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February 17, 2013
15:54 EDTHUM, AET, WLP, UNHCMS proposes policies to lower Medicare drug costs
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, said in a statement: 'Beneficiaries will get greater protections, value, and care in the Medicare services they receive through proposed policies released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CMS. Today’s 2014 Advance Notice and draft Call Letter takes important steps to improve payment accuracy for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and in Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plans for 2014, without shifting costs to beneficiaries. Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 10 percent and enrollment is expected to increase by an estimated 28 percent through this year. In addition, costs of the defined standard Part D plan will be lower in 2014 than they are in 2013. The standard Part D deductible will be $310, down from $325 in 2013, and cost-sharing amounts will also be lower." Reference Link
News For UNH;AET;HUM;WLP From The Last 14 Days
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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
15:40 EDTUNHCongressman says U.S. may need look at pharmacy competition, dealReporter says
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November 17, 2015
09:05 EDTUNHOptumRx acquires AxelaCare
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November 16, 2015
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%.
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