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From Flint to Wall Street, Diplomat Pharmacy launches IPO


The owners of a Flint pharmaceutical company rang the bell on Wall Street Friday.

The company started in a Flint neighborhood pharmacy nearly 40 years ago.

Diplomat Pharmacy is now the nation’s largest specialty pharmaceutical company.   The company serves about one percent of the nation’s sickest patients by providing drugs for complex treatments for cancer, Crohn’s disease and other illnesses. 

Diplomat started trading its stock publicly on Friday.

Phil Hagerman co-founded the business with his father in the 1970’s.    He says they were aware of the ‘choppiness’ in the stock market in the days leading up to Friday’s initial public offering.    But Hagerman says he was confident the IPO would be well received due to its significant growth.

“We’ve actually taking significant market share from our industry….in an industry that is one of the fastest growing segments of health care,” says Hagerman.

Flint mayor Dayne Walling calls it a “historic” day for his city.  He says the Diplomat IPO is encouraging people from around the world to invest in a Flint-based business. 

“We see the growth potential for this company and we are excited about what it means for the community,” says Walling.

Originally priced at $13 a share, Diplomat finished trading Friday up three dollars from its opening.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.