Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2002 (Revised August 2014)

Cardinal Health (A): The Medicine Shoppe Acquisition

by Regina E. Herzlinger, Miguel Abecasis and Brenda Cheng


Robert Walter, the founder and CEO of Cardinal Health, a pharmaceutical distributor, is contemplating the purchase of Medicine Shoppe, a chain of apothecaries. The purchase might be construed as competition against his own drugstore customers. But one of its many advantages is the window it provides on the turbulent outside environment, with consolidation of his customers and managed care pressure on the pharmaceutical industry.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Strategy; Competitive Advantage; Distribution Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; Retail Industry;


Herzlinger, Regina E., Miguel Abecasis, and Brenda Cheng. "Cardinal Health (A): The Medicine Shoppe Acquisition." Harvard Business School Case 303-043, September 2002. (Revised August 2014.)