PHARMACY

Diplomat reports Q2 results, including 35% total revenue gain

BY DSN STAFF
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy on Tuesday announced the results of its second quarter, reporting total revenue of $1.09 billion, a 35% increase over the same quarter in 2015. 
 
Net income attributable to Diplomat was $8.5 million, a 152% increase over the same quarter last year, due partially to lower interest expense and a lower income tax rate for the period than the same one last year. Adjusted earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization were $29.6 million, up from $22.7 million for the quarter last year. Diplomat’s gross profit grew to $83.3 million, up from $69.7 million last year, but the margin percentage dropped one percentage point from last year to 7.6%.
 
“While our overall business was impacted by a slowing hepatitis C market, the remainder of our business was strong, growing almost 30% organically,” Diplomat chairman and CEO Phil Hagerman said. “This growth was driven by our oncology business increasing 38% and our specialty infusion segment growing by 22%. 
 
The company reported organic revenue growth of 23% that the company attributes to $64 million in revenue from new drugs, $63 million from manufacturer price increases, and $57 million from a richer mix of already existing drugs. Another $96 million came from the company’s recent acquisitions, including about a quarter’s worth of revenue from Burman’s Apothecary and a month’s revenue from TNH Advanced Specialty Pharmacy. The company dispensed 241,000 prescriptions in Q2, up 3% from last year. 
 
“Overall prescription growth was much stronger than the 3% implies, as we exited the high volume, low profit compounding business in late 2015 and we intentionally moved away from other high volume, low revenue non-specialty business,” Hagerman said. 
 
The company adjusted its guidance for the full-year 2016, raising the lower end of its adjusted earnings per share guidance to  between $0.90 and $0.95 from $0.88 to $0.95.
 
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PHARMACY

VoicePort unveils CLARO, new website

BY David Salazar
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — VoicePort on Monday introduced CLARO, a rebranding of its PharmaPhonetics suite of pharmacy solutions. The rebranding is aimed at reflecting the evolution of the platform from an earlier focus on communication to its current state as an analytics and patient intervention application. 
 
“We are committed to leveraging our technology and expertise to deliver cutting–edge solutions to our clients in order to support their patient adherence strategies,"  VoicePort VP business development, North America, Alphonse J. Sasso said. "Our effort to completely rebrand our pharmacy solutions exemplifies the significant additions we have invested into our portfolio to accomplish this approach.”
 
Besides inbound and outbound IVR services, Claro includes solutions for medication synchronization, an appointment scheduler and "Meducation" resources — detailed instructions on over 90% of the most commonly prescribed medications to help improve patient health literacy and adherence. 
 
Alongside the rebranding, VoicePart unveiled a redesigned website that explains the company and its pharmacy offerings, as well as its CircPort suite of circulation services solutions. 
 
“We knew it was time for our website to reflect our passion, our technology, and our commitment to innovation,” VoicePort president and CEO Chris Mann said. "The new site is easy to use, provides critical information for partners, existing and prospective clients, and allows our colleagues and competition to know exactly who we are and what we do. We are extremely proud of this project and believe it positions us well among the competition in the automation and customer service space."
 
 
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Telehealth to save costs, expand into specialties

BY David Salazar

Atul Singh of Walgreens and Amy Clarke of MDLive

Telehealth is expected to grow tenfold, according to Walgreens director of digital health Atul Singh and MDLive VP strategic partnerships Amy Clark who led an Insight Session Monday examining the growth, benefits and future of telehealth and telemedicine. Since 2014, Walgreens and MDLive have collaborated to offer telemedicine visits with MDLive physicians through Walgreens’ mobile app and website.

Singh said that the telehealth market is expected to grow tenfold by 2018 due to large shifts in the healthcare landscape, led by the estimated shortage of primary care physicians that the Department of Health and Human Services estimates will number around 45,000 by 2020. This shortage can lead to a lack of access to care, even by patients with health insurance. And patients with high-deductible plans are looking to save themselves money, as are health systems and payers for whom emergency room and urgent care visits for acute conditions can be costly. To highlight potential savings, Singh pointed to a survey of telemedicine users that found savings of $190,790 per 1,000 visits, based on where they would have gone otherwise.

“You see so many players jumping into this because … the value it brings to our overall health system is just tremendous,” Singh said. “The promise of telemedicine is actually to drive lower costs for the overall healthcare system by approximately $300 billion. If you’ve been thinking about participating in the telemedicine space, … I would strongly urge you to take a serious look at this.”

Currently, telehealth is moving in new directions, with telemedicine companies looking to expand into specialty care. MDLive and Walgreens this year began including behavioral health services in their offerings, and Clark said dermatology is one of the categories that will see telemedicine growth in the coming years. At the same time, elements of telehealth, from remote monitoring data to telemedicine and electronic health records, will become integrated into a single access point.  

“I think over the next handful of years, we will see a lot of healthcare technology come through a single point of contact,” Clark said. “Your second opinion services, your price transparency services, your medical information and symptom checker services will all come through a single place … so that patients have better access.”

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