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Walgreens to Buy Specialty Pharmacy

Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. said Tuesday that it will acquire McKesson Corp.’s specialty pharmacy, a business that operates within McKesson’s Specialty division.

While the terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the parties expect to close the transaction within 60 days, according to a company statement.

The acquisition will include the McKesson specialty pharmacy in Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Frisco, Texas-based IVPCARE, which operates locations in Torrence, Calif., Wilmington, Mass. and St. Louis.

The retailer expects the transaction to strengthen its position as the fourth strongest specialty pharmacy in the country.

"The acquisition of McKesson’s specialty-pharmacy operations offers the opportunity to grow our own specialty pharmacy business with preferred payor agreements," said Stanley B. Blaylock, president of Walgreens Health Services. "This transaction will broaden access for patients and clients in the fast-growing oncology area and other specialty areas including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and reproductive health services."

Currently, Walgreens operates 6,479 drug stores in 49 states, and it reported sales of $59 billion for fiscal 2008.

In other news, the company has also formed a special committee to find a replacement for its departing CEO and chairman Jeffrey Rein.

Since the 26-year Walgreens veteran retired from his positions earlier this month, Alan McNally the lead director of the Walgreen Co. board, has replaced Rein as chairman. He will also serve on the committee seeking a new CEO. The committee said it will consider candidates from both within and outside of the company.

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