Bergen Brunswig and Longs Drug Stores Announce Joint Venture Central Fill Partnership
The fulfillment operation will focus on effecting a reduction in prescription fulfillment costs while driving more efficient utilization of registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Other potential benefits of the fulfillment partnership will be an increase in prescription capacity at Longs and improved inventory management for both companies.
The new joint venture fill center is located in Sacramento and is expected to be operational in the second calendar quarter of 2001. The fulfillment operation will utilize the PDX pharmacy system platform and is supported by Bergen's logistics network for delivery. At capacity, the fulfillment center is expected to fill an estimated 10,000 prescriptions daily, which consumers will pick up at their local pharmacy counters.
"We are excited to partner with Bergen in launching a prescription fulfillment operation," said Steve Roath, president and CEO of Longs Drug Stores. "Current and projected trends for community pharmacists show that the demand for the pharmacists is substantially greater than the supply. Additionally, current projections indicate that the number of prescriptions will increase 40 percent within the next three years while the number of community pharmacists is expected to increase by only 6 percent. We believe that the fill center will help us address this imbalance by increasing our prescription fulfillment capacity."
Brent Martini, president, BBDC, commented, "This new venture expands Bergen's business model beyond the traditional distribution relationship into a key area of operational importance to our customers. We are combining Bergen's expertise in distribution, logistics, systems, and pharmacy automation with Longs' professional and operational proficiency, prescription volume, and store convenience."
Roath agreed, stating, "The experience, knowledge and accessibility of our pharmacists are key to improved patient safety and effective drug utilization. We anticipate that our new fulfillment model will be instrumental in helping us successfully meet these and other challenges we face in community pharmacy."
David Neu, president of retail division, BBDC added, "Both Bergen and Longs bring distinct core competencies to this innovative partnership. The central fill software solution is further reinforced by our strategic alliance with PDX."
Longs Drug Stores Corporation (NYSE: LDG) is one of the largest drug store chains in North America. Founded in 1938 by brothers Joe and Tom Long as "Longs Self-Service Drugs," the Company currently operates 431 stores in California, Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, and Oregon. Annual sales average over $9.5 million per store. Longs' unique strategy, focused on consumers' health and well being, includes competencies in the key categories of pharmacy, over the counter medications, photo, and cosmetics, as well as other convenience offerings. Longs' web site, located on the Internet at www.longs.com, blends consumer services with extensive health and wellness information.
Bergen Brunswig Corporation, headquartered in Orange County, California, is a leading supplier of pharmaceuticals and specialty healthcare products as well as information management solutions and consulting services. Bergen's customers include the nation's healthcare providers (hospitals, nursing homes and physicians) drug stores, manufacturers and patients. Through its subsidiaries, Bergen provides product distribution; logistics; pharmacy management programs; and Internet fulfillment strategies designed to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes across the entire healthcare spectrum.
Except for historical information, all other information set forth in this press release, such as earnings forecasts and earnings rate projections, consists of "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These "forward-looking statements" are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied. Such statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking language such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "think," "continue" or the negatives or other variations thereof or other similar terminology. Such risks and uncertainties include the risks described in exhibit 99(a) to the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 1999 and in other reports and exhibits filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the costs and difficulties related to the integration of acquired businesses, the loss or disruption of one or more key customer or supplier relationships, changes in the distribution outsourcing pattern for pharmaceutical products and/or services, the ability to obtain general financing or financing rates that would be compatible with the Company's business operations, and the costs and other effects of governmental regulation and legal and administrative proceedings. The Company assumes no obligation to update the information in the release.
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