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HEARD ON THE BEAT / HEALTH CARE

VNA Diversifies With Drug Joint Venture

June 06, 1996|Barbara Marsh

Today, Orange County. Tomorrow, the world?

VNA Home Health Systems, the Orange-based nonprofit company that provides visiting nurses and other home health-care services across the county, aims to get into the global market for mail-order drugs.

The company, forming a joint venture with Colorado drug maker Golden Pharmaceuticals Inc., has set up the new mail-order firm in Santa Ana, says Gordon Martin, VNA's chief executive. The new company, RX Direct LLC, is expected to post revenue of about $15 million annually in five to seven years, says Martin, who is RX's president.

VNA expects to record revenue this year of about $15 million from its traditional home care business, but faces stiff competition in that industry, Martin says. The RX Direct investment is one of the company's efforts to diversify.

Martin wouldn't disclose how much VNA has invested in the venture.

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Barbara Marsh covers health care for The Times. She can be reached at (714) 966-7762 and at barbara.marsh@latimes.com

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