McKesson Corporation

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McKesson Corporation
Traded as NYSEMCK
NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Founded New York City, United States (1833)
as Olcott & McKesson
Founder John McKesson
Charles Olcott
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Key people
John Hammergren
(Chairman and CEO)
Products Pharmaceuticals
Household products
Medical technology
Health care services
Revenue Decrease US$ 122.455 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Increase US$ 2.315 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Decrease US$ 1.338 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Total assets Increase US$ 34.786 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Total equity Decrease US$ 7.070 billion (FY 2013)[1]
Number of employees
43,500 (March 2013)[1]

McKesson Corporation is an American company distributing pharmaceuticals at a retailsale level and providing health information technology, medical supplies, and care management tools. The company had sales of $122 billion in 2012.[2]

McKesson is based in the United States and distributes health care systems, medical supplies and pharmaceutical products. Additionally, McKesson provides extensive network infrastructure for the health care industry; also, it was an early adopter of technologies like bar-code scanning for distribution, pharmacy robotics, and RFID tags.[3]

It is a Fortune Global 500 company, and the 15th [2] highest revenue generating company in the United States.


Founded in New York City as Olcott & McKesson by Charles Olcott and John McKesson in 1833, the business began as an importer and wholesaler of botanical drugs. A third partner, Daniel Robbins joined the enterprise as it grew, and it was renamed McKesson & Robbins following Olcott's death in 1853.

The company successfully emerged from one of the most notorious business/accounting scandals of the 20th century—the McKesson & Robbins scandal, a watershed event that led to major changes in American auditing standards and securities regulations after being exposed in 1938. In the 1960s, McKesson & Robbins merged with Foremost Dairies of San Francisco to form Foremost-McKesson Inc.[4] Since the mid-20th Century, McKesson has derived an increasing proportion of its income from medical technology, rather than pharmaceuticals. This culminated in its purchase of medical information systems firm HBO & Company (HBOC) in 1999; the combined firm was briefly known as McKessonHBOC. Accounting irregularities at HBOC reduced the company's share price by half, and resulted in the dismissal and prosecution of many HBOC executives. The firm's name reverted to "McKesson" in 2001.[5] McKesson Technology Solutions, as the information technology branch of the company is now known, has continued to increase its market share through acquisitions, notably Per Se Technologies, RelayHealth, and Practice Partner. In 2010, McKesson acquired leading cancer services company US Oncology, Inc. for $2.16 billion, which was integrated into the McKesson Specialty Care Solutions business.

On June 24, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that McKesson Chairman and CEO John Hammergren's pension benefits of $159 million had set a record for "the largest pension on file for a current executive of a public company, and almost certainly the largest ever in corporate America." A study in 2012 by GMI Ratings, which tracks executive pay, found that 60% of CEOs at S&P 500 companies have pensions, and their value averages $11.5 million.[6]

In addition to its offices throughout North America, McKesson also has international offices in Australia, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Today, McKesson is one of the oldest continually operating businesses in the United States.

McKesson Provider Technologies[edit]

McKesson Provider Technologies is the retail name for McKesson Technology Solutions; the software development division of McKesson. Their customer base in the United States includes 50% of all health systems, 20% of all physician practices, 25% of home care agencies, and 77% of health systems with more than 200 beds.

In June 20, 2005, McKesson Provider Technologies acquired Medcon, Ltd., an Israeli company which provides Web-based cardiac image and information management solutions for heart centers, that includes: diagnostic digital image management, archiving, procedure reporting, and workflow management.[7]

In October 2013, McKesson agreed to buy a 50% stake in German peer Celesio for $8.3 billion.[8]

Health Mart pharmacy franchise[edit]

Health Mart is a network of over 3,400 independently owned and operated pharmacies. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of McKesson Corporation, which owns the name "Health Mart." McKesson acquired Health Mart owner FoxMeyer in 1996.

McKesson Canada[edit]

In 1991, McKesson Corporation acquired a 100 percent interest in Medis Health and Pharmaceutical Services from Provigo. In 2002, the McKesson Canada name is adopted. McKesson Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of McKesson Corporation. It includes various business units: McKesson Pharmaceutical, McKesson Automation, McKesson Specialty, McKesson Health Solutions and McKesson Information Solutions.

McKesson in the United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, McKesson (operating as McKesson Information Solutions UK Ltd) is a provider of information technology services to the health care industry. In addition to numerous clinical software systems and finance and procurement services, McKesson also is responsible for developing the Electronic Staff Record system for the National Health Service which provides an integrated payroll system for NHS's 1.3 million staff, making it the world’s largest single payroll IT system. McKesson Shared Services also provides payroll services for over 20 NHS Trusts, paying over 100,000 NHS members.

McKesson's United Kingdom base is in Warwick with data centers in Newcastle upon Tyne and Brent Cross and offices in Sheffield, Bangor, Glasgow and Vauxhall, London. Across the United Kingdom, it employs over 500 people.

In Jun/Jul 2014 McKesson sold most of their healthcare software business to the private equity firm Symphony Technology Group and indicated also that they would not be re-bidding for the Electronic Staff Record contract.[9] [10]

McKesson in Australia and New Zealand[edit]

In Australia and New Zealand, McKesson (operating as McKesson Asia-Pacific) is a provider of telephone-based services to the healthcare industry. McKesson's services include: telephone triage (see also telehealth and telenursing) health information, advice and referral, mental health triage and case management and chronic disease management.

Using specialised health call centre software, McKesson clinical staff take over one million calls per year from the community

McKesson's Asia-Pacific's head office is in Sydney with other offices in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Wellington and Auckland. Across the Asia-Pacific region, it employs close to 700 people.

In 2010, McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its McKesson Asia Pacific business to Medibank Private Ltd..


McKesson's global headquarters building in downtown San Francisco.
McKesson Pharmacy Systems, Livonia, MI

In addition to its global headquarters in San Francisco, California, McKesson maintains additional facilities around North America.

Former divisions[edit]

McKesson operated the Mosswood Wine Company from 1978 until 1987, when the division was sold to maintain their focus on pharmaceuticals. The division was founded and run by wine writer Gerald Asher.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2013 Form 10K, McKesson Corporation". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  2. ^ a b "Fortune 500 2013: Full List". CNN. 
  3. ^ Sick in the head: Why America won't get the health-care system it needs, by Luke Mitchell, Harper's, January 16, 2009
  4. ^ History of McKesson Corporation
  5. ^ Milt Freudenheim, “McKesson Agrees to Pay $960 Million in Fraud Suit,” ‘’New York Times’’, January 13, 2005, (accessed March 17, 2008)
  6. ^ For McKesson's CEO, A Pension of $159 Million
  7. ^ McKesson Completes Acquisition of Medcon Ltd. | Business Wire Aug. 15, 2005
  8. ^ Ludwig Burger (24 October 2013). "McKesson $8.3 billion deal for drugs trader Celesio to create market leader". Reuters. 
  9. ^ Jon Hoeksma (8 May 2013). "McKesson UK put up for sale". ehiNEWS. 
  10. ^ Jon Hoeksma (2 June 2014). "Symphony buys McKesson UK health ops". ehiNEWS. 
  11. ^ [1]

External links[edit]