The market for online procurement of medical products is expected to reach $27.3 billion by 2004 and will grow about 200% annually, according to a study released last week by Millennium Research Group, a Boston-based healthcare research firm. Despite the optimistic growth forecast, the study found that less than 1% of medical supply and device purchases currently take place on the Internet.
In a move officials said could lead to more cooperation between two fiercely competing hospital systems in Charleston, S.C., 398-bed Roper Hospital has asked state permission to purchase a high-tech scanner--and 572-bed Medical Center of Medical University of South Carolina supports the move. Roper has applied for a certificate of need for a positron emission tomography. The hospitals are exploring the possibility of joint ownership and use of the equipment, officials said. The scanner, which costs between $1 million and $1.5 million, could be placed on a "neutral site" near the adjoining hospital campuses so doctors from both could use it.
Laboratory Corporation of America, Burlington, N.C., has acquired Pathology Medical Laboratories, San Diego, for undisclosed terms. Part of LabCorp's strategy for expanded presence in the West, the PML deal is the second closing among four specialty laboratory acquisitions in California LabCorp announced this year. Torrance, Calif.-based Bio-Diagnostics Laboratories was purchased for an undisclosed amount in April. LabCorp, the second-largest national laboratory network, reported income of $65.4 million on revenue of $1.7 billion in 1999.
Baxter International, Deerfield, Ill., has acquired North American Vaccine, Columbia, Md., for $380 million, or $6.73 per share. Baxter said it doesn't expect the purchase to reduce its earnings this year. North American Vaccine develops and manufactures vaccines for infectious diseases.
R.P. Scherer Corp., Basking Ridge, N.J., will buy a manufacturing plant and the rights to two drug delivery technologies from Redwood City, Calif.-based Advanced Polymer Systems. The $25 million upfront payment gives Scherer, a subsidiary of Dublin, Ohio-based healthcare goods and services supplier Cardinal Health, the rights to Microsponge and Polytrap, two patented technologies that deliver drugs or active ingredients to the skin. Scherer will use the technologies to develop and manufacture topical skin creams for pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies.
Orange, Calif.-based Bergen Brunswig Corp. said last week that it plans to sell the specialty pharmacy assets of subsidiary Stadtlander Operating Co., Pittsburgh, to ProCare Pharmacy, a subsidiary of CVS Corp., Woonsocket, R.I. Bergen Brunswig officials said the exact amount of the cash transaction, expected to close within 60 days, will not be published before its earnings are announced on July 26.
CareScience, a Philadelphia company using the Internet to collect and analyze clinical data, went public June 29 with 4 million shares of common stock priced at $12 per share. The company expects the IPO to raise about $58.3 million, down from the $65.8 million originally anticipated.