CareMetx (Bethesda, MD) has announced that it is acquiring the operations and staff of Pharma Dynamics, a business unit of Walgreens. In return, Walgreens becomes a minority owner of the firm. Mark Hansan, president of the company, says that Pharma Dynamics’ existing three clients will come over to CareMetx, “essentially doubling our client base.” All this is happening in the fast-moving field of patient hub services, where, on behalf of pharma brand owners, patient access, care coordination, reimbursement and followup is managed for (generally) high-cost specialty pharmaceuticals.
Hansan and the CareMetx cofounders have a heritage in this business; they were among the principals of a company called TheraCom, one of the early hub services providers (TheraCom was sold in 2001 to AdvancePCS, which later became part of AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group). While CareMetx provides call center and similar patient-support services, the company has placed an emphasis on a cloud-based IT platform that collects and reports necessary patient information and market data. This platform, in turn, enables pharma clients to manage the commercialization of their specialty products. “Pharma Dynamics has larger call center support, and we have a more advanced IT platform, so this is a good fit for both of us,” says Hansan.
Walgreens, through its Special Pharmacy business, is already a major player in patient access for specialty drugs, and Hansan expects that the merged interests will enable CareMetx to provide its services across the broad Walgreens market position. “Retail pharmacy is becoming increasingly important as more specialty products move from being a medical benefit to a drug benefit, and dispensed directly to the patient through pharmacies.”