Healthcare Pulse: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX), Mylan NV (MYL), and Pfizer Inc. (PFE)

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Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) and Turing were yet again the subjects of immense criticism from senators over their unfair drug pricing practices. A special Senate hearing denounced the practices terming them irresponsible with no value to patients, doctors, or hospitals.

Pricing strategies invoked by the two companies according to the legislators are unconscionable and detrimental to the industry at large. Even though Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) and Turing’s CEO were not at the hearing, it became clear legislators are not taking kindly explanations issued in the recent past.

A first of its kind, the hearing paid a great attention on the impact price increases have had on patient’s doctors and hospital.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) remains at the center of attention especially on increasing the price of Isuprel a heart drug it acquired recently acquired, from $440 to $2,700. Turing is also the subject of uproar on raising the price of a drug for parasitic infection from $13.50 to $750.

Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) has turned to social media marketing in a bid to get its food allergy drug EpiPen to as many people as possible. The company is not taking anything to chance even on the withdrawal Sanofi’s Auvi-Q from the market.

Spearheading the company’s marketing campaign is Project Runway judge Nina Garcia, Chef Amanda Freitag, and eight-year-old actor Auggie Maturo. The trio has been recording and sharing their stories of how to manage food allergies with the hashtag OnLocationTips. The campaign is one of the efforts Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) is using to entice more consumers to EpiPen.

Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) was forced to initiate a recall of half a million injectors of Auvi-Q in the US and Canada after it became clear they may be delivering inaccurate doses. The turn of events backed by the aggressive marketing campaign could make Mylan the dominant player in the epinephrine injection field.

Hilary Clinton, who has been vocal against Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) – Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE:AGN) merger, says a lot needs to be done to clamp down on inversions. Requiring the acquiring company to acquire a 50% stake in the combined entity according to Clinton could help clamp down on tax-driven mergers.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is now the center of attention on the fact that it wants to shift its headquarters to Ireland just to avoid incurring billions of dollars in taxes in the US. By reincorporating in Dublin, the drug maker hopes to shield more than $74 billion in un-remitted earnings overseas, from being taxed.

The former secretary of state also believes the threshold of shares a US company is entitled to transfer to a foreign owner to gain tax benefits should be raised. Last year, Congress tried to pass legislation that would have made it difficult for companies to re-domicile to other countries all in the effort of avoiding to pay taxes.

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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