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May 21, 2014
10:04 EDTWLP, CNC, HNT, GILD, CI, HS, MOH, UNH, WCG, AGP, AET, HUMGilead criticized by insurance trade group for 'astronomical' hep C drug price
In a post to its Coverage blog, America's Health Insurance Plans stated that Hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi has shown "tremendous results" and is the "kind of medical innovation we need to sustain," but claims the drug’s maker, Gilead (GILD), is taking "advantage of a lack of competition – has priced it at an astronomical level that is not sustainable for consumers, innovation, or society." America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, is the national trade association representing the health insurance industry. Publicly traded health insurers include AMERIGROUP (AGP), Aetna (AET), Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Healthspring (HS), Humana (HUM), Molina Healthcare (MOH), UnitedHealth (UNH), WellCare (WCG) and WellPoint (WLP). Reference Link
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November 19, 2015
06:40 EDTUNHUnitedHealth volatility flat into lowering FY15 guidance
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06:11 EDTUNHUnitedHealth to host conference call
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05:59 EDTUNHUnitedHealth cuts FY15 to $6.00 from $6.25-$6.35
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05:57 EDTUNHUnitedHealth sees FY16 EPS $7.10-$7.30, consensus $7.28
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November 18, 2015
17:51 EDTMOHMolina Healthcare subsidiary selected for Medicaid contract awards in Washington
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15:40 EDTUNHCongressman says U.S. may need look at pharmacy competition, dealReporter says
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09:34 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open
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November 17, 2015
10:47 EDTGILDBristol-Myers strength attributed to sale chatter
The move higher in shares of Bristol-Myers (BMY) is being attributed by traders to chatter of a sale. The stock is up 2%, or $1.06, to $66.08 in morning trading. The unconfirmed talk has the company possibly approaching Gilead (GILD) about buyout interest. Bristol's market capitalization is just above $110B while Gilead's is just above $150B. Shares of Gilead are up 74c to $104.55.
09:05 EDTUNHOptumRx acquires AxelaCare
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08:04 EDTWCGStifel to hold a conference
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November 16, 2015
09:59 EDTCIOmega bought Valeant in Q3, sold some SuneEdison
Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors gave a quarterly update on its stakes in a filing this morning, disclosing its positions as of September 30. NEW STAKES: Pfizer (PFE), Valeant (VRX) Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), TerraForm Global (GLBL), Cigna (CI). INCREASED STAKES: Google Class A (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Delta Air Lines (DAL). DECREASED STAKES: SunEdison (SUNE), Shire (SHPG), Citi (C), KAR Auction (KAR), LyondellBasell (LYB). LIQUIDATED STAKES: McKesson (MCK), 21st Century Fox (FOXA), General Motors (GM), QEP Resources (QEP), eBay (EBAY).
09:06 EDTUNHDiplomat seen as compelling amid specialty pharmacy fallout
Shares of specialty pharmacy operator Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESRX) have each been knocked down by the negative news surrounding the sector amid the troubles faced by Valeant (VRX) and others, but an analyst at Leerink contends in a note to investors that the pullbacks in both stocks provide buying opportunities. BACKGROUND: Drugmaker Valeant and its prior specialty pharmacy partner, Philidor Rx Services, have been at the center of the firestorm engulfing the sector. Following claims that Philidor urged its employees to modify prescriptions to ensure more orders of Valeant-branded drugs rather than generics, as well as other allegations of wrongdoing, Express Scripts (ESRX) and peer CVS Health (CVS) terminated Philidor from their networks. The day after those termination announcements, Valeant said that it was severing all ties with Philidor and that the pharmacy planned to shut down operations as soon as possible, consistent with applicable laws. Valeant has subsequently said that Philidor has committed to cease operations by January 30, 2016, at the latest. More recently, Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, announced that it stopped doing business with Linden Care, accusing it of being a "captive" pharmacy that dispenses mostly products made by Horizon Pharma (HZNP). In turn, Horizon called the idea that Linden Care is a captive pharmacy "entirely false," stating that "at best Express Scripts is being reckless in its allegations and at worse it is intentionally attempting to mislead investors." Express Scripts' move also impacted shares of Insys Therapeutics (INSY), which reportedly also used Linden Care to fulfill prescription for its drugs. DIPLOMAT LIKELY TO STAY IN-NETWORK: Leerink analyst David Larsen acknowledged that recent events indicate that Express Scripts appears to be evaluating certain