Pharmacy giant snaps up mail order giant

Sunday, September 2, 2007

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. - Medco Health Solutions bought PolyMedica--including its subsidiary Liberty Healthcare--for $1.5 billion and in doing so staked out a large share of the U.S. market for diabetes supplies. The companies announced the deal Aug. 29.

Medco is the largest manager of drug benefits in the country and, according to wire reports, provides prescriptions to 2.8 million diabetes patients.

PolyMedica's Liberty Healthcare division currently offers home delivery of medicines, strips and meters to about one million customers. Medco has been handling prescriptions for PolyMedica's customers since 2006.

In 2006, CMS paid Liberty $341 million for servicing Medicare patients, according to claims data obtained by HME News.

PolyMedica revenues surged to $178.3 million for its fourth quarter 2007 fiscal year, compared to $140.6 million for the same period the previous year, the company reported in May. Diabetes revenue was $13.1 million, a 12% increase over last year, due to an 8% increase in patients and a 4% increase in revenue per shipment.

Nationally, 5% of the U.S. population have diabetes but account for more than 15% of total drug spending, said Medco.