What was once Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy is now simply Diplomat — a name change that reflects just one part of the recent rebranding and growth undergone by the Flint-based company.
The new brand reflects the firm’s evolution from a small neighborhood specialty pharmacy to a health service company, says Phil Hagerman, co-founder and CEO.
“We can use our core name, Diplomat, and tie it to the services we offer,” Hagerman says. “When we’re promoting the different areas of our business, we can be Diplomat Oncology Connect or Diplomat Retail Special Network or Diplomat University. We want the industry to know that we do more than traditional pharmacy dispensing.”
Hagerman says the company made the decision to expand its services beyond dispensing medication in order to stay relevant about five years ago.
“It took us a couple of years to build the infrastructure, and the last two years or so, we’ve focused on expanding,” Hagerman says. “This year, we reached the point where we felt like it was time to reflect that with a name change.”
While Diplomat delivers medications to patients with serious medical needs, it will also provide health systems and retailers with back-end services that include connecting with patients nationwide about their prescriptions. Diplomat works behind the scenes at about 4,000 retail stores, including Costco and Safeway locations, across the country, Hagerman says.
The company also provides readmission management programs to keep patients from returning to the hospital and offers educational programs through Diplomat University, which was launched last year as an internal training program, Hagerman says. “Over the past year, the university has become much more than what we anticipated. We’ve taken it externally now, where we educate hospital systems, retailers, and pharmaceutical companies about specialty pharmacies,” he says.
In 2010, Diplomat announced plans to hire 1,000 workers over the course of five years. At the time, the company had 295 employees working in its new headquarters, the former General Motors’ Great Lakes Technology Centre complex on Saginaw Street. Today, the company has more than 800 employees. “We’re well past the halfway point to our goal,” Hagerman says.