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January 18, 2012 | last updated January 19, 2012 6:53 am

Portland pet pharmacy acquires Md. company

Portland-based Vets First Choice, an online pet pharmacy and marketing services provider, yesterday announced the acquisition of Maryland-based competitor VetCentric. The deal makes Vets First Choice the nation's largest online veterinary partner pharmacy, serving more than 6,000 veterinary practices and over 25 million pet owners, according to a release.

Vets First Choice is a subsidiary of Direct Vet Marketing Inc., also based in Portland. The acquisition positions the company to remain competitive in the veterinary pharmacy market, which has seen increased competition from big box retailers and Internet pharmacies, as well as a decline in veterinary practice revenues, according to the release. Independent vet practices use Vets First to offer pet owners competitively priced pharmacy products, online ordering and home delivery and assurance of data privacy.

Direct Vet Marketing also has pharmacy and service operations in Ohama, Neb., Wamego, Kan., Glen Burnie, Md., and Phoenix, Ariz.

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