The website Drug Channels reported last week that medical supply distributor Cardinal Health has acquired Metro Medical, the largest independent specialty distributor in the United States.

"It’s a great move for Cardinal, which dramatically expands its small specialty distribution business while gaining access to new practice settings," said Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting and CEO of Drug Channels Institute, in a blog post on April 22. "The Metro deal also puts Cardinal a little closer to the specialty businesses of AmerisourceBergen and McKesson."

Neither company has acknowledged the sale on their websites.

Cardinal operates multiple distribution and services businesses focused on specialty pharmaceuticals. “Although Cardinal is secretive about its Specialty Solutions division’s size, we estimate that its revenues were $3.2 billion in its 2014 fiscal year. We estimate that about half of Specialty Solutions revenues came from Cardinal’s specialty drug distribution business,” wrote Fein. “In recent conference calls, Cardinal has hinted that its specialty division’s revenues will be more than $5 billion in its 2015 fiscal year. Metro will add significantly to the division's size.”

Metro, founded in 1984 in Nashville, has built MMS Solutions as its specialty pharmacy. MMS is licensed in every state and has served the renal community for almost 15 years. Metro’s oncology distribution business was enhanced in 2009 when it formed its Bellweather Oncology Alliance GPO, which Fein says will complement Cardinal’s existing operations. Metro “has a presence in rheumatology and nephrology offices—two segments where Cardinal has minimal share,” said Fein.

Metro listed warehouses in Nashville and Reno, Nevada, according to NN&I’s 2014 edition of the Renal Resource and Buyer’s Guide.