Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy poised for growth in Michigan

April 21, 2010
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - April 2010,

Specialty pharmacy wins $61.5M in tax credits and $14M in grants for 1,000-plus jobs

There’s at least one upside to the downfall of the American auto industry: Michigan is eager to find other industries to bring its economy back to life. Judging by the 18-year, $61.5M tax credit awarded recently to Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy, it looks like the fast-growing specialty pharma industry is the state’s latest target.

The company, the nation’s largest privately held specialty pharmacy, also received $14M in workforce training funds, and additional incentives are expected from the city of Flint. In return, Diplomat plans to sink $12M over the next five years into a former General Motors technology facility and create more than 1,000 jobs in the same period. The company says it plans to add 4,000 jobs by 2028.

Is this growth too ambitious? Probably not for specialty pharma, a “dynamic industry experiencing explosive growth,” as Diplomat CEO Phil Hagerman explains the nearly $100B industry. “Three of the top 10 drugs we provide today didn’t exist five years ago,” he says. “There are hundreds of drugs in the specialty pipeline and it is a likely scenario that half of the top 10 drugs we will provide in five years are not on the market today.”

Last fall, Pamela Leigh Sauerwald, general manager of Specialty Offerings Development for IMS Health, predicted that global revenue from specialty pharma products would exceed $160 billion by 2013.