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Covidien to buy Given Imaging for $860 million

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN — Covidien will acquire a company that markets a swallowed capsule used in medical imaging for $860 million, the hospital equipment manufacturer said Sunday.

Covidien announced a deal to acquire all outstanding shares of Given Imaging for $30 a share. Given Imaging specializes in products for visualizing, diagnosing and monitoring the digestive system, including its flagship product, PillCam.

"We believe [gastrointestinal] is one of the most attractive specialty procedure areas," Covidien group president for medical devices and the United States Bryan Hanson said. "Adding Given’s portfolio of diagnostics to our portfolio accelerates Covidien’s strategy of providing physicians with products that support the patient along the care continuum from diagnosis to treatment. It also confirms our leadership in developing less-invasive screening, diagnosis and treatment solutions that can improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs."

 

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Cardinal Health ranks No. 1 in Gartner’s fifth annual Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25

BY Michael Johnsen

STAMFORD, Conn. — Cardinal Health ranked No. 1 in Gartner’s fifth annual Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 ranking. Not including health systems, the top 10 included McKesson at No. 5, BD (6), Johnson and Johnson (7), Walgreens (8) and CVS Caremark (9). 

The Healthcare Supply Chain ranking identifies organizations leading the way in transforming the healthcare value chain to meet new revenue challenges through enhanced service and lower costs with an increasing focus on improved patient outcomes. 

"The Fifth Annual Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 ranking is representative of all the main constituents of the healthcare value chain — manufacturers, providers, distributors and retailers," stated Eric O’Daffer, research director at Gartner. "The past couple of years have seen more large distributors and wholesalers investing in global growth markets that expand their scope and importance to the manufacturers. Likewise, retail pharmacies are vertically integrating supply chain while they position themselves as healthcare and wellness providers to their patient-consumers." 

Cardinal Health took the No. 1 spot in the Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 for the third year in a row with strong peer and analyst recognition for the breadth of the company’s capabilities across distribution and manufacturing. Cardinal brings together an expanding global presence and increasing vertical integration in the form of a manufacturer, medical surgical distributor, international sourcing company, pharmaceutical wholesaler and retail pharmacy. 

"It is clear that the access to and management of data will increase in importance, enabling enhanced, operational supply chain capabilities" O’Daffer said. "It also is clear that supply chain