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Study: Increasing dietary fiber could save healthcare $12.7 billion

BY Michael Johnsen

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A new health economic study shows potential healthcare savings of $12.7 billion per year if U.S. adults would increase their dietary fiber to about 25 grams, the minimum level recommended by health experts for adults. Currently, less than 1-in-10 Americans meet their daily fiber needs.

"With the rising cost of health care, this research highlights the importance of simple, realistic changes that we can make to our diet, such as eating more fiber, which could contribute to significant health care savings," stated Dominik Alexander, a  principal epidemiologist, who managed the research team conducting the study.

The study, carried out by an independent team of researchers in nutritional sciences, epidemiology, and health economics from Exponent Health Sciences and commissioned by Kellogg Co., evaluated the direct medical costs associated with regularity problems among adults in the U.S. The research team developed a model to determine the potential money that could be saved through preventive, lifestyle-related measures, in this case, increasing dietary fiber intake.   

Also according to the study, if only half of the U.S. population increased their dietary fiber intake by just three grams a day there could still be more than $2 billion in health care cost savings.

"This goal could be easily achieved with just one or two simple dietary changes," noted Lisa Sanders, director, global nutrition and scientific affairs at Kellogg Co.. "Selecting a higher fiber cereal for breakfast and having a piece of fruit or higher fiber snack bar later in the day could supply three grams of fiber, or even more."

 

 

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GSK, Novartis create an $11 billion consumer healthcare business

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — Following a multifaceted deal with Novartis on Tuesday, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis have created a consumer healthcare giant with annual worldwide revenues of $11 billion on a 2013 pro forma basis. The new business, to be called GSK Consumer Healthcare, will hold category leading positions and brands in wellness, oral health, nutrition and skin health, the company reported.

“The Novartis OTC portfolio is highly complementary to GSK’s and has many well-known, widely recommended brands, such as Voltaren, Excedrin, Otrivin and Theraflu," stated Sir Andrew Witty, GSK CEO. "Together, we will create the world’s premier OTC business with clear opportunities to accelerate revenue growth."

Emma Walmsley, currently GSK’s consumer head, has been appointed as CEO designate of the new business and will be a member of its board. Witty will be chairman of the board. The board will comprise directors from both GSK and Novartis. 

GSK will have majority control of the joint venture with an equity interest of 63.5%

In wellness, the new combination’s $5.7 billion complementary portfolio will create one of the world’s largest OTC businesses with a leading position in more than 35 countries. According to GSK, Novartis’ portfolio has had relatively limited exposure to high growth emerging markets and this presents multiple new growth opportunities for several major brands and innovations, notably Voltaren, Excedrin and Otrivin. 

Similarly, GSK’s brands would benefit from exposure to Novartis’ highly successful European businesses. 

According to a Wall Street Journal breakdown of the deal, "some of the new company’s biggest products will be in pain and cold relief: the North American brand Excedrin and the European brands Panadol, Beecham’s and Voltaren gel, for migraines, headaches, colds and joint pain. Antismoking aids NicoDerm, NiQuitin and Nicotinell, in gums, lozenges and patches, will also be key products." The Novartis business will also bring such products as cough suppressant Sinecod, nasal decongestant Otrivin and fiber supplement Benefiber.

The second-largest area for the combined business will be oral care, according to the WSJ report, including Sensodyne and Aquafresh toothpastes and Poligrip denture adhesive. 

 

 

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Reports: Novartis exits vaccines and animal health while acquiring oncology business from GSK

BY Michael Johnsen

ZURICH — Novartis on Tuesday made a number of moves that have fundamentally reshaped its business, according to published reports. Novartis exchanged its vaccine business with GlaxoSmithKline in a deal valued at $7.1 billion for GSK’s oncology portfolio (at a cost of $14.5 billion) and divested its animal health unit to Ely Lilly for approximately $5.4 billion. 

As part of its deal with GSK, Novartis and GSK have created a joint venture with GSK in consumer healthcare. GSK will take the lead in running a future consumer health business worth about $10 billion in annual revenue with Novartis, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Eli Lilly will have the No. 2 animal health business by revenue worldwide. 

The moves make Novartis a significant supplier of high-margin cancer medicines (No. 2 behind Roche), while GSK becomes a vaccine powerhouse.  

"The global pharmaceuticals sector has seen a flurry of deal-making recently as large companies seek to focus on a small number of leading businesses, while smaller specialty and generic producers seek greater scale," Reuters reported. 

Novartis reported it would start a separate sale process for its flu business, which was not part of the deal with GSK.

 

 

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