Wednesday, September 03, 2014

2013’s Fastest-Growing, Private Specialty Pharmacies

Time for our annual review of the Inc. 5000 list, Inc. magazine’s ranking of the fastest-growing private U.S. companies. Once again, the Inc. 5000 list highlights the boom in specialty drug dispensing.

The 2014 list, which is based upon revenue growth through 2013, includes 13 specialty pharmacies. The pharmacies and key stats are listed below. Total revenues for the group were $3.1 billion. Diplomat, with $1.5 billion in revenues, accounted for half of the total.

If you want to buy a specialty pharmacy, here’s your shopping list!


The 2014 Inc. 5000 list ranks companies based upon percentage revenue growth from 2010 through 2013, shown as the “3-Year % Growth Rate” in the table below. Ranked companies must be based in the United States, be privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2013.

Companies must apply to be considered, so the secretive or shy don't appear on the list. If your specialty pharmacy was not on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list, then it does not appear in the table below.


The Inc. 5000 lists hundreds of companies in its “health” category. Based upon the magazine’s company descriptions, we identified 13 companies whose primary business is dispensing specialty pharmaceuticals.

[Click to Enlarge]

You can review last year’s list here: Say Hello to the 12 Fastest-Growing, Private Specialty Pharmacies.

  • The average 3-year revenue growth rate of these 13 pharmacies is 263%. All but four of these companies were founded from 2000 onward. Note that some have other revenue sources.
  • Nine of the 13 companies have more the $1 million in revenue per employee.
  • Three new companies made the list— CareMed Pharmaceutical Services, Apothecary by Design, and Ladd Family Pharmacy. Curant Health is the new name for HealthstatRx, which appeared on last year’s list.
  • URAC, the most widely recognized accreditation organization, reports that 8 of the 13 companies have “Full Accreditation” or are “In Process.” All but one is accredited as a “specialty pharmacy.” Curant holds only a “mail service pharmacy” accreditation.
  • Acquisitions affected the list. Amber Pharmacy was acquired by grocery chain Hy-Vee and is no longer eligible for inclusion. Long term care pharmacy PharMerica Corp. acquired a minority stake in the oncology specialty pharmacy Onco360, which we highlighted in last December’s Three New Specialty Pharmacy Deals Signal The Boom Ahead. However, Onco360 still meets the criteria for inclusion.
FYI, our chart above updates Exhibit 91 (on page 154) of the 2013-14 Economic Report on Retail, Mail, and Specialty Pharmacies.


  1. A few eagle eyed readers reminded me of two other deals.
    1. Diplomat acquired MedPro Rx (discussed in my July Diplomat posting)
    2. MedExpress Pharmacy was recently acquired by Avita Pharmacy

  2. These pharmacies are growing quite fast, but what are the margins like? EBITDA?

  3. These are private companies, so those data aren't available.

    Our only public information comes from Diplomat, which filed an S-1 in June. In 2013, Diplomat's gross margin was 5.9% and its EBITDA was 1.25%. IMHO, these are fairly typical numbers for a specialty pharmacy. See 10 Fun Financial Facts from Diplomat Pharmacy’s IPO Filing.