Based on the pricing (details below), McKesson REALLY wanted to win the contract, which will now contribute about 40% less in earnings per share.
While the VA contract is unique, McKesson’s biggest customers—CVS Caremark (mail), Rite Aid, Walmart, and Omnicare—will surely be curious to know more about this wacky math. Manufacturers, however, should feel a sudden urge to hold onto their wallets.
The contract is potentially 8 years long: an initial two year period and three option periods of two years. George Hill at Citigroup estimates the total 8-year contract value to be $31.6 billion, or about $4 billion per year.
Click here to view the official award on the VA site. The reported pricing discounts are quite astounding:
- Fast Pay Accounts (including CMOP): -8.65%
- Net 15 Accounts: -8.15%
- Medical/Surgical Items: -8.65%
- WAC Based Priced Generics (WBPG) (including CMOP): -8.65%
Curious how the math works for an 8.65% discount? See Big Trouble in the VA Contract: Who will win?, where I explain the two key factors behind so-called "cost minus" pricing:
- Buy-side margin allows the wholesaler to offer discounts from "cost" while still earning a positive gross margin.
- "Fast Pay" terms can provide a wholesaler with negative working capital.
In January, I gave McKesson a 40% chance of remaining the sole-source vendor. In February, I upped it to 55% after the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing. Looks like I'm ready for another trip to Vegas!
P.S. My analysis of the mail pharmacy slowdown will appear tomorrow.