FTC seeks comments on Cardinal's move to sell nuclear pharmacies

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comment on an application by Cardinal Health, which is requesting approval to sell former Cardinal Health nuclear pharmacy assets to Patient Care Infusion (PCI).

Cardinal's sale of the assets is required under a July 2011 settlement with the FTC, which resolved charges that Cardinal's acquisition of three nuclear pharmacies from Biotech was anticompetitive.

Nuclear pharmacies provide radiopharmaceuticals to hospitals and cardiology clinics, which use the products to diagnose and treat various diseases. Radiopharmaceuticals contain a radioisotope that is combined with a chemical compound, which is then dispensed to customers in a local area.

The FTC's 2011 order settling the case requires Cardinal to reconstitute and sell nuclear pharmacies in Las Vegas; Albuquerque, N.M.; and El Paso, Texas. After Cardinal completed the acquisition, it closed its own nuclear pharmacies in each of the cities. According to the application, these assets will be reconstituted through the sale to PCI, which has the capacity and ability to operate the nuclear pharmacies in a competitive manner, as required by the FTC order.

The FTC will decide whether to approve the sale after the expiration of the public comment period. Public comments on the application may be submitted until March 26. Written comments can be sent to the FTC Office of the Secretary, or comments can be filed electronically.