United drug makes another services acquisition

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology

United drug has purchased another services business in what is
turning out to be an acquisitive year for the ambitious Irish
distributor.

The firm paid $9.5m (€6.7m) in cash, with another $1m payable upon certain targets being met, to gain complete ownership of US company Alliance Healthcare Information. Based in Pensylvania, the new addition has a staff of 163 and provides sales and marketing services to pharmaceutical firms, including medical affairs, patient compliance and support and clinical trials recruitment. ​United's CEO Liam FitzGerald said that the purchase brings "additional scale to our existing US contract sales outsourcing and consultancy business and will allow us to broaden our service offering and customer relationships in the US market." ​ Although United's core business is that of a pharmaceutical wholesaler, FitzGerald has been forthcoming with his plans to move the company into new areas on the international stage through a strategy of both organic and acquisitive growth. In April this year the firm made its first foray beyond Ireland and the UK into mainland Europe, with the purchase of Budelpack, and this was followed by the acquisition of another packaging firm in Europe, Pharma Logistics Investments (PLI), in August. "Pharmaceutical wholesalers in Europe need to evolve to meet the changing pharma market and a world of opportunity awaits for those willing to think beyond their traditional business model and move to compete in the outsourcing arena,"​ FitzGerald has been quoted as saying in the past. He recently reaffirmed that the company will continue to seek expansion opportunities for its services businesses. Meanwhile, US contract sales organisation (CSO) InVentiv Health has also expanded its offering in the patient compliance and support arena, with the launch of a new business unit dedicated to the function. The segment, called InVentiv Patient Outcomes, will comprise of a collaboration between four of its existing businesses ; The Therapeutics Institute, which has 300 nurses assisting patient education; Adheris, which provides pharmacy-based communications programs to boost drug compliance; The Franklin Group, which offers reimbursement case management services and patient assistance programs for finances; and AWAC, inVentiv's newest acquisition, which provides disease management support to third-party payers and physicians.

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