Laid off Rotech employees look to start own HME companies

Sunday, August 31, 2003

ORLANDO, Fla. - Rotech employees laid off as part of the company’s restructuring under new CEO Phil Carter are wasting no time starting up their own home medical equipment businesses. Many of them also appear eager to include a respiratory pharmacy component.

“Quite a few have contacted me about buying drugs,” said Bill Kennedy, owner of Nephron Pharaceuticals, which manufactures albuterol and other respiratory drugs.

There is “no truth” to the rumors, however, that Kennedy’s helping former Rotech employees bankroll their start-up companies, said the Nephron chief.

“I’m in the drug manufacturing business,” said Kennedy, who founded Rotech and eventually sold it. “What happens is that some of these people go out and go into business, and they’ll call and ask if I you can show them how to set up a pharmacy, or can I tell them how to get a license or this or that. We’re glad to help anyone get into the pharmacy part of the home care business so we can sell them drugs.”

Kennedy’s not the only one receiving calls from former Rotech employees. Mickey Letson, owner of Letco Medical, has also gotten a number of calls. Letco helps HMEs start up their own pharmacies.

“I expect it will increase, and I expect that what will happen is that several will get together and open a DME with several locations and share a pharmacy,” Letson said. “That will give them more buying power.” HME