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Exclusive: Thoma Bravo creates drug diversion platform with Bluesight, Medacist

Illustration of prescription pill bottle with a siren as the cap.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Thoma Bravo has bought and merged two drug diversion tech companies —Bluesight and Medacist — Thoma Bravo partner Carl Press tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Drug diversion — the illegal distribution or abuse of prescription drugs — costs the health care industry more than $70 billion per year.

Details: Thoma Bravo acquired Bluesight as a platform, and bought Medacist as an add-on that closed simultaneously.

  • The combined company is approaching $50 million of top-line revenue and is profitable, sources tell Axios.
  • Press declined to comment on financials or disclose deal details.
  • Monroe Capital provided financing for the transaction. Piper Sandler advised Bluesight, while Provident Healthcare Partners advised Medacist.
  • Both companies will be recapitalized and branded as Bluesight, serving more than 2,000 hospitals across North America.

How it works: Bluesight aims to offer better visibility into the hospital pharmacy supply chain.

  • The platform offers automated radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled kit and tray management, controlled substance diversion management and drug purchasing optimization.
  • Bluesight uses machine learning and data analytics to identify unusual patterns throughout the lifecycle of drugs.
  • Medacist, meanwhile, offers a web-enabled drug auditing system letting customers manage key automated dispensing system metrics in real time.
  • Press says Bluesight could seek acquisitions of technology addressing cost management and purchases, as well as quality management services.

What's next: “We are already looking at M&A,” Press says.

  • "It could be further consolidating our two product categories or getting into different adjacencies," he adds. "We have a long list of companies we are looking into and talking to."

What they're saying: "In Bluesight, we found a category leader in two different segments, which you don’t see that often at this scale: inventory management and compliance, both focused on health system pharmacies," said Press.

  • Hospital pharmacy is an area ripe for technology disruption, Press says.
  • "Virtually every physician, nurse, and pharmacist we spoke to has a personal anecdote about a diversion incident," he adds.
  • Bluesight has three goals, says CEO Kevin MacDonald: "Save hospitals and health systems money on drugs, help the staff be more efficient so they can focus on clinical work and keep up with compliance and safety initiatives."
  • Thoma Bravo's backing "allows continued priority around innovation while growing our market leadership position," he adds.

Context: As many as 10% of all medical professionals will divert drugs from their workplace at some point in their career, per a study in Legal Matters.

  • Abuse of controlled substances is a growing issue among health care workers, particularly in the wake of a vicious opioid addiction epidemic.

Catch up quick: Bluesight raised just over $40 million from investors including New Leaf Venture Partners, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Baxter Ventures.

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