Friday, October 30, 2015

ePharma News: Walgreens to Acquire Ride Aid; Novartis To Pay $390 mln in settlement and more

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One of the biggest news of this week is the finalizing the terms of  the acquisition deal between the two pharma giants - Walgreens and Ride Aid. As The New York Times reported, Stefano Pessina, the CEO, and the single largest shareholder of Walgreens Boots Alliance, has announced that "consolidation is close to an end” in the United States.

The problem that Mr. Pessina will be facing is the antitrust law, and the FTC regulators looking closely into the acquisition to make sure, the pharma giant is providing grounds for a fair competition. To fulfill the latter, Stefano Pessina might have to scale down on the number of stores in certain areas especially in the Northeast. And while the total number of the store locations for Walgreens to "lose"is unknown, the figure that was reported by the Boston Globe is 400. The merger deal between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Ride Aid will gain Walgreens 12,700 locations.

Another case of big pharmaceutical companies being caught making "deals with doctors" has involved Novartis. Bloomberg Business just reported, that the pharma giant Novartis has just agreed to pay $390 million dollars to settle the $3.35 billion dollars suit based on the claims made by one of the former Novartis sales manager. The pharmaceutical giant manufacturer was accused of pushing sales of its products in many specialty pharmacies in the U.S. by offering kickbacks to the pharmacies in the form of rebates. This is not the first time Novartis has to pay to settle a claim in court. According to Reuters, back in 2010 Novartis had to pay $422 million dollars.

Apple Watch with its health applicationsIBM and Apple create a partnership involving the IBM software and Apple Watch device as carrier. IBM Watson is adaptive artificial intelligence powered by IBM will be installed in Apple Watch to provide the next level of personalized health tech in the face of an app called CafeWell Concierge. WellTok, a Denver-based health management start-up behind the CafeWell Concierge application promises the app's ability to adapt to an individual user by learning about his interests and health status, and to bring up recommendations to optimize the user's health. The mission of the CafeWell Concierge app is to influence a positive behavioral change in the way people manage their health.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
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About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton.
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