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Creighton University Professor Robert Garis Dies

Creighton University Professor Robert Garis Dies

Robert Garis, a Creighton University associate professor of pharmacy sciences who spent much of the last decade exposing costly and often questionable practices among pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs), died Nov. 13 of cancer. He was 59.

Garis joined the Creighton School of Pharmacy and Health Professions faculty in 1999. He and his Creighton colleagues were the first to question and perform research on drug pricing policies, excessive mark-ups, inefficiencies and questionable practices within the PBM industry, which serves as an intermediary between many employer-sponsored prescription drug benefit programs, pharmaceutical manufacturers and retail pharmacies.

His work helped rein in the PBM industry, and educate employer groups and governmental agencies about the pitfalls of PBMs and how to negotiate better contracts with them. Garis served as an expert consultant in a number of investigations of legal improprieties in the PBM industry and provided expert testimony to the North Dakota state legislature.

In 2005, the Creighton School of Pharmacy and Health Professions awarded Garis its Distinguished Service Award.

“Bob was a tireless and diligent researcher who was beloved as a teacher by our Creighton pharmacy students. Simply put, he was a kind, considerate, generous and honest man who worked hard to promote social justice and fiscal integrity in the PBM industry,” said Bartholomew Clark, Ph.D., a Creighton associate professor of pharmacy sciences who frequently collaborated with Garis on research.

Garis earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in pharmacy administration from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, a Master’s of Business Administration degree from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in pharmacy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.