Michigan's MEGA Tax Credits Clinch Major Expansion for Flint-based Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 General News
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FLINT TWP., Mich., April 20 Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, the nation's largest privately held specialty pharmacy company servicing the needs of patients and physicians nationwide, announced today it has received an 18-year Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) tax credit from the state of Michigan for $61.5 million and $14 million in Career Alliance, Inc. workforce training funds. Additional incentives will also be made by the City of Flint that will allow the company to focus its immediate expansion efforts in Flint.

Diplomat's employee base, currently more than 400 company-wide, with approximately 350 employees in Michigan, is expected to add over 1,000 new jobs in life sciences in five years and 4,000 by 2028.

The announcement was made by Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy President, CEO and co-founder, Phil Hagerman, R.Ph., whose 35-year-old company has always been rooted in Genesee County. Mr. Hagerman said the state tax incentives strengthen Diplomat's future in Michigan.

"Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy is a leader and innovator in specialty pharmacy, a dynamic industry experiencing explosive growth. The tax credits awarded to Diplomat mean Michigan can further position itself as a life sciences leader, attracting new and complementary businesses that support the rejuvenation of the Flint business landscape and the appeal of Michigan as a hotbed of ingenuity and health care talent," affirmed Mr. Hagerman. "We thank Governor Granholm, the MEGA Board, the City of Flint and the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce for their support in assuring that Diplomat will remain a Michigan-based company."

Diplomat may be Michigan's best kept successful business secret. The Company has focused on quality and not fanfare in its quest to be the premier provider of specialty pharmacy programs since it was founded by Mr. Hagerman and his father, Dale Hagerman, also a pharmacist, in 1975. In 2009, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy was included on the INC. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in America. Of the 43 companies in the health care category, Diplomat ranked #1 in total revenue and sales growth, with a three year growth rate of 917% from 2006 to 2009. The Company anticipates revenues of $600 million in 2010.

Specialty pharmacy refers to a branch of the pharmaceutical delivery system that focuses on comprehensive and coordinated systems of pharmacological care for patients with serious and chronic illnesses and complex medical conditions. Diplomat offers its services through contracts with prescription benefit managers and health plans, and through direct relationships with physicians and patients.

The Company also provides services to large retail pharmacies not equipped to handle the specialty pharmacy needs of patients requiring highly specialized drugs. Diplomat staff includes pharmacists, nurses and patient advocates who interact with patients to answer questions, offer support, ensure medication compliance and even try to find funding sources for those who cannot afford their prescriptions. In 2009, the Company secured $12.1 million in funding for patients through outreach to various non-profit funding sources. As a result of its high touch-high tech patient model, Diplomat's specialty patients average better than 90% adherence to their medications, while the national average is 50-70% for chronic medicines.

Diplomat expects the bulk of its employees to be based in Flint, where the Company plans to purchase a 340,000 square foot building at the Great Lakes Technology Centre complex on Saginaw Street. The Company will invest $12 million in the building over the next five years and anticipates it will move from its current headquarters space in Flint Township to the Saginaw Street site on a phased-in basis beginning in 90 days, with all headquarters operations and employees relocated over the next 12 months.

"Specialty pharmacy is a labor-intensive field. It's a nearly $100 billion industry and a true growth area for Michigan," explained Mr. Hagerman. "Three of the top 10 drugs we provide today didn't exist five years ago. There are hundreds of drugs in the specialty pharmacy pipeline and it is a likely scenario that half of the top 10 drugs we will provide in five years are not on the market today. In a rapidly expanding field like specialty pharmacy, we need top talent to remain industry leaders.

"The MEGA tax credits awarded to us today, along with the multi-million dollar federal training grant and anticipated City of Flint support, ensure that Michigan residents will have new opportunities in a life sciences arena that is not only growing, but one where we have the chance to make a difference every day."

Individuals interested in employment at Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy can apply online in two ways: Go to www.diplomatpharmacy.com and click on Careers at Diplomat for an online application and to view current job opportunities; or email resume to resume@diplomatpharmacy.com. Additional employment information will be available from Career Alliance (http://www.gsworks.org/).

Given the room for growth at the Saginaw Street site, Mr. Hagerman says the area shows great promise for building a life sciences corridor.

"With Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy as an anchor, we expect that businesses complementary to ours, whether they are our own vendors or other life sciences concerns, will see the attraction of creating a life sciences corridor here," affirms Mr. Hagerman. "Diplomat will be reinventing itself in the future and we are thrilled that reinvention will take place in Flint, Michigan."

Background on the Company history, executive team, hiring plans and other information, as well as details on the incentives awarded to Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, can be found at http://projectpromise.diplomatpharmacy.com.

About Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

Michigan-based Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, founded in 1975, is the nation's largest privately held Specialty Pharmacy and focuses on complete medication management programs for patients with serious and chronic conditions. Key programs include: Oncology, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn's, Hemophilia, Growth Hormone and Psoriasis. Other specialty areas include Transplant, Fertility, Dialysis Medication Management, Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy and Specialty Compounding. The company also specializes in disease management programs for chronic kidney disease patients. Locations are in Flint, Swartz Creek and Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well as Cleveland, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles. Learn more about Keeping Patients Healthier...Longer(TM) at www.diplomatpharmacy.com

Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.651.7536; cell 586.817.8414; barbara@eafocus.com; Dan Roelofs, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, 616.808.3232; cell: 616. 560.5912, droelofs@diplomatpharmacy.com

SOURCE Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

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