PHARMACY

Cardinal Health acquires Healthcare Solutions Holding

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN, Ohio Health services giant Cardinal Health plans to expand its presence in the specialty pharmacy world with its $517 million acquisition of Healthcare Solutions Holding, a privately held company, Cardinal said Wednesday.

In addition to the $517 million upfront payment, the acquisition includes the opportunity for earn-out payments of up to $150 million over the next three years, Cardinal said. Healthcare Solutions Holding owns a number of subsidiaries like P4 Pathways and P4 Healthcare, which provide various services to participants in specialty care, including drug companies, physicians and payers. Cardinal said the acquisition would expand its presence in the area of specialty pharmaceuticals, which market research firm IMS Health expects to reach $100 billion in sales by 2013.

“This acquisition is an important building block in our strategy to create a differentiated set of services for oncology and specialty customers,” Cardinal CEO George Barrett said. “Healthcare Solutions Holding is a natural extension of Cardinal Health’s businesses and will enable the growth of our specialty distribution operations.”

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Medco Health Solutions awarded by The Joint Commission

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J, Pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions has received a nod for its home care and pharmacy dispensing services from a healthcare standards and accrediting body, Medco said Tuesday.

The PBM said it received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission. The recognition applies to services offered to clients and health plan members by Medco’s dispensing and call center pharmacies, and Medco said the approval places it among the leading organizations in its category. The organization’s accreditation process includes a review of 129 standards across 13 areas of focus, including treatment and services, rights and ethics, medication management and information management.

“This independent review validates the progress we have made in driving ever-higher standards in clinical excellence as we focus on closing the gaps in care for patients with chronic and complex conditions – patients who account for 96% of all drug spending and 75% of all medical costs,” Medco president and COO Kenny Klepper said. “The fact that in our reaccreditation The Joint Commission consistently found a high level of service across so many facilities speaks to the diligence and professionalism of Medco people at every level across our company.”

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Astellas completes acquisition of OSI

BY Alaric DeArment

TOKYO Japanese drug maker Astellas Pharma has completed its acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals, Astellas said Tuesday.

The $4 billion acquisition, announced in May, gives Astellas access to such drugs as the cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib), which OSI co-markets with Roche division Genentech. OSI has lately been enrolling subjects for a late-stage clinical trial of OSI-906, a treatment for patients with adrenocortical carcinoma, a rare cancer of the adrenal gland, whose disease has spread to other parts of the body.

OSI will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas through Astellas US Holding, a holding company.

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