Lincare offloads specialty pharmacy biz

Friday, June 10, 2016

CLEARWATER, Fla., and CHARLOTTE, N.C. – National HME provider Lincare will get $75 million for its specialty pharmacy business.

Lincare will sell Acro Pharmaceutical Services, which operates in all 50 states, and Community Pharmacy Services, which serves a 340B drug program in the Philadelphia area, to Premier, a Charlotte, N.C.-based national healthcare company with an alliance of 3,600 hospitals and 120,000 other healthcare providers.

“Lincare got a fantastic price for that business, which really was not in their core business,” said Jonathan Sadock, managing partner and CEO of Paragon Ventures.

Lincare, which is owned by industrial gas giant Linde, has said its specialty pharmacy business generated approximately $206 million in revenues in 2015.

Lincare’s specialty pharmacy business allows Premier to expand its already large presence in the oncology market, and enter the multiple sclerosis and pulmonary fibrosis markets.

“It was intriguing to us because they had a number of limited distribution products that were complementary to our list and we saw that as an opportunity to expand in those markets,” said Greg Isaac, CEO of Premier Specialty Pharmacy.

Between 15% and 20% of all specialty medications are limited distribution products, a system designed to ensure patients get the right medications from the right pharmacy with the right expertise, said Isaac.

Premier believes it is in the right place, at the right time.  Patients are living longer with chronic conditions, and pharmaceutical companies are focusing more on the development of oral tablets, rather than infusible or injectable medications, said Isaac.

“It’s easier for patients to take pills and they are more familiar with them,” said Isaac. “Many patients are afraid to inject themselves with these complex medications.”

Premier, which also comprises a group purchasing organization and several national collaboratives focused on healthcare improvement, accountable care organizations, and population health management, has a market objective of lowering healthcare costs, but providing better patient outcomes, said Isaac.

“So, with the specialty pharmacy, how do we get patients started faster on these complex therapies, how do we keep them on these therapies through the course of therapy, and how do we help with their financial burden because many of these prescriptions come with a very high copay,” he said.