Healthcare Pulse: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and Express Scripts Holding Company (ESRX)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) business remains solid according to CEO, Michael Pearson, even with severing ties with a key specialty pharmacy. Pearson, however, admits that the happenings in the recent weeks will impact the company’s fourth quarter earnings. The Street expected the drug maker to issue a revised financial outlook for the quarter, but as it appears no revision will happen anytime soon.

A plan is already in place to replace Philidor, the embattled specialty pharmacy, whose practices have been the subject of criticism in the recent days. Valeant’s long-term organic growth prospects heading into 2016 remains on track as the focus now shifts to bolstering investor-relations capacities.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) has already admitted that it needs to do more on listening to outside criticism if it is to rebuild its tainted image. Pearson made the statement on acknowledging that the company has over the years failed to listen to what the broader market says.

Talks between Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Allergan PLC (NYSE:AGN) about a potential merger are going well and in an advanced stages according to inside sources. It is emerging that the two are considering making Brent Saunders the chief executive of the combined company on reaching a takeover agreement. Bloomberg reports that a deal could be reached as early as Thanksgiving making it the largest in the sector this year.

Saunders, who took over the top seat after Allergan combined with Actavis in March, seems to have an upper hand against his counterpart at Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Ian Read according to inside sources. A split of the combined company into two upon merging could be in the offing according to sources.

Saunders is to head the faster-growing business made of new brand-name drugs. The other unit according to people close to the talks will include older products most of which are nearing the end of their patent lives.

Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) is the latest pharmacy benefit manager to crack the whip on specialty pharmacies that are the subject of criticism over price hikes. The benefit manager has severed ties with Linden Care; a specialty pharmacy believed to have close ties with drug maker Horizon Pharma.

Linden Care has already reacted to the termination letter, by initiating legal proceedings in a Federal District Court with a view of reversing the termination. Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) on its defense maintains it was only taking action against a specialty pharmacy that was pushing a single manufacturers products.

Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP) has already come to the defense of Linden Care stating that it was ‘entirely false’ to claim that specialty pharmacy was only pushing its products. The drug maker maintains that it uses multiple specialty pharmacies with no ownership in any of them.

The latest altercation adds to the on goings in the sector that have seen Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) sever ties with Philidor another specialty pharmacy under probe.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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