is integrity and trustworthiness. People’s true colors at RareMed have shown bright throughout this pandemic, and their effort and support have been incredible. Also, I learned not to make decisions based on limited information. If you think you will have the opportunity to learn more; have a degree of patience. Now I employ a tactic that, if I have an important decision, I wait until the next morning before actually acting on it. Patience is something that’s absolutely critical.

What or who have been some of your best resources lately to lean on?

GV: In growth organizations like RareMed and PANTHERx, having individuals who are committed beyond the job is important, and it’s all about having an incredible social mission. I think it was [British diplomat Matthew] Rycroft who said, “How a society treats its most vulnerable is always the measure of its humanity.” That’s what we live by. The second thing has been our network. In health care, particularly in biopharmaceuticals, a lot of individuals develop their careers and move on to another company after very short stints. Our network has allowed our business to explode, as these individuals have taken relationships from the past with us, gone on to new organizations, and allowed us the opportunity to serve their rare patients.

How do you see the role of the entrepreneur in helping to create and improve the economy of the future?

GV: Entrepreneurs create economically viable disruption. It’s not disruption for power. It’s all about, how can we create a future that makes sense? There has to be a return — not just a financial return, but a return for the people, for those we serve. I look at entrepreneurs as an army of change agents — and what a great army we have. These are the individuals who are going to create long-lasting change that is durable.

What advice would you give to other business leaders at this time?

GV: As I was going through my fifth or sixth major transaction in the middle of the pandemic, I thought a lot about perspective. If you’re building a company, it’s very different than just being in a position where you’re looking to win an immediate battle or win a single piece of business. Perspective is all about building a business for the long term. You may not necessarily win all those short-term battles, but for the long term, you can build a structure, build a foundation, develop those relationships. It’s about having that vision for the future, but also having that vision from 30,000 feet. I have to do that, because otherwise I’d get bogged down in the details. It’s important to have somebody in the organization who can take a step back from the personalities, take a step back from the immediacy of the decisions today, and try to put that into the context of where you want your business and your people to be in the future.

Learn more

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is a unique global program that recognizes...


Dr. Gordon J. Vanscoy, a pioneer in the field of rare pharmacy, shares lessons learned from the pandemic in this installment of the Five to Thrive interview series.

About this article

By Andrew Jordan

EY Americas Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Director and Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Passionate about supporting entrepreneurs. Married to an entrepreneur. Proud father of four. Striving for an active, healthy lifestyle.