Correspondent, U.S. health team leader
Lewis's Feed
Feb 23, 2012

Express Scripts says moving on without Walgreen

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Express Scripts Inc (ESRX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday it was moving forward successfully without Walgreen Co (WAG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in its pharmacy network, citing wide support from clients.

Chief Executive Officer George Paz said the pharmacy benefits manager remained open to talking with Walgreen, “but it has got to be in the best interest of our shareholders and patients.”

Feb 21, 2012

Mylan sees profit doubling by 2018

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Mylan Inc (MYL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s third-largest generic drugmaker, forecast a 2012 profit increase generally in line with Wall Street’s target and projected earnings would more than double by 2018.

However, the company also lowered its revenue target for 2013 and posted fourth-quarter sales just shy of Wall Street estimates, and its shares fell 3.3 percent.

Feb 21, 2012

Medco quarterly profit jumps, helped by generics

Feb 21 (Reuters) – Medco Health Solutions Inc,
which has agreed to be bought by rival Express Scripts Inc
, posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as the
pharmacy benefit manager increased dispensing of more profitable
generic drugs.

Medco remains confident the $29 billion merger will close in
the first half of the year, the company said in conjunction with
release of the financial results on Tuesday.

Feb 17, 2012

J&J recalls infant Tylenol due to bottle flaw

Feb 17 (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson said it
was recalling its entire U.S. supply of infant Tylenol after
parents complained about problems with a new dosing system, the
latest in a string of recalls for the healthcare giant.

Friday’s recall involves about 574,000 bottles of the
grape-flavored liquid Tylenol for infants younger than 2 years
old. Following earlier recalls, J&J had just returned to the
market with the infant Tylenol in November, but now will be out
of the market for an indefinite time.

Feb 16, 2012

Astra takes brand cancer drug straight to patients

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca Plc is selling breast cancer drug Arimidex directly to U.S. patients, offering an option for people who want to pay for the brand instead of generic versions.

Under the drugmaker’s new program, patients with a prescription can pay $40 a month for Arimidex to be mailed to their homes.

Feb 16, 2012

Insurers see costs in Obama birth control rule

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – The Obama administration maintains that its plan to have health insurers pay for birth control offered to employees of religious groups won’t end up costing the industry. But insurers aren’t so confident.

Last Friday, President Barack Obama sought to placate outraged leaders of the Catholic church, which opposes contraception, by making insurers responsible for providing the free birth control.

Feb 14, 2012

Watson Pharma boosts profit forecast, shares rise

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc (WPI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s fifth-largest generic drugmaker, lifted its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday as it benefits from a generic version of the big-selling Lovenox blood clot prevention drug.

Watson also stood by its target of increasing profit in 2013 by roughly another 10 percent, even after giving the rosier 2012 outlook. Its shares rose 3.7 percent.

Feb 11, 2012

Insurers stuck with cost of Obama birth-control plan

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s compromise on free birth control coverage left health insurers stuck with the bill, sparking worries over the precedent set by the new policy.

Obama on Friday made insurers responsible for providing free birth control to employees of religious groups, aiming to placate outraged leaders of the Catholic church who oppose contraception and to defuse an election-year landmine.

Feb 10, 2012

Health insurers question Obama birth control plan

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – U.S. health insurers said on Friday they feared President Barack Obama had set a new precedent by making them responsible for providing free birth control to employees of religious groups as he sought to defuse an election-year landmine.

Obama on Friday announced the policy shift in an effort to accommodate religious organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, whose leaders are outraged by a new rule that would have required them to offer free contraceptive coverage to employees.

Feb 10, 2012

FDA issues plan to avoid heparin contamination

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – U.S. health regulators issued recommendations to manufacturers to ensure the safe production of the blood-clot prevention drug heparin, four years after a contamination involving the widely used product set off concerns about the global pharmaceutical supply chain.

The draft guidance, posted on the website of the Food and Drug Administration, is designed to help manufacturers of active ingredients, finished products and others better control heparin to avoid contamination.

    • 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."
    • Follow Lewis