Diplomat Pharmacy has a successful IPO, garnering $173 million


Largest independent specialty pharmacy rides specialty-pharma wave

On a down day of a down week on the New York Stock Exchange, Diplomat Pharmacy (Flint, MI) had a successful IPO, opening at $13 per share, rising to $17.75 before ending the day at $16.02. Proceeds from the offering will be used to pay down some debt and “for acquisitions,” according to press reports.

Diplomat is something of a bellwether for the specialty pharmacy sector, and for the services surrounding specialty pharmaceuticals. Its competitors, at least on a national level, are the specialty-pharmacy arms of big PBMs and wholesalers. According to prior financial filings, it had $1.3 billion in revenue in 2013, up 34% from the year before and continuing a double-digit growth rate it has experienced in recent years.

Oncology, immunology, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, HIV, specialized infusion therapy and other long-term conditions are what the company identifies as its services. Earlier in the year, it announced the acquisition of MedPro Rx, a specialty pharmacy in Raleigh, NC, with an emphasis on infusion services. And in the spring, it announced a formal hub services division, separate from its pharmacy operations. (To some degree, hub services companies and specialty pharmacies are competing for attention from biopharma manufacturers to provide patient services; with the opening of EnvoyHealth, Diplomat is straddling that divide.)

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