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ExceleraRx Acquired – Giant Health System SP Network Emerges

An acquisition that has material implications for the specialty pharmacy industry was announced last week. Shields Health Solutions acquired ExceleraRx for an undisclosed amount. Like ExceleraRx, Shields has been busy building a large network of healthcare system owned specialty pharmacies. ExceleraRx, as our readers should know, has been aggressively pursuing the same segment, healthcare system owned specialty pharmacies. (We’ve been covering ExceleraRx since 2013.)

In a December press release ExceleraRx claimed 25 SP network deals. The press release below states that Shields has outpaced them with 65 health care systems with 700 hospitals in 43 states.

The merged company is expected to reach a $2 billion revenue rate (yes, specialty revenue) next year, more than enough volume to finally impress payors and manufacturers. (Read an unrelated article, Health Systems Versus Payors: A Duel for SP Care, on the challenges such networks have faced gaining payor access. CLICK HERE)

There is some extra icing on the ExceleraRx cake…. they bring a robust manufacturer marketing program, a home infusion solution to create health system owned infusion operations, and even a PBM to the party.

Side note—- In July 2019, Shields Health sold a combined ownership stake of about 50 percent to Walgreens and investment firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in a deal valued at between $850 million and $900 million. It will be interesting to see how the synergies play out and if the relationship can be leveraged.

Final note—- We remain convinced that healthcare system owned specialty pharmacies pose one of the greatest threats to independent specialty pharmacies given their ability to self-direct specialty prescriptions within their walls.

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