For H.D. Smith, 2014 marks the pharmaceutical distributor's 60th year in business.


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Rx wholesaler H.D. Smith turns 60

January 14th, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – For H.D. Smith, 2014 marks the pharmaceutical distributor's 60th year in business.

The company said Monday that since its launch six decades ago, it has experienced exponential growth, expanding from a drug wholesaler serving independent pharmacies in central Illinois into the nation's largest, privately held pharmaceutical wholesaler.

H.D. Smith was founded in 1954 to meet the needs of an underserved region in central Illinois. Before the company opened its doors, pharmacies in the area bought their pharmaceuticals and supplies via large distributors out of St. Louis; Chicago; and Champaign and Peoria, Ill.

"I have been proud to watch this company grow. We began with one building, myself and two additional employees who worked together to make sales, pick, pack and ship orders and take care of the day-to-day business. In those early years, we did not have a fleet of trucks to help us deliver orders. Instead, we partnered with the local paper, The State Register at the time, who delivered pharmacy orders along with the afternoon paper," recalled Dale Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of H.D. Smith, as the company celebrates its 60th anniversary.

"At each fork in the road, we turned challenge into opportunity," he added. "Where independent pharmacies once struggled to order products on a schedule that fit their demand, we made sure to meet their needs. We continue that tradition today as we grow beyond the wholesale pick, pack and ship business."

H.D. Smith noted that it has evolved to respond to the changes in the health care industry in recent years.

For example, in November 2012, H.D. Smith closed its acquisition of regional health care distributor Valley Wholesale Drug, which expanded its customer base in California to more than 1,000 independent pharmacies — about half of the market in the state — and positioned it to extend its reach into the Pacific Northwest.

In January 2013, H.D. Smith entered a deal to buy a majority interest in Triplefin, a Cincinnati-based provider of reimbursement, patient assistance and pharmaceutical brand-support services. Later that month, the distributor also H.D. Smith has established a new specialty pharmaceutical unit, H.D. Smith Specialty Solutions, to address geographic and service expansions following its the Valley Wholesale Drug and Triplefin acquisitions. H.D. Smith closed its purchase of the Triplefin majority stake last June and just a few months later, in late September, completed the purchase of the remaining interest in Triplefin.

"We are partnering with our customers and our vendors in new ways that allow us to serve larger markets and more specialized needs. We have become much more than a wholesaler," stated Chris Smith, president and chief operating officer of H.D. Smith. "I am thankful for the hard work each and every associate has contributed throughout our company's history. Those efforts have allowed H. D. Smith to become the success it is today. The first 60 years of H.D. Smith’s history have given us a strong foundation. But I believe that the best is yet to come."

Based in Springfield, Ill., H.D. Smith offers a complete line of prescription drug products, over-the-counter products, health and beauty aids, home health care products, durable medical equipment, seasonal merchandise and marketing programs to retail pharmacies, regional chains and health systems. The company has distribution facilities in California, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Texas, serving major markets nationwide.

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