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    Walgreens Boosts Pharmaceutical Service Biz with Medmark Buy

    DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Drug chain channel leader Walgreen Co. is setting itself up as a bigger player in the burgeoning segment of pharmaceutical service, by agreeing last week to acquire Pittsburgh-based Medmark Specialty Pharmacy Solutions, a national specialty operator that provides biopharmaceuticals, supplies, and services.

    DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Drug chain channel leader Walgreen Co. is setting itself up as a bigger player in the burgeoning segment of pharmaceutical service, by agreeing last week to acquire Pittsburgh-based Medmark Specialty Pharmacy Solutions, a national specialty operator that provides biopharmaceuticals, supplies, and services.

    "Medmark is an established, well-respected leader in specialty pharmacy services, and this agreement will expand our presence in the fastest-growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry," said Greg Wasson, e.v.p. of Walgreen Co. and president of the Walgreens Health Services division. "Medmark's leadership, employees, clients, clinical programs and operational expertise will be great additions to our organization as we continue developing programs and services to meet the specialty pharmacy patient's needs."

    Medmark provides pharmacy care (including injectables, infusibles, and advanced oral medications) to patients with special or chronic medication needs for conditions such as hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, HIV, infertility, hemophilia, organ transplants and cancer.

    "Medmark's patient, client and clinical focus are closely aligned with Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy's mission," said Stan Blaylock, who was named president of Medmark last year and was instrumental in establishing the company in 2003. "Medmark's patients, clients and employees will benefit from the integration opportunities we'll offer with the leader in retail pharmacy. As the specialty pharmacy industry evolves, we'll now be in an even better position to help managed care organizations control their specialty pharmacy spending. We'll also deliver more clinical programs and services that improve patient care and outcomes."

    Blaylock will continue as president of Medmark, which will remain in Pittsburgh and serve as the growth platform for Walgreens national expansion in specialty pharmacy. After the acquisition, Medmark will operate as Medmark, a Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy. The transaction is expected to close this summer.

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