(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) struck a cautious tone for its financial results for next year and pointed to some modest increases in use of healthcare services that could increase claim costs, and its shares fell as much as 8 percent.
Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hemsley cited “considerable” challenges, including a weak broader economy and price competition in some markets, overshadowing UnitedHealth’s increased 2011 forecast and higher-than-expected third-quarter profit.
(Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a higher-than-expected third-quarter profit on Tuesday as membership rose across its health plans, and the insurer raised its full-year earnings forecast.
The largest health insurer by market value said results were held back by rebates under the new U.S. healthcare overhaul law. The law requires insurers to make payments if their claim costs fail to reach a certain percentage of premium revenue.
(Reuters) – Forest Laboratories Inc (FRX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking more at earlier-stage products to acquire rather than more advanced ones because it feels confident it can weather the patent expirations of its two biggest medicines, the drugmaker’s finance chief said on Thursday.
Forest has one of the most severe “patent cliffs” in the pharmaceutical industry: analysts expect Forest to lose about one-fourth of its revenue after its Lexapro antidepressant loses patent protection early next year. Its Namenda Alzheimer’s drug will lose patent protection in 2015.
Oct 13 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc has formed a
partnership with health insurer Humana Inc to research
ways to improve healthcare for the elderly.
The five-year partnership, announced on Thursday, will
focus initially on three chronic conditions: pain,
cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
(Reuters) – A unit of China’s state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is buying Canadian oil and gas explorer Daylight Energy Ltd (DAY.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for C$2.2 billion ($2.1 billion) in cash, underscoring China’s continuing efforts to secure energy supplies to support its fast-growing economy.
Chinese buyers have stepped up their overseas acquisitions for energy assets, making use of depressed stock prices and a difficult fundraising environment.
(Reuters) – Shares of Express Scripts Inc (ESRX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) jumped 9.5 percent as the U.S. pharmacy benefit manager’s profit outlook for 2011 was less dire than some investors had feared and the company offered positive financial forecasts through 2014.
Express Scripts cut its projected 2011 profit range by about 6 percent, citing higher spending and fewer prescriptions being filled because of consumer worry about the weak economy.
Oct 6 (Reuters) – Express Scripts Inc (ESRX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) cut its 2011
profit forecast as the U.S. pharmacy benefit manager projects
filling fewer prescriptions because of the weak economy and
increases spending, due in part to a contract dispute with
drugstore chain Walgreen Co (WAG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
Express Scripts also cited higher spending in anticipation
of integrating its $29 billion purchase of rival Medco Health
Solutions Inc (MHS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and greater competition in the
marketplace “resulting in increased client demands and
Sept 27 (Reuters) – U.S. health insurer Cigna Corp (CI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
has agreed to buy travel insurance provider FirstAssist
Insurance Services to add a new product line to its
Cigna is buying the London-based business from the private
equity arm of Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). The acquisition is valued
at more than $100 million, according to a source familiar with
NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration appears to be on the verge of issuing
long-awaiting guidelines for the development of generic
versions of complex biotechnology medicines.
The FDA still plans to release the guidance by the end of the
year but the agency’s top drug official, Janet Woodcock, has
indicated it could come “as early as the next few weeks, maybe
even days,” Janice Soreth, deputy director of the agency’s Europe
office in London, said on Friday.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – World leaders risk their own economic stability if they don’t tackle killers like cancer and diabetes in concert with the industries that impact public health, according to a high-level United Nations meeting on chronic disease.
The General Assembly session on noncommunicable diseases, taking place on Monday and Tuesday, is only the second such meeting in U.N. history to focus on global health, after nations came together to address the AIDS epidemic 10 years ago.