Correspondent, U.S. health team leader
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Jul 26, 2012

Generic drugmakers Mylan, Watson profits shine

July 26 (Reuters) – Mylan Inc posted second-quarter
profit well above Wall Street estimates, while rival Watson
Pharmaceuticals Inc raised its full-year forecast after
reporting strong quarterly results, and shares of the two
generic drugmakers rose.

Mylan posted strong sales increases for its North American
generic drugs and its EpiPen product for severe allergic
reactions, while some analysts said Mylan’s struggling European
business showed signs of improving. Shares of the drugmaker,
which also backed its 2012 and 2013 profit forecasts, were up
4.6 percent in late morning trading.

Jul 25, 2012

Medicaid expansion in U.S. states found to cut death rates

July 25 (Reuters) – State expansions of the Medicaid health
insurance program for poor Americans reduced adult mortality
rates by more than 6 percent compared to states that did not
broaden eligibility for their plans, according to a study
released on Wednesday.

The findings published in the New England Journal of
Medicine could fuel a political furor over new plans for a
nationwide expansion of Medicaid that erupted after the U.S.
Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold President Barack Obama’s
healthcare law in late June.

Jul 25, 2012

WellPoint cuts forecast as quarterly profit misses view

July 25 (Reuters) – Health insurer WellPoint Inc
posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday and
cut its full-year earnings forecast, citing lower enrollment and
higher medical cost trends, sending its shares down 8 percent in
premarket.

The second-largest health insurer by market value said its
medical cost trends would likely come in at the high end of its
forecast, while intense competition among health plans was
pressuring its enrollment.

Jul 19, 2012

Express Scripts, Walgreen settle pharmacy spat

By Lewis Krauskopf and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – Walgreen Co will soon be able to fill prescriptions for Express Scripts Holding Co patients after the two corporate giants settled their long-running dispute, removing a concern that has weighed on the drugstore chain’s shares for a year.

Walgreen, the largest U.S. drugstore chain, will be part of the broadest network of drugstores available to clients of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, as of September 15, the companies said on Thursday.

Jul 19, 2012

UnitedHealth profit beats estimates as plans grow

July 19 (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc reported
an increase of about 6 percent in quarterly profit on Thursday,
beating analysts’ estimates, as most of its insurance plans grew
and medical claim costs remained stable.

The biggest U.S. health insurer by market value also
slightly raised its forecast for full-year earnings, and was the
first insurer to report results since the Supreme Court upheld
President Barack Obama’s healthcare law late last month.

Jul 16, 2012

TPG to buy generic drugmaker Par for $1.9 bln

July 16 (Reuters) – Private equity firm TPG said on Monday
it would acquire U.S.-based Par Pharmaceutical Cos Inc
for $1.9 billion, the latest acquisition in the generic drug
industry.

The $50-a-share deal represents a nearly 37 percent premium
over Par’s closing price on Friday.

Jul 2, 2012

Bristol’s patent woes persist despite Amylin buy

By Lewis Krauskopf and Ransdell Pierson

(Reuters) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co stands to become a stronger player in diabetes through its expensive acquisition of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc but its earnings and pricy shares remain vulnerable to the loss of its two biggest drugs.

Bristol announced a $5.3 billion deal for Amylin late on Friday, teaming up with AstraZeneca Plc to make the purchase through an unusually structured deal. The companies are paying a 101 percent premium to Amylin’s share price in late March, before the initial reports that Bristol was bidding for the company.

Jun 29, 2012

Icahn dangles bounty for nominee in Forest fight

By Paritosh Bansal and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Carl Icahn’s lead nominee for Forest Laboratories Inc’s board has an incentive to help the billionaire investor make a profit of more than $340 million, or 37 percent, according to recent regulatory and court filings, as the activist investor steps up his proxy fight against the U.S. drugmaker.

Icahn owns 26.4 million shares, or 9.92 percent of Forest, making him the second-largest investor in the company. Icahn sued Forest in Delaware’s Court of Chancery on Thursday, demanding more information about its succession planning.

Jun 28, 2012

Hospitals win in health ruling, mixed view for HMOs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hospitals and insurers providing Medicaid plans for the poor emerged as the main corporate winners from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, while investors in large insurers were left deflated.

The ruling paves the way for hospitals to see a massive influx of insured customers from the law which is expected to broaden coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

Jun 28, 2012

Hospital shares up on health ruling, insurers down

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Shares of hospital chains jumped, while large health insurer stocks fell on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the centerpiece of U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

In a 5-4 decision, the court backed the component of the law that requires that most Americans buy insurance by 2014 or pay a financial penalty. The 2010 law aims to broaden coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans, through state-based insurance exchanges where people can shop for coverage and through an expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income Americans.

    • 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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