Caroline's Feed
Jul 30, 2014

Humana shares fall as U.S. health insurer cost worries grow

July 30 (Reuters) – U.S. health insurer Humana Inc
reported a lower profit owing to higher costs on Wednesday, as
mounting concerns about increased medical spending drove health
insurance industry shares lower for a second straight day.

Humana said its higher costs were related to medical
spending by new enrollees in the exchanges created under
President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law, investments for
those exchanges and costly new hepatitis C drug treatments.

Jul 29, 2014

Aetna says medical costs rose, insurer shares drop

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Aetna Inc (AET.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the third-largest U.S. health insurer, reported a rise in medical costs on Tuesday, raising investor concerns that a long run of low growth in such costs might be ending and pushing shares in the industry lower.

U.S. insurer profits have benefited from several years of relatively low use of medical services by their members due to an economic downturn and higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.

Jul 24, 2014

Boston Scientific profit exceeds expectations as sales rise

July 24 (Reuters) – Boston Scientific Corp, which
makes medical equipment, on Thursday reported a slightly
higher-than-expected quarterly profit as improvements in its
heart device business helped drive revenue up 4 percent.

Boston Scientific said cardiac rhythm management sales,
which include implantable defibrillators and pacemakers, rose 4
percent to $497 million in the second quarter from a year
earlier after falling last quarter. Interventional cardiology,
which includes sales of stents, rose 1 percent to $528 million.

Jul 21, 2014

Allergan to cut 13 percent of jobs in fight against Valeant

By Ransdell Pierson and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Allergan Inc (AGN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which is fighting off a hostile bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said on Monday that it would cut 13 percent of its global workforce as part of a restructuring meant to boost profits over the next six years.

Allergan said the cost reductions, which are part of its efforts to convince investors that it is a better value as a stand-alone company, would help increase annual earnings more than 20 percent between 2014 and 2019.

Jul 8, 2014

UnitedHealth: New doctor payment plan cut cancer care costs

July 8 (Reuters) – An experiment changing how U.S. cancer
doctors are compensated cut healthcare costs by a third, with no
discernible decline in patient health, according to a three-year
study by insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc and five medical
oncology groups.

Cancer treatment is one of the most expensive and fastest
growing categories of care in the United States. Oncologists and
insurers have been devising new incentives for doctors to
improve patient care while lowering costs.

Jul 1, 2014

Allergan readies defense as it fights Valeant for votes

NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, July 1 (Reuters) – Allergan Inc
may take on debt to buy back its own shares as part of a
multi-faceted plan to thwart a $53 billion takeover bid by
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and
activist investor William Ackman.

The company is also considering making acquisitions of its
own and more spending cuts to increase shareholder value, Chief
Executive David Pyott said in an interview, outlining steps to
build support for Allergan, best known for its Botox
anti-wrinkle injections, to remain a standalone company.

Jun 10, 2014

Allergan rejects Valeant and Ackman’s raised takeover offer

By Caroline Humer and Ransdell Pierson

(Reuters) – The battle for botox maker Allergan Inc heated up on Tuesday as the company officially rejected a sweetened $53 billion takeover offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and activist investor William Ackman.

Since Canadian drugmaker Valeant and Pershing Square Capital Management made a joint bid for the company on April 22, Allergan has stood firm against entreaties to sit down at the table and negotiate a deal.

May 28, 2014

Valeant injects cash into bid for Botox maker Allergan

By Rod Nickel and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (VRX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) raised the cash component of its unsolicited offer for Botox maker Allergan Inc (AGN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday, but the increased bid fell short of expectations and both stocks dropped.

Valeant’s sweetened offer values Allergan at about $49.9 billion, based on 303.5 million shares outstanding. It also includes the possibility of additional payments worth up to $7.6 billion related to the future sales of an experimental eye drug.

May 28, 2014

Insurers scrutinize drug costs after $84,000 Sovaldi surprise

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, May 28 (Reuters) – Shocked by the
rapid adoption of a new $84,000 hepatitis C treatment, U.S.
health insurers are trying to make sure they aren’t blindsided
by other drugs being developed and are looking for ways to limit
their use from the day they are launched.

Manufacturer Gilead Sciences Inc says 30,000 people
have received hepatitis drug Sovaldi so far, and that sales hit
a record-breaking $2.3 billion within a few months. The
treatment, typically 84 pills taken over 12 weeks, completely
cures the disease in more than 90 percent of patients.

May 27, 2014

Allergan makes case against Valeant takeover ahead of higher bid

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Allergan Inc on Tuesday built its case with investors for rejecting a $47 billion (27 billion pounds) takeover offer from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International,, saying the Canadian drugmaker has overstated the possible savings from the deal.

The move comes one day before Valeant will hold a webcast in which it has said it will raise its offer for Allergan.