Correspondent, U.S. health team leader
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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

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.

Jun 25, 2012

US FDA rebuffs Bristol/Pfizer clot preventer

June 25 (Reuters) – A closely watched blood clot preventer
from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc
failed to win approval from U.S. health regulators, the
companies said on Monday, sending their shares lower.

Shares of Bristol fell nearly 4 percent after the news about
the drug, Eliquis, which is expected by Wall Street to
eventually gain approval and dominate a potential $10 billion
market to replace generic blood thinner warfarin. Pfizer shares
dropped 1.5 percent.

Jun 19, 2012

Icahn nominates four in second run at Forest board

June 19 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn
nominated four directors to the 10-person board of Forest
Laboratories Inc, saying that the drugmaker has “engaged
in conduct to enrich and entrench management to the detriment of
the stockholders.”

Icahn, the company’s second-largest shareholder with a 9.9
percent stake, last month disclosed plans to back another slate
of directors at Forest’s next annual meeting, after failing to
get his nominees elected last year.

Jun 18, 2012

Ex-Aetna chief criticizes insurance mandate

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – The recently retired head of health insurer Aetna Inc criticized the component at the heart of the U.S. healthcare overhaul law, known as the individual mandate, and predicted it would not be upheld.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule before the end of the month on the law, championed by U.S. President Barack Obama and designed to expand coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

Jun 13, 2012

Analysis: Investors plot hedges for healthcare law ruling

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors could be excused for avoiding health insurance and hospital stocks as a U.S. Supreme Court decision nears on President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul law – an outcome that could send the companies’ shares down 10 percent or more.

Aside from an educated guess, little real analysis can predict a ruling that has at least a half-dozen possible results for a law that affects wide swathes of the healthcare industry.

Jun 11, 2012

UnitedHealth to keep reforms, whatever court decides

June 11 (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc, the
largest U.S. health insurer by market value, said it would
maintain the health coverage protections included in President
Barack Obama’s healthcare law regardless of how the Supreme
Court rules on the legislation.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide later this month
whether to strike down all or portions of the law, Obama’s
signature domestic policy achievement that was passed in 2010.

    • 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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