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McKesson Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Awarix

McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Awarix, Inc., one of the first companies to offer an enterprise patient care visibility system. The Awarix solution is designed to drive a high-quality, efficient experience for each patient while providing real-time feedback to the care team for better management of capacity and patient throughput. The solution identifies and helps to eliminate the bottlenecks that delay treatment and extend the patient stay. To highlight activity and patient status, the system provides color-coded, at-a-glance views of the hospital’s floor plan mounted throughout the facility.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of July, subject to customary conditions.

“The enterprise patient care visibility system is a new category of healthcare technology focused on delivering accurate, real-time information to speed clinical decision time, reduce care delays, and manage scarce resources,” said Pamela Pure, president of McKesson Technology Solutions and executive vice president of McKesson Corporation. “Our customers have requested systems that can help maximize throughput and associated revenue while recommending the most efficient strategy to move a patient through the care process. This solution provides visibility, and visibility equals efficiency. The addition of the Awarix solution reinforces McKesson’s goal of providing customers with technology to improve performance.”

The high-impact Awarix system is designed to drive workflow and wait-time improvements, which are particularly important in the emergency room. According to a recent Institute of Medicine report, 91% of the nation’s emergency departments report overcrowding as a problem, with 73% of surveyed hospitals diverting at least two patients per day.

“Emergency department challenges are most often caused by ‘downstream’ capacity issues in care areas such as the ICU, surgery, and observational beds,” said Gary York, founder of Awarix. “Bed management and departmental tracking boards can’t address system-wide bottlenecks. Our breakthrough enterprise patient visibility system materially reduces the need to go on emergency department diversion. More efficient inpatient management also precludes the need for new construction.”

Information aggregated from clinical, ADT (admission, discharge and transfer), housekeeping and transportation systems are displayed on large electronic “whiteboards.” The whiteboards increase productivity by enabling caregivers to quickly identify patients with orders pending or critical laboratory results as well as patient locations and wait times, discharge status and room availability. Identification technologies such as RFID and ultrasound can also be linked to proactively monitor patient activity. All of this information can then be aggregated into key performance indicators to drive workflow and process improvement.

In 2006, Awarix received the North American Healthcare Information Technologies Enabling Technology of the Year Award from Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company.

Risk Factors

Except for historical information contained in this press release, matters discussed may constitute “forward-looking statements”, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. These statements may be identified by their use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “may”, “should”, “seeks”, “approximates”, “intends”, “plans”, “estimates” or the negative of these words or other comparable terminology. The most significant of these risks and uncertainties are described in the company’s Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and include, but are not limited to: adverse resolution of pending shareholder litigation regarding the 1999 restatement of our historical financial statements; the changing U.S. healthcare environment, including changes in government regulations and the impact of potential future mandated benefits; competition; changes in private and governmental reimbursement or in the delivery systems for healthcare products and services; governmental and manufacturers’ efforts to regulate or control the pharmaceutical supply chain; changes in pharmaceutical and medical-surgical manufacturers’ pricing, selling, inventory, distribution or supply policies or practices; changes in the availability or pricing of generic drugs; changes in customer mix; substantial defaults in payment or a material reduction in purchases by large customers; challenges in integrating and implementing the company’s internally used or externally sold software and software systems, or the slowing or deferral of demand or extension of the sales cycle for external software products; continued access to third-party licenses for software and the patent positions of the company’s proprietary software; the company’s ability to meet performance requirements in its disease management programs; the adequacy of insurance to cover liability or loss claims; new or revised tax legislation; foreign currency fluctuations or disruptions to foreign operations; the company’s ability to successfully identify, consummate and integrate strategic acquisitions; changes in generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and general economic conditions. The reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The company assumes no obligation to update or revise any such statements, whether as a result of new information or otherwise.

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 18th 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. McKesson is the longest-operating company in healthcare today, and will mark 175 years of continuous operations in 2008. Over the course of its 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.

Source:  McKesson