Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010
Road to Palm Springs
Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy
Swartz Creek, Michigan
Fresh out of college with a pharmacy degree from Michigan’s Ferris State University in 1975, Phil Hagerman knew what direction he wanted to go. He just didn’t have the path to get there.
But as it is for everyone who possesses the true entrepreneurial spirit, for him the absence of an established path presented more of an opportunity than a problem. He’d just forge his own.
Along with his pharmacist father, Dale Hagerman, he founded Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy to serve patients suffering from specific serious chronic illnesses and complex medical conditions.
The specialty pharmacy also would provide patients with expert disease-therapy management services tailored to meet their needs. The company was developed without a role model or industry leader to emulate, which meant greater risk as well as greater potential.
The first Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy store was opened at the former Ideal Pharmacy in Flint, Michigan, owned in part by Dale Hagerman who traded in his stock to buy the store.
Today, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has three locations in Michigan, and additional locations in Cleveland, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale and San Bernardino.
Fifty percent of Diplomat’s business focuses on oncology drugs. Other primary drugs include those for chronic kidney disease, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
With its specialized approach, the company has been a pioneer in the pharmacy profession by offering services and solutions typically not available to patients in traditional pharmacies.
In 2009, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy was named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in America.
The company experienced a three-year growth rate of 917% from 2006 to 2009. Hagerman recently announced a major expansion and new headquarters in Flint, creating 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.