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Drugmaker PL Developments adds products with purchase of Florida company

A local generic-drug manufacturer is expanding into diagnostic tests by purchasing a Florida company, executives said Tuesday.

PL Developments of Westbury finalized a deal on Monday to buy Health-Chem Diagnostics LLC of Pompano Beach, Florida, for an undisclosed amount.

Under the agreement, Health-Chem’s 25 workers and 30,000-square-foot factory will become part of PLD’s operation, which has sales approaching $500 million, said Evan Singer, president of family-owned PLD.

Health-Chem produces over-the-counter tests that can be administered at home for pregnancy, cholesterol, glucose, drug and alcohol screening and infectious diseases.

The Florida company, with annual sales of about $10 million, has the capability to produce 100 million tests per year. Its products are sold to consumers under the brand names of other companies, and to international health agencies and the health ministries of foreign countries, Singer said.

PLD, which supplies generic over-the-counter medicines to big chains such as CVS Health, Target Corp. and Costco Wholesale, sees “a large opportunity” to increase sales of the tests, said Singer. “We are expert in selling consumer health care products to retailers.”

PLD was founded in 1988 by Singer’s father, Mitch, who serves as CEO, and the late Mort Rezack.

In recent years, PLD has bought several companies to expand its product portfolio. The largest acquisition, of South Carolina-based Aaron Industries in 2013, doubled sales and payroll. PLD employs 1,100 people in four states, including 650 in Westbury and Farmingdale.

“Adding valuable, unique products to our portfolio will make us larger, more profitable and more relevant,” Evan Singer said, referring to the Health-Chem deal. He said PLD plans to manufacturer the tests for retailers who will put their brand names on them.

Jack Aronowitz, founder and president of Health-Chem, said PLD’s relationships with retail chains convinced him to sell his company. He said, “Their significant capabilities in distribution, marketing and selling will facilitate wider acceptance of our . . . products.”

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