INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined executives from Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) today to announce the company's plans to build the world's largest and most advanced automated pharmacy in Central Indiana, filling a growing nationwide demand for lower-cost medicines. The new 318,000-square-foot pharmacy, slated to open early in 2009, will cover an area equivalent to six and a half football fields -- bringing approximately 1,300 jobs to the state by its anticipated peak operation in 2012.
Medco selected Central Indiana as the home of its new facility capping a year-long selection process that covered 48 states. Headquartered in Franklin Lakes, N.J, Medco will invest more than $140 million to develop a next- generation mail-order facility that will employ pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, engineering technology, pharmacy support and management positions to dispense more than one million prescriptions a week at peak operation. Using the most advanced technologies, the automated pharmacy will exceed Six- Sigma(R) accuracy levels, delivering the highest level of prescription drug dispensing accuracy in the pharmacy industry.
"Medco has pioneered the use of computers, robotics, optical scanners and other technologies to create drug dispensing systems which are virtually error-free," said Kenneth O. Klepper, Medco President and Chief Operating Officer. "Technology, however, is only as good as the people who manage it. Central Indiana's skilled labor force was a key factor in confidently making a choice that will help us serve our clients and members nationwide with the highest quality pharmacy care at the lowest cost."
The state's business-friendly environment, modern transportation infrastructure, skilled labor pool and proximity to several schools of pharmacy including Butler University and Purdue University were other notable factors in the site selection process. Its centralized location will also expedite getting prescription medications to the patients served by Medco nationwide in a more cost-effective manner, which can further savings for our customers, Klepper added.
Indiana Gains Investment
"In terms of economic impact, this is right there with Honda and the other big blockbusters Indiana has captured in recent years, but Medco's decision to come here is more than that. It's a huge leap in the diversification of the Indiana economy, widening the range of opportunity for our young people. Finally, Medco is the world leader in its field, and the Indiana we are building intends to be known for leadership," said Daniels.
Medco intends to provide competitive salaries and a comprehensive employee benefit package for a wide range of positions, including electrical and mechanical technicians, managers, warehouse specialists and more than 100 pharmacists, among other types of jobs. Hiring is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2008, with the majority of the hiring expected in 2010 and 2011.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Medco up to $18.25 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $450,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. The Indy Partnership, Central Indiana's local economic development organization, and BioCrossroads, Indiana's initiative to grow the life sciences, partnered with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to coordinate Indiana's pursuit of the Medco investment. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indy Partnership will work with the selected community to develop a local incentive package.
Transforming the Practice of Pharmacy
Medco is leading the charge on transforming pharmacy care from a "generalist" practice to a "specialist" practice.
"With advancements in science and technology blazing a path of personalized medicine, we can no longer take a shot gun approach to pharmacy," Klepper said. "To that end, Medco has created condition-specific resource centers staffed with hundreds of pharmacists who receive specialized training in specific chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and asthma. This focus on one chronic disease state enables these specialist pharmacists to better help patients optimize their health."
Coupled with its unparalleled dispensing pharmacy practice, Medco has created an industry leading end-to-end specialized pharmacy practice model.
Medco's mail-order pharmacy business received an additional boost when the Federal Employee Program(TM) (FEP) awarded a contract for its mail-service and specialty prescription drug program for 4 million federal employees, retirees and their families, effective Jan. 1, 2008.
Medco's two existing automated dispensing pharmacies in Willingboro, N.J. and Las Vegas dispensed 90 percent of the company's mail-order prescriptions in 2006. Medco's automated pharmacies currently have the capacity to fill more than 2 million prescriptions per week. Medco opened the world's first fully automated pharmacy in Las Vegas in October 1996 and the world's then- largest pharmacy at 280,000 square feet in Willingboro in 2001.
Reflecting the company's innovations in the field of pharmacy benefit management, Medco holds 17 U.S. patents for patient data management, front-end pharmacy technology and automated pharmacy technology. Medco also has 35 domestic and international patents pending for the application of various technologies, 18 of which are for its automated pharmacies.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager based on its 2006 total net revenues of more than $42 billion. Medco's prescription drug benefit programs, covering one in five Americans, are designed to drive down the cost of pharmacy health care for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions and government agencies of all sizes, and for individuals served by the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. Medco, the world's most advanced pharmacy (TM) has created Therapeutic Resource Centers(TM) that are staffed with hundreds of specialist pharmacists trained and certified in specific chronic and complex conditions and have expertise in the medications that treat them. Medco is the nation's largest diabetes pharmacy care practice based on covered lives with the 2007 acquisition of the Liberty Medical, and the largest specialty pharmacy based on net revenues with the 2005 acquisition of Accredo Health, Incorporated. Medco is the highest-ranked independent pharmacy benefit manager on the 2007 Fortune 500 list. On the Net: http://www.medco.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward- looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
|SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.|
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