retail pharmacies and their relationships with manufacturers, but he believes Diplomat's mix of drugs for diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV, hepatitis C and cancer differentiate it as a "true" specialty pharmacy. Larsen does not think Diplomat is at risk of being excluded from the pharmacy networks of Express Scripts, CVS or UnitedHealth's (UNH) Optum, he tells investors. Larsen expects limited distribution agreements to stay an important channel strategy for drugmakers and believes these agreements are appropriate for high cost specialty drugs that require special handling and additional services to manage patient adherence. The analyst, who thinks Diplomat remains well positioned to deliver annual growth of over 30% in the next several years, keeps an Outperform rating on its shares. EXPRESS BUYING OPPORTUNITY: Larsen also thinks concerns around manufacturer and pharmacy relationships have put unwarranted pressure on shares of Express Scripts. He does not expect Express Scripts to disclose new lawsuits around rebate dollars owed over other manufacturer disputes and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock, which he views as having an "attractive" valuation. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Larsen also thinks that the specialty channel remains an opportunity for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and believes its proposed acquisition of Rite Aid (RAD) can strengthen its specialty offering. The analyst keeps an Outperform rating on Walgreens shares as well. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Diplomat Pharmacy shares have declined 28%, Express Scripts has fallen 6% and Walgreens has dropped 14%.
09:04 EDTGILDGilead says Phase 3 Zydelig study shows 'clinical benefit'
Gilead announced that its Phase 3 Study 115 evaluating Zydelig added to standard therapy in previously-treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients will be unblinded early. The DMC recommendation is based upon a predefined interim analysis indicating a statistically significant benefit in efficacy for progression-free survival and overall survival in patients receiving Zydelig plus bendamustine and rituximab, compared to those receiving only bendamustine and rituximab. The safety profile of Zydelig was consistent with prior studies. Detailed results from this study will be presented during a late-breaking abstracts session at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Orlando, Florida taking place December 5-8. "The clinical benefit observed in this Phase 3 study adds to the body of evidence demonstrating the potential of Zydelig-containing treatment regimens for patients with previously treated CLL," said Norbert W. Bischofberger, PhD, Gilead's Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer. "We look forward to sharing the detailed scientific data with the hematology community at the upcoming ASH meeting."
06:02 EDTCIAnthem announces ISS recommends shareholders vote "For" Cigna acquisition
Anthem (ANTM) announced that Institutional Shareholder Services has issued a report recommending that Anthem shareholders vote to approve the issuance of Anthem stock in the proposed acquisition of Cigna (CI) at the company's special meeting of shareholders to be held on Thursday, December 3, 2015. Anthem's board unanimously recommends that Anthem shareholders vote "FOR" the proposal to issue Anthem common stock to acquire Cigna, which is necessary to complete the transaction.
November 15, 2015
20:17 EDTGILDGilead presents results from four Phase 3 studies of sofosbuvir/velpatasvir
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15:47 EDTGILDGilead reports data from multiple studies of Viread, TAF, others
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November 12, 2015
17:55 EDTGILDGilead announces FDA approval of Harvoni
Gilead Sciences announced that the U.S. FDA has approved Harvoni for expanded use in patients with genotype 4, 5 and 6 chronic hepatitis C virus infection and in patients co-infected with HIV. In addition, Harvoni plus ribavirin for 12 weeks was approved as an alternate therapy to 24 weeks of Harvoni for treatment-experienced, genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis. Harvoni received regulatory approval for the treatment of chronic HCV genotype 1 infection in adults in the United States in October 2014.
07:01 EDTMOHMolina Healthcare acquires Medicaid Assets of CUP in Washington
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November 11, 2015
14:34 EDTCI, HUM, AETAMA voices 'significant concerns' with insurers' proposed mergers
The American Medical Association, in a letter to the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, stated that its analyses of the proposed health insurance mergers, namely Aetna's (AET) proposed acquisition of Humana (HUM) and Anthem's (ANTM) proposed acquisition of Cigna (CI), "reveal significant concerns with respect to the impact on consumers in terms of health care access, quality, and affordability." Accordingly, the AMA urges the Department of Justice to block the proposed mergers, the group stated.
14:25 EDTAET, HUMAMA urges DOJ to block Humana, Aetna deal, Bloomberg says
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