Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved an application by Cardinal Health, Inc. to sell former Cardinal nuclear pharmacy assets to Patient Care Infusion, LLC (PCI). Cardinal's sale of the assets is required under a 2011 settlement with the FTC , which resolved charges that Cardinal's acquisition of three nuclear pharmacies from Biotech was anticompetitive.
Nuclear pharmacies distribute radiopharmaceuticals to local hospitals and cardiology clinics. Radiopharmaceuticals contain a radioisotope that, when combined with a chemical compound, is used to diagnose and treat various diseases.
After Cardinal completed the acquisition, it closed its own competing nuclear pharmacies in Las Vegas, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and El Paso, Texas. The FTC's 2011 order settling the case requires Cardinal to reconstitute and sell nuclear pharmacies in each of the cities to a Commission-approved buyer. These assets have been reconstituted in conjunction with PCI, which has the capacity and ability to operate the new nuclear pharmacies in a competitive manner, as required by the FTC order.
The Commission vote approving the application was 4-0-1, with Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen not participating. (FTC File No. 091-0136, Docket No. C-4339; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see press release dated July 21, 2011.)
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