Priority stretches its reach into infusion market

Saturday, July 31, 2004

LAKE MARY, Fla. — Priority Healthcare, a specialty pharmacy and distributor, deepened its interest in the home infusion business in June with the acquisition of Louisville, Ky.-based Integrity Healthcare.

With this acquisition, Priority strengthens its infusion business and increases the number of its distribution points to complement its disease state management program, said Regina Bienkowski, vice president of Ultimate Recourse, a Pennsylvania-based M&A company.

Similar land grabs may follow.

“We do expect to see Priority making more acquisitions,” she said. “Because of the industry they are in, they need to expand to get volume.”

Integrity Healthcare, a specialty infusion and disease management company, adds 23 branches in 16 states in the South and Midwest to Priority’s distribution channel. The company’s revenues in 2003 totaled about $65 million.

Priority called the deal a strategic acquisition that will give the company’s pharmacy and clinical services a more regional presence.

“This is important both for current opportunities as well as the significant number of drugs in the biotech pipeline requiring infusion support,” Steve Cosler, Priority’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

For Integrity, the deal will broaden its customer base and provide access to capital to continue expansion throughout the country, said Francis McNamara, president and CEO of Integrity. McNamara and his management team joined Priority, and Integrity will continue to operate as is.

“[Integrity] will continue to grow as well,” said Bienkowski.

In June, Priority also purchased HealthBridge Reimbursement and Product Support. HealthBridge will expand Priority’s offerings to manufacturer’s and benefit payers.