Cardinal Health andAmerican Associated Pharmacies (AAP), the parent company of AssociatedPharmacies, Inc. (API) and United Drugs, today announced that AAP has selectedCardinal Health to be the exclusive pharmaceutical distributor for its nearly2,000 independent pharmacy members, nationwide. Cardinal Health previously had separate, exclusive distribution agreementswith API and United Drugs, prior to their Sept. 1, 2009 merger. The new,multi-year agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2010, solidifies Cardinal Health asthe primary pharmaceutical distributor for the combined entity’s nationwidepharmacy members. The new contract signifies a long-term partnership betweenCardinal Health and AAP and better positions both companies to helpindependent retail pharmacies improve cost-effectiveness and efficiency. “Since API and United Drugs joined together in September of this year, wehave been very active establishing our new parent company, AAP, while alsofocusing on ways to strengthen our well-established relationships withCardinal Health,” said Jon Copeland, CEO of AAP. “Throughout the entireprocess, we’ve had only one goal: the greater success of our members. Now,with AAP’s new agreement with Cardinal Health, we’ve made a giant step towardachieving that goal.” As part of the agreement, AAP members will have access to an extensiveportfolio of branded and generic pharmaceuticals from Cardinal Health. Theywill also have access to a broad array of Cardinal Health solutions andservices designed to help independent pharmacies improve profitability andefficiency. “Cardinal Health, Associated Pharmacies, Inc. and United Drugs share apassionate commitment to supporting the growth of independent pharmacies,”said Mike Kaufmann, CEO of Cardinal Health’s Pharmaceutical segment. “ThroughCardinal Health’s strong generics program and our powerful, customizedportfolio of supply chain, operational and financial performance solutions,we’ll work hand-in-hand with AAP to help their nearly 2,000 independentpharmacy members improve cost effectiveness and efficiency so they can focuson what they do best – care for patients.” AAP members will also have access to select Cardinal Health services andsolutions, including customized reimbursement consulting services,reconciliation services that ensure payors pay reimbursements in full andtools that help retailers market and increase non-prescription sales to drivediversified revenue growth. “We’re proud of our new, stronger agreement with Cardinal Health becausewe believe it will deliver independent pharmacies a wide array of services andprograms that can help them continue to build profitable, successfulbusinesses,” said Bruce A. Semingson, R.Ph., chief operations officer of AAP.