SOURCE: McKesson

February 13, 2006 10:13 ET

McKesson Signs Multi-Product Automation Agreement With Novation

Advanced Automation Solutions for Pharmacy and Nursing Available at a Savings to VHA Inc. and UHC Members

PITTSBURGH, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 13, 2006 -- McKesson announced that it has signed a three-year agreement with Novation, the healthcare contracting services company of VHA Inc. and University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), for advanced automation solutions for pharmacy and nursing.

McKesson is the world's largest healthcare services, automation and information technology company. The company's bar-coded medication administration solutions, which incorporate bar-code scanning, software and automation, recently received the "most often considered" designation in the KLAS® Closed Loop Medication Management Solutions report published in December 2005 by KLAS Enterprises, L.L.C.

The agreement enables more than 2,500 member hospitals to systematically implement components of the McKesson Medication Safety Advantage(SM), a comprehensive suite of solutions that integrates software, automation, packaging, distribution and consulting solutions to help providers reduce medication errors at every step where they can occur -- prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administering and monitoring. Specifically, Novation customers will have the option to purchase McKesson's pharmacy automation solutions (ROBOT-Rx®, MedCarousel®, FulFill-Rx(SM)), packaging technologies (including PACMED™ and PakPlus-Rx®), and bar-coded medication administration solution (Horizon Admin-Rx™), which has been shown to reduce medication administration errors by as much as 87%. In fact, in a review of nearly 100 hospitals where McKesson's medication administration solutions are in place, clinicians use them to scan more than 63 million medications each year -- resulting in 475,000 weekly warnings that help to prevent 96,000 potential errors.

The new agreement also includes automation solutions for outpatient pharmacies, including advanced dispensing and robotics, and workflow software.

Novation selected McKesson's ROBOT-Rx as the single source for pharmacy robotics. As the only proven robotic inpatient pharmacy system based on more than a decade of pharmacy automation expertise, ROBOT-Rx operates successfully in hundreds of hospital pharmacies. These robots dispense a total of 325 million doses per year. McKesson is also the only company to provide inventory management integration with pharmaceutical customers through FulFill-Rx and McKesson Health Systems. Orders can be placed electronically and restocked at the shelf level through bar-coded tote delivery from McKesson's distribution centers.

"McKesson is honored to work with Novation as it seeks to achieve safer and more efficient medication management in VHA and UHC member hospitals," said Dave Souerwine, president of McKesson's Automation Solutions. "This agreement is also an important opportunity to demonstrate the value of McKesson's integrated solutions in a market that represents approximately a quarter of the nation's hospitals."

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 15th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 173-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare, and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information:

About Novation

Based in Irving, Texas, Novation was established in January 1998 through a combination of the supply programs of VHA and UHC, two national health care alliances. Novation serves the purchasing needs of more than 2,500 members and affiliates of VHA and UHC. These organizations used Novation contracts to purchase more than $23 billion in supplies in 2004. For more information:

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