Caroline's Feed
Apr 25, 2013

Boston Scientific says on path to growth

April 25 (Reuters) – Medical device maker Boston Scientific
Corp reported better-than-expected first-quarter results
on Thursday, which the company said will put it on the path to
return to growth.

Medical device makers have been struggling with weak sales
for the last several years as people lost their jobs and health
insurance, prompting them to delay medical procedures, and as
cash-strapped governments around the world have cut spending on
healthcare.

Apr 24, 2013

WellPoint profit beats, execs plan for health reform

April 24 (Reuters) – WellPoint Inc’s quarterly
profit came in far above Wall Street expectations, helped by
expansion of individual health insurance plans and Medicaid
membership, as well as lower medical costs from plans sold to
small businesses.

Shares of WellPoint, the second-largest U.S. health insurer,
were up 5 percent on Wednesday afternoon, leading increases for
the sector. The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index was
up 1.2 percent.

Apr 18, 2013

UnitedHealth says large customer switches to fee-based plan

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest U.S. health insurer, said on Thursday that a major public-sector customer had switched to a fee-based insurance service in the first quarter from a full-risk plan and lowered its 2013 revenue outlook.

UnitedHealth, which said that first-quarter profit fell, cut its 2013 revenue expectation by $2.5 billion to $122 billion.

Apr 9, 2013

Insight: Insurers see promise in pay-for-performance health plans

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Insurers and doctors are testing a way to pay for healthcare that has been more common in the corporate suite than the emergency room – paying for better performance, betting it is the key to controlling runaway costs.

Both private insurance plans and Medicare plans in hundreds of locations around the country are using incentives to try to cut healthcare spending and still keep Americans healthy.

Apr 9, 2013

U.S. insurers see promise in pay-for-performance health plans

APRIL 9 (Reuters) – Insurers and doctors are testing a way
to pay for healthcare that has been more common in the corporate
suite than the emergency room – paying for better performance,
betting it is the key to controlling runaway costs.

Both private insurance plans and Medicare plans in hundreds
of locations around the country are using incentives to try to
cut healthcare spending and still keep Americans healthy.

Mar 20, 2013

Walgreen to buy stake in AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal loses out

March 19 (Reuters) – Walgreen Co and partner
Alliance Boots said on Tuesday they signed a 10-year
deal with AmerisourceBergen that will include daily drug
distribution, enabling Walgreen to increase its sales of pricey
specialty drugs.

Walgreen, the nation’s largest drugstore operator,
distributes more than 80 percent of its own drugs, but over time
most if not all of that distribution will be handled by
AmerisourceBergen.

Mar 19, 2013

Walgreen to take stake in AmerisourceBergen, drops Cardinal

By Caroline Humer and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – Walgreen Co and partner Alliance Boots said on Tuesday they signed a 10-year deal with drug distributor AmerisourceBergen and may buy up to 23 percent of the company, worth $2.5 billion at the current stock price.

AmerisourceBergen, which said the contract is worth $28 billion in fiscal 2014, will replace Cardinal Health Inc, whose distribution contract with Walgreen’s ends in August. Cardinal shares fell 7 percent.

Mar 19, 2013

Fidelity manager says healthcare law, cuts will hit biotech

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – The healthcare overhaul and the U.S. federal budget cuts could complicate the long-term growth for the biotech sector, which has been on a roll in recent years. Even so, the outlook for inventive companies is strong, says the manager of a top-performing biotech fund.

“The general backdrop is that in the next 5 to 10 years there is a lot of innovation that is going to occur in medicine. I think we are just at the beginning of a 10 to 20 year period for a lot of breakthroughs,” Rajiv Kaul, manager of the Fidelity Advisor Biotechnology Fund, said in a recent interview.

Mar 14, 2013

Quest CFO to leave as company restructures

March 14 (Reuters) – Laboratory tests provider Quest
Diagnostics on Thursday said its Chief Financial Officer
Robert Hagemann will leave at the end of May as the company
continues a restructuring aimed at returning to revenue growth.

Quest, which has been making management changes and named a
new chief executive last year, said it will look both internally
and externally for a new CFO.

Mar 12, 2013

Vytorin study to continue after review; Merck shares jump

March 12 (Reuters) – An independent monitoring board said a
large trial of Merck & Co’s Vytorin cholesterol drug can
continue, suggesting no major safety issues have yet been seen
with the pill.

The news eased investor concerns that a safety issue could
arise and further hurt sales of already struggling Vytorin.
Merck shares were up 3.7 percent in Tuesday morning trading.