McKesson has purchased the packaging operations of privately-held Sky Pharmaceuticals Packaging, a supplier of unit dose bar coded packaging solutions. The deal sets up McKesson to benefit when the US proposed regulations on bar coding of pharmaceuticals comes into effect.
The US Food and Drug Administration has proposed that bar codes must be placed on all unit-dose prescription drugs within the next three to five years, in order to improve medication safety, for example by reducing the risk of dosing errors, and improve supply chain management.
McKesson's Packaging Services division operates two pharmaceutical packaging facilities, including the RxPak repackaging business in Memphis that processed 1.5 billion doses in the last year. The Sky acquisition also adds a second facility in Concord, North Carolina, that packaged 300 million doses in the last 12 months.
The company said that with the completion of the Sky acquisition, it is now one of only two companies which can operate on a national scale in unit dose bar coded packaging.