IHS again departing institutional pharmacy Its NIPSI unit is being sold


August 21, 1998|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF

Integrated Health Services is getting out of the institutional pharmacy business -- again.

The Owings Mills operator of facilities and services for post-hospital care announced yesterday that it is selling its institutional pharmacy division, National Institutional Pharmacy Services Inc. (NIPSI), to PharMerica Inc. of Tampa, Fla.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Institutional pharmacies fill prescriptions for nursing homes, prisons and other institutions.

In July 1996, Integrated sold what was then its institutional pharmacy division, Symphony Pharmacy Services, to Capstone Pharmacy Services of Baltimore for $150 million. At the time, Integrated said Symphony wasn't large enough to achieve economies of scale and that it would do better to out-source its pharmacy services.

At the beginning of this year, NIPSI was part of the deal in which Integrated paid $1.25 billion to Healthsouth Corp. for 139 nursing homes, 12 specialty hospitals and more than 1,000 rehabilitation therapy contracts.

Integrated said then that it planned to put the institutional pharmacies on the market, Marc B. Levin, executive vice president, said yesterday. The company has been selling off "nonstrategic" assets to pay down debt.

The buyer, PharMerica, is the successor to Capstone. In December, Capstone acquired the institutional pharmacy division of another huge nursing home chain, Beverly Enterprises of Fort Smith, Ark., in a deal valued at $862 million. Capstone reorganized, renamed itself and moved its headquarters to Tampa.

The NIPSI acquisition brings PharMerica into three additional states and adds nine long-term care pharmacies and 23 in-house hospital pharmacies. It will have 190 pharmacies in 41 states, including one institutional pharmacy in Baltimore.

Integrated stock closed yesterday at $25.125 a share, down 56.25 cents. PharMerica closed at $4.96875, up 21.875 cents.

Pub Date: 8/21/98

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