Georgia State University
Brydine F. Lewis School of Nursing
NURS 7660 - Fall 2012
Mckesson Corporation is one of the largest health care service providers in the country. The company’s various operations span the health care spectrum and include enterprises such as pharmaceuticals, retail pharmacy automation, surgical supply management, and health care technology solutions. McKesson was founded in New York City’s financial district in 1833 by Charles Olcott and John McKesson. From the beginning, the company had a history of seizing opportunities for growth and expansion. Although Mckesson began as a wholesaler of chemicals and therapeutic drugs, they took advantage of the increasing global trade market by establishing a reciprocal relationship with many companies in the growing shipping market. “Through these relationships with the shipping industry, the company expanded and increased its distribution of pharmaceuticals to 17 states” (McKesson Corp, 2012). In 1855, Mckesson was one of the first wholesale houses to manufacture drugs. By the early 1900’s the company again expanded and became a leading distributor of pharmaceutical and drug products in the US. Mckesson soon became a national drug wholesale company, and began to expand its focus on areas of business outside of healthcare. Mckesson has a long history employing mergers and acquisitions to gain access to novel products and increase its viability in new emerging markets. During the 1960’s, the merger with Foremost Dairies resulted in the formation of Foremost Mckesson Inc., which later became a multiregional distributor of hospital and laboratory supplies and equipment. Even today, acquiring other businesses and products is a large part of the company’s business approach. The following excerpt on this business approach comes from the San Francisco Business Times:
“Acquisitions have historically been part of our strategy, and will continue to be in the future,” stated President Brian Tyler, EVP of corporate strategy and business development. “We’ve probably spent $2 billion on acquisitions in the alternate site market in the past few years.”
“Some of McKesson’s other software acquisitions in the past year alone include but are not limited to: Med3000 in October 2012, MedVentive in September 2012, Portico Systems in June 2012, System C Healthcare (British software firm) in March 2011. System C makes the Medway software used in 40 National Health Service and private hospitals in the United Kingdom. The software includes electronic medical records, business management, and online applications, among others” (San Francisco Business Times, 2011). During the 1980’s and 90’s, McKesson began to focus more on its healthcare division and started to move away from its un-related businesses. “They acquired automated healthcare and general medical, McKesson then became the largest distributor of medical-surgical supplies at that time” (McKesson Corp, 2012). Betting that software sales would stimulate medical product and pharmaceutical sales, and vice versa, in October of 1998, McKesson Corp. merged with Atlanta-based HBO & Co., a developer of hospital information systems. In July of 2001, Vanderbilt University Medical Center sold the rights for commercial development of WizOrder, Vanderbilt’s computerized clinician order entry system (History of WizOrder at VUMC, 2012) and signed a strategic relationship with McKesson HBOC Inc. Back in the 1990s Dr. Randy Miller, M.D. and Antoine Geissbuhler, M.D. developed Wiz Order (Govern), 2004) with the aim of improving clinical decision-making. This was in line with McKesson’s goal to deliver a world-class solution for advanced clinical decision support and expert physician order entry. McKesson’s newly acquired solution would later become known as Horizon. Mckesson envisioned a product that would electronically tie together consumers, pharmacies, hospitals, distributors and manufacturers...