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May 30, 2012

Icahn takes another run at Forest Labs board

May 30 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who last
year failed to get his nominees elected to the board of Forest
Laboratories Inc, plans to back another slate of
directors at the drugmaker’s next shareholder meeting, according
to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Icahn holds 9.92 percent of Forest shares — up from 9.2
percent last August — making him the company’s second-largest
shareholder behind Wellington Management’s 12.8 percent stake,
according to Thomson Reuters data.

May 29, 2012

Vertex corrects cystic fibrosis data; shares fall

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc released corrected data involving its cystic fibrosis treatments on Tuesday that lowered the number of patients who showed certain levels of improved lung function, sending its shares down more than 22 percent.

The initial data, released earlier this month, sent Vertex shares soaring on hopes the company could have a multibillion-dollar franchise in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disorder that affects about 70,000 people worldwide.

May 25, 2012

Analysis: HMO stocks may struggle over health claim costs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Americans’ low use of healthcare services has proved a boon to health insurers over the past two years, reducing medical claim costs and raising profits. The growing view on Wall Street is that those days are over.

A series of first-quarter earnings disappointments for health insurers in the past month has damped hopes for a repeat of the profit windfalls that led to huge stock gains in 2011.

May 24, 2012

Express sees early benefits from Medco deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – After years of trying to convince potential clients of its superiority over chief rival Medco, Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is now finding the company it bought for $29 billion was doing a lot of things right.

Express Scripts is less than two months into digesting its massive acquisition that made it the clear leader in managing drug benefits for Americans, doubling the number of prescriptions it processes a year to about 1.5 billion.

May 17, 2012

Specialty drug costs a major employer worry: survey

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Employers want to step up programs to encourage healthier behavior among their workers and to control spending on expensive injected specialty medicines, according to a survey by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Co.

Cost is increasingly a concern as employers formulate their prescription drug plans, according to the survey of more than 300 benefit officials.

May 15, 2012

Amerisource CEO eyes international expansion

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen Corp (ABC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is seeking to generate one-fifth of its profits outside the United States within the next decade, helped by a new acquisition and potential future deals, its top executive said on Tuesday.

Amerisource completed earlier this month its $520 million purchase of privately held World Courier Group, the largest deal in its history.

May 11, 2012

Express shares up; Walgreen, outlook worries fade

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Shares of Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rose nearly 4 percent on Friday as investors shrugged off concerns about the U.S. pharmacy benefit manager’s financial outlook and ability to maintain its business without Walgreen Co (WAG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in its drugstore network.

Express Scripts held its first earnings conference call for Wall Street since it closed its $29 billion acquisition of rival Medco Health Solutions that makes it the clear leader in the management of prescription benefits for Americans.

May 10, 2012

Express Scripts outlook could fall short of Street

By Lewis Krauskopf and Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) projected full-year profit that could fall short of Wall Street’s target in its first forecast since closing a $29 billion purchase of Medco Health Solutions.

The U.S. pharmacy benefit manager also reported first-quarter profit below analysts’ expectations on Thursday, as it spent more ahead of its massive integration of Medco.

May 10, 2012

Medicare billing flagged at 4 percent of U.S. pharmacies: government

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – A U.S. government examination found questionble billing practices for Medicare prescription drug coverage at 4 percent of American pharmacies, particularly independent retail drugstores.

The report was issued by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, which has previously found limited safeguards to prevent fraud and abuse in the Medicare drug program for seniors, known as Medicare Part D.

May 10, 2012

Medicare billing flagged at 4 pct of US pharmacies-govt

May 10 (Reuters) – A U.S. government examination found
questionble billing practices for Medicare prescription drug
coverage at 4 percent of American pharmacies, particularly
independent retail drugstores.

The report was issued by the U.S. Health and Human Services’
Office of Inspector General, which has previously found limited
safeguards to prevent fraud and abuse in the Medicare drug
program for seniors, known as Medicare Part D.

    • About Lewis

      "I help coordinate coverage of healthcare companies for Reuters in the United States. I also cover health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, generic drugmakers and pharmaceutical companies."
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