Caroline's Feed
Oct 23, 2015

U.S. drug prices should reflect value to patients: expert panel

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A panel of medical experts said on Friday the prices of prescription medicines in the United States need to be brought in line with the value they bring to patients instead of continuing to let drugmakers set any price they choose.

“Americans at the same time are getting tremendously ripped off with drugs and also getting tremendous value and we almost never know when we’re getting ripped off and when we’re getting real value and that has to change,” said Steven Pearson, president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), an independent non-profit group that evaluates clinical and cost effectiveness of new medicines.

Oct 23, 2015

As biotech selling spreads, more weakness seen for U.S. health stocks

NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) – After a four-year love affair
with healthcare shares, investors are moving on.

Selling has spread from biotechs – shaken on Sept. 21 when
Hillary Clinton first tweeted concerns about drug prices – to
other areas of the healthcare sector. Investors have been
dumping shares of everything from hospitals to traditional
pharmaceutical companies and insurers in recent weeks.

Oct 21, 2015

23andMe relaunches consumer genetic testing service

NEW YORK/CHICAGO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Consumer genetics
testing company 23andMe said on Wednesday it was relaunching its
personal DNA testing service with a limited menu of tests that
have won the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The announcement is a major step for the company, which in
2013 was ordered by the FDA to stop selling its Personal Genome
Service because the regulatory agency had not approved the
tests, which the company was offering directly to consumers.

Oct 21, 2015

Valeant shares plunge on short-seller scrutiny of pharmacy revenue

NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International Inc’s stock plunged as much as 40
percent on Wednesday after an influential short-seller accused
the company of using specialty pharmacies to inflate its
revenue, an allegation that the drugmaker denied.

Citron Research, a short-selling firm run by Andrew Left,
alleged that Valeant’s previously undisclosed ties to specialty
pharmacies, including Philidor and R&O Pharmacy Inc, helped the
company create “phantom sales” of its products or push more
product through distribution channels than sales would warrant.

Oct 21, 2015

Valeant shares plunge on short-seller scrutiny of pharmacy ties

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) (VRX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plunged as much as 30 percent after an influential short-seller accused the company of fraud, saying it used its relationship with specialty pharmacies to inflate revenue.

The report by Citron Research, a short-selling firm run by Andrew Left, said Wednesday that Valeant’s previously undisclosed relationship is a sign of a cover-up. Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little was not immediately available for comment.

Oct 21, 2015

23andMe launches new consumer test service to check for genetic disorders

NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Genetics company 23andMe announced the launch of a new consumer genetic test service on Wednesday that will show whether an individual carries genes associated with 36 different disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.

The launch is a major step for the company, which in 2013 was ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to stop selling its Personal Genome Service because the regulatory agency had not approved the tests it offered.

Oct 19, 2015

Valeant CEO sees new drug pricing environment ahead

By Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which has been criticized for raising drug prices and is being investigated by the U.S. government, predicted on Monday that lower price increases are ahead for the whole industry.

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson told investors the company’s 2016 outlook is based on expectations for a new pricing environment where none of its drugs have an actual price increase of more than 10 percent.

Oct 15, 2015

U.S. government sees 10 million people with Obamacare insurance by end ’16

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health officials said they expect 10 million people to be enrolled in healthcare plans through state-based insurance exchanges by the end of 2016, with more than one-quarter of eligible uninsured Americans signing up during this fall’s open enrolment period.

In estimates released on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services forecast that 7.3 million to 8.8 million individuals who currently have insurance through the marketplaces will re-enroll for next year.

Oct 15, 2015

UnitedHealth profit modestly beats expectations; shares drop

Oct 15 (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc reported a
slightly better-than-expected profit in the third quarter,
helped by stable medical costs in its health plans, but failed
to impress investors and its shares fell more than 2 percent in
midday trading.

Analysts said shares in UnitedHealth, the largest U.S.
health insurer and the first to report, have tended to fall
following profit reports if the company has not well exceeded
Wall Street expectations.

Oct 15, 2015

UnitedHealth profit beats expectations amid stable costs

By Caroline Humer and Amrutha Penumudi

(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest U.S. health insurer, reported a better-than-expected profit in the third quarter, helped by stable medical costs in its health plans and higher revenue from its Optum pharmacy management business.

The company said medical cost trends were as expected, an indication that the use of medical services by patients was not increasing unexpectedly. The percentage of premiums paid for medical services fell 80 basis points from the second quarter.