Diplomat Pharmacy, the nation’s largest independent drug company, announced it was going public earlier this year. The company officially began trading on October 10. The initial public offering of 13.3 million shares of common stock started at a price to the public of $13 per share under the symbol “DPLO.”  By mid-afternoon trading on its first day, Diplomat’s share price was already up more than 30% to $17.

The Flint, MI-based company was founded in 1975 and has a long track record of growth and innovation. Diplomat Pharmacy began its expansion from a small regional operation to a large national business in 2005. The company’s annual sales have grown at a 65% rate since then. Annual sales hit $1.8 billion for the last fiscal year ending June 30. The company currently has over 1,000 employees. These impressive statistics intrigued the Flint, MI city mayor, Dayne Walling, to travel to New York for the ringing of the bell.

Chairman and CEO Phil Hagerman, whose father founded Diplomat Pharmacy, said he felt the time was right to take his 39-year-old company to continue double-digit growth. Over the past several years, Diplomat has been growing through internal growth. The past year, however, the company has been growing through acquisitions. With the proceeds from the initial public offering, Diplomat Pharmacy plans to look at strategic acquisitions to further enhance the company’s position in the marketplace. The company already made two acquisitions in the past year including MedPro Rx based in Raleigh, NC.

Diplomat Pharmacy has found its success as a specialty pharmacy for people needing drugs to treat chronic diseases. The company manages medication for about 13 million people. Diplomat “benefits managers” help doctors and patients manage serious, complex diseases that require a complex regimen of drugs to treat successfully. Diplomat “staffers” help customers find money to pay for their medications, package them in easy-to-remember dosage packs, and stay in close contact with patients to ensure compliance with treatment orders and manage side effects. In some cases, Diplomat staff formulates the drugs, for instance, turning a pill or powder into a liquid for pediatric administration, or creating a dosage a doctor wants that isn’t commercially available.

No longer family-owned, now allowing the public to invest in its future, Diplomat Pharmacy will continue to thrive in the ever-evolving drug industry. More information on this leading drug company can be found in Chain Store Guide’s database of Drugs Stores & HBC Chains. Expect to hear more great things from Diplomat Pharmacy.