PHARMACY

McKesson posts 2% sales rise in Q2

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO Pharmaceutical wholesaler McKesson Corp. reported an increase in revenue and earnings per share in its second quarter, the company said Tuesday.

McKesson reported that revenues for the second quarter ended Sept. 30 were $27.1 billion, compared with $26.6 billion a year ago. Second quarter earnings per diluted share was $1.11 compared to $1.17 per diluted share a year ago.

The San Francisco-based company said net income fell to $301 million, or $1.11 per share, for its fiscal second quarter ended in September, from $327 million, or $1.17 per share, a year earlier.

The company was selected earlier this year by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention to distribute the swine flu vaccine to as many as 150,000 provider sites. The company is CEO John Hammergren said McKesson is benefiting from the flu vaccination demand, which includes anitviral medications and flu kits.

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Pleio’s medication adherence program yields positive results

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A company that runs a medication adherence program said its program had a “highly significant” effect.

Pleio Health Support Systems announced Monday results of the Pleio GoodStart program, analyzing data from 1,776 patients taking a chronic cardiovascular medication between May 2008 and 2009 that showed patients refilled an average of two additional 30-day prescriptions during their initial nine-month period of taking the medication.

Patients in the GoodStart program also refilled their prescriptions an average of 10 days sooner than those in the control group, Pleio said.

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Deloitte report: Pharmaceutical companies’ ‘patent cliff’ could bolster mergers, acquisitions

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A wave of acquisitions indicates a trend of consolidation in the drug industry, as companies seek ways to build up their research and development pipelines while reducing overhead costs, according to a report released Tuesday by professional services firm Deloitte.

One of the factors driving mergers is that drugs representing more than $74 billion in sales will lose patent protection by 2012, which many analysts have come to call the “patent cliff.”

“With so many rapidly changing dynamics – the patent cliff, healthcare reform and still-dry capital markets – the trends in life sciences industry consolidation are almost certain to continue with a growing emphasis on those deals with companies involved with late-stage developed compounds,” Deloitte & Touche partner Phil Pfrang said in a statement. “Healthy companies have good cause to pursue deals that promise faster revenue streams and profits.”

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