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NDCHealth and McKesson Form Strategic Alliance to Create Industry Leading Transaction Processing Offering for Pharmacies.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers

ATLANTA & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 8, 2004

NDCHealth Acquires Omnilink(SM), Enhances Suite of Network Services

NDCHealth Corporation (NYSE:NDC) and McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) announced today NDCHealth has acquired McKesson's OmniLink(SM) pre- and post-editing (PPE) business for pharmacy claims processing for approximately $14 million in cash. In addition, the two companies have signed an agreement to form a strategic alliance to enhance their offering of value-added transaction services to pharmacies. As a result, they will jointly market NDCHealth's pharmacy NDC Pre &Post Editing Service solutions to the base of 2,300 McKesson Pharmacy Systems customers.

The OmniLink acquisition complements and expands NDCHealth's existing value-added NDCHealth Intelligent Network for processing pharmacy claims. As a result, NDCHealth will add more than 2,000 OmniLink store locations to its existing base of more than 30,000 pharmacies using NDCHealth's PPE services. The OmniLink assets will be integrated into NDCHealth's existing pharmacy network infrastructure to deliver efficient processing, customer support and product development operations. The marketing alliance between two leaders in pharmacy analytic services will provide independent and chain pharmacies with an expanded suite of network services designed to optimize their cash flow and improve their profitability.

"This is our latest step to help pharmacists improve the quality and efficiency of care through enhanced transaction processing and value-added services," said Walter M. Hoff, chairman and chief executive officer, NDCHealth. "McKesson was the pioneer in providing unique information services to individual pharmacies and has built an impressive base of customers. Our new alliance builds on our respective strengths as industry leaders."

"We are committed to helping our customers achieve operational excellence through the pharmacy systems and other technologies we offer to help them run their business," said Paul Julian, president, McKesson Supply Solutions. "By combining our strengths with NDCHealth's, we can deliver access to industry-leading network services that enable McKesson's pharmacy customers to focus on delivering the highest quality of care, while improving their financial performance."

For now, OmniLink contracts will remain in place and OmniLink customers will not have to make any changes in their services. During a transitional phase that will occur over the next several months, McKesson will add the NDCHealth Intelligent Network service offering to its suite of pharmacy management products and solutions. The two companies also will jointly market NDCHealth's PPE services and other value-added pharmacy services, such as ProviderPay(TM), a next day claims funding and reconciliation service. McKesson currently provides in-store pharmacy systems to more than 2,300 customers.

About the NDCHealth Intelligent Network

The NDCHealth Intelligent Network has the highest performance quality and integrity in transaction processing, with connections to more than 80 percent of North American pharmacies. On an annual basis, the network processes more than four billion transactions that add value to NDCHealth's customers.

About NDC Pre-and Post-Editing

NDC Pre- and Post-editing services for pharmacy claims are designed to improve the adjudication process and reduce submission errors by performing automated, real-time data management and validation. Validations (or edits) perform financial and administrative review on each transaction. Examples include checking the submitted claim pricing for appropriateness, generic drug dispensing opportunity reminders and confirming that the claim detail is valid prior to submission to the third-party payer.

About NDCHealth Corporation

NDCHealth is a leading provider of health information solutions that add value to pharmacy, hospital, physician, pharmaceutical and payer businesses. For more information, please contact the company at http://www.ndchealth.com.

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) is a Fortune 16 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 170-year history, McKesson has grown to provide pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, please visit www.mckesson.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 8, 2004
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