Inside This Issue - News
Kroger moves to tap specialty Rx boom
November 26th, 2012
CINCINNATI – Kroger Co. is entering the high-growth specialty pharmacy market by acquiring the outstanding shares of Axium Pharmacy Holdings Inc., which will merge the companies.
Founded in 2000, Axium provides drugs and patient support services to treat chronic, genetic and other complex medical conditions including cancer, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The deal gives Kroger significantly enhanced capabilities to serve customers who require complex drug therapies, and to deliver those therapies at greater value to customers and insurance payers. Terms were not disclosed.
"Kroger and Axium are a strategic fit as we look to enter the high-growth specialty pharmacy business," said Lincoln Lutz, Kroger’s vice president of corporate pharmacy. "The combination of Axium’s expertise and Kroger’s 1,950 pharmacy locations, 91 Little Clinic locations, and pharmacists who provide health coaching, biometric screening and other wellness services will deliver positive health outcomes for our patients, cost savings for insurance payers and unique services for physicians."
Specialty pharmacy is the primary area of growth in pharmaceuticals. Revenue for specialty drugs has grown from $17 billion in 2000 to $104 billion in 2011, and is projected to reach $135 billion in 2014. In 2011, 80% of new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration were specialty drugs. Currently more than 700 specialty drugs are in the pipeline for approval.
"This partnership supports Kroger’s long-term growth plans, with strong return on invested capital," said president and chief operating officer Rodney McMullen.