Report shows decrease in rate of rotavirus infection
MADISON, N.J. Cases of rotavirus infection have declined significantly, according to a recent Quest Diagnostics Health Trends report.
The study, the largest since an oral vaccine for rotavirus entered the United States market in 2006, suggests that the vaccine is preventing infection in infants and young children.
“Our analysis suggests that the oral rotavirus vaccine has been highly effective at reducing the incidence of rotavirus,” Jay Lieberman, medical director of infectious diseases at Quest Diagnostics said. Lieberman presented results of the study at the joint meeting of the 48th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Washington.
“Our findings reinforce those from a preliminary report issued by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] earlier this year,” he continued.
The study analyzed de-identified diagnostic test data of more than 132,000 from September 2003 through June 2008, showing a 76 percent reduction in positive test results during the most recent peak season, December 2007 through June 2008.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe, dehydrating gastroenteritis among infants and young children.
McKesson reports earnings increase for Q2 2008
SAN FRANCISCO McKesson Co. reported Wednesday that its earnings for second quarter 2008 which ended Sept. 30 totaled $26.6 billion, up 9 percent from $24.5 billion at the same time last year.
“We had a solid quarter, with a particularly strong performance from Distribution Solutions despite industry concerns about lower prescription trends,” John H. Hammergren, chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement. “In Technology Solutions, our second quarter operating profit was up 8 percent year-over-year, although we did begin to see some customers delay their purchasing decisions.”
Second-quarter diluted earnings were $1.17 per share, up 41 percent from 83 cents per diluted share last year. That total included 27 cents per share from a $76 million tax reserve release and five cents per share after sale of the 42 percent holdings of Verispan, the company reported. McKesson benefited from the sale of its specialty pharmacy business Distribution Solutions, a business within McKesson Specialty Care Solutions.
McKesson also said that its second-quarter earnings totals included $25 million in pre-tax share-based compensation expense, versus its pre-tax expense of $28 million one year ago.
The company said that projections for 2009 earnings were reported at $4.00 to $4.15 per diluted share.
CVS completes tender for Longs Drugs acquisition
WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has successfully completed the subsequent offering period of its tender offer for all of the outstanding common stock of Longs Drug Stores, and expects to effect the merger on or about Oct. 30.
The subsequent offering period for the tender offer expired at 6 p.m., New York City time, on Oct. 28. A total of approximately 28,317,338 shares of Longs were tendered in the initial and subsequent offering periods of the offer, representing approximately 78.07 percent of the outstanding shares.
CVS expects to effect, without a vote or meeting of Longs’ stockholders, a short-form merger on or about Oct. 30 to complete the Longs acquisition.
In the merger, each of the remaining outstanding shares (other than any shares owned by CVS or its subsidiaries) will be converted into the right to receive the same $71.50 in cash per share, without interest, that was paid in the tender offer.
Following the merger, Longs’ common stock will cease to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.