Walgreens to Buy Assets of SpecialtyScripts from Cardinal

Interesting to note that on March 3, Walgreens announced it had completed the acquisition of certain assets of Cardinal Health SpecialtyScripts (SS), specifically prescription files.

SS was founded in 2002 and specialized in providing specialty pharmacy services for chronic illnesses and complex diseases, including hepatitis C, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and oral oncology. The company pointed to a similar client base, and believes this acquisition will allow them to drive additional scale through existing specialty pharmacy locations, as well as help to grow through additional preferred payor agreements. Terms of the acquisition were not released.

What D2 finds interesting is that the primary focus of SS was that of manufacturer services and providing tools for manufacturers to optimize the management of their specialty products with patients.  SS was generally developed to expand on a broad portfolio of services that CAH provided to manufacturers which include third party logistics and reimbursement, all healthy concerns in CAH's portfolio.  SS should have been an accretive addition to that portfolio.

We generally view the build out of Walgreens healthcare offering, including specialty pharmacy positive, and note that this latest acquisition builds on prior deals, including MedMark and Schrafts.

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  1. Dan,

    I presume you saw my post about Walgreen’s strategy:


    Seems to me that Cardinal did not want to compete with their specialty pharmacy customers, which I think was the logic behind McKesson’s divestiture.


  2. Byin large the focus of SS was to provide manufacturer services to enhance patient access to specialty products. Unlike the PBM owned Specialty Pharmacies whose focus is on managing the spend. SS likely had some PBM contracts and dispensed more than exclusive or semi-exclusive products for specific manufacturers, but their business model was to sell services such as compliance, persistancy, disease management, reimbursement etc to pharma…almost an extension of their 3PL services. WAG’s focus appears to be more rivited on having an all inclusive approach to patient management of their pharmaceuticals following the patient through all potential points of pharmaceutical access including specialty. WAG focused on access to additional lives/patients. With SS they more likely got access to pharma based programs along which come patients who may be using SS for select products only.

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