December 29, 2016, 2:42 PM

A healthcare technology services company expands in Canada

McKesson, a provider of healthcare supply chain services, will extend them to its newly acquired Canadian retail chain Rexall Health.

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McKesson Corp., a provider of internet-connected supply chain technology and services for hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare facilities, is extending its reach into the retail world with its $2.1 billion acquisition of Canada’s Rexall Health pharmacy chain.

The acquisition, which closed yesterday, places San Francisco-based McKesson in a position to directly serve consumers as well as healthcare facilities as a provider of technology and services designed to ensure that healthcare providers have the medicines and equipment they need to serve patients. McKesson’s pharmaceutical distribution products, for example, include online software systems designed to automatically order pharmaceutical products to replenish stocks maintained in retail pharmacies as well as in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

John H. Hammergren, president, CEO and chairman of McKesson, called the acquisition of Toronto-based Rexal a “milestone” for each company when announcing the closing of the deal yesterday. “With complementary assets, industry expertise and shared values, we will now serve our customers with enhanced retail pharmacy capabilities and a broader reach across Canada,” he said.

In effect, McKesson is engaging in a trend of internet technology systems that are enabling companies to participate in end-to-end supply chains, from manufacturers to distributors to retailers to consumers. And it’s doing so at a time when many Canadians are relying more on pharmacy chains for healthcare services as well as pharmaceutical products, says Paul C. Julian, McKesson’s group president, whose duties include overseeing McKesson Canada, the division that now includes Rexall Health. “Together, McKesson and Rexall can leverage shared expertise to grow and deliver better care and value to Canadians,” he says.

Rexall brings to McKesson a chain of 470 pharmacies and the e-commerce site Rexall.ca.

McKesson yesterday also announced that it appointed Domenic Pilla, a veteran of wholesale and retail pharmacy operations, as CEO of McKesson Canada, effective Jan. 3. Pilla is a former president of McKesson Canada who most recently served as president and CEO of Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy chain. He will report to Julian.

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