ABC, Cardinal see growth in specialty pharma

AmerisourceBergen CEO-in waiting Steve Collis, likely successor in July to the retiring Dave Yost, sees a future in staying the course with a focus on specialty distribution and generics.

Specialty generics pushed the big three distributor to a strong first half of 2011, he told analysts on a call last week. "Specialty products are becoming increasingly more important for all of our customers," Collis says. "Almost every discussion we have with the drug customer has a component of specialty to it."

And as reported in January, the Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research notes that oncology has grown its share among specialty products, rising to 59 percent of distributors' annual sales volume from 56 percent in 2009.

If ABC is on the right track, then Cardinal Healthcare is right there with it. CEO George Barrett says in a financial call that his half-billion dollar investment last November in P4 Healthcare got it back into the oncology and specialty pharma service games. "While uptick in specialty distribution will take some time, we have recently signed new agreements with providers and manufacturers. And we look forward to the potential here."

- here's the ABC story
- see the Cardinal story

Special Report: The Big 3 Distributors

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