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Kroger ups stake in specialty pharmacy

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CINCINNATI — Axium Pharmacy Holdings Inc., a unit of Kroger Co., has agreed to acquire Modern HC Holdings Inc. (ModernHEALTH), a specialty pharmacy operator, to create a combined specialty pharmacy organization.

Terms of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed. The new entity will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger.

Based in Orlando, Fla., ModernHEALTH is one of the largest independent providers of specialty pharmacy services in the country. It employs approximately 500 associates who provide specialty services including intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) for patients who require IV-based therapies for autoimmune and primary immune deficiency diseases, and comprehensive medication management for HIV, cystic fibrosis, transplant, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis and dermatological conditions.

In November 2012 Kroger acquired Axium, which is one of the largest independent specialty pharmacy organizations in the U.S., offering a variety of clinical services to patients with complex chronic conditions.

Kroger management expects the combination of ModernHEALTH and Axium to deliver improved purchasing efficiencies and enable the two companies to reduce costs by combining payer strategies. In addition, it will allow Kroger to extend its specialty pharmacy business into new markets in the West and Southwest as well as expand its service offerings to include additional disease states.

ModernHEALTH is made up of several different operations providing highly specialized services. They include:

• TLCRx Pharmacy, with locations in New Orleans, Orlando and Addison, Texas, mainly serving patients in rheumatology, dermatology, hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis.

• Biofusion, based in Torrance, Calif., serving patients requiring subcutaneous immune globulin and IV Immune globulin (IVIG) for autoimmune and primary immune deficiency ­diseases.

• ModernHEALTH Specialty Pharmacy, with two sites in Southern California focusing on HIV, transplant and cystic fibrosis therapies and two home infusion pharmacies in Dothan, Ala., and Richardson, Texas.

Axium, which is headquartered in Lake Mary, Fla., employs 300 associates and operates facilities in California, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and Mississippi.

The combined specialty pharmacy organization will be headquartered in a new facility under construction in Lake Mary. It will be led by Dom Meffe, chief executive officer of ModernHEALTH. Axium’s current CEO, Mark Montgomery, will remain to help ensure a smooth transition until the acquisition closes.


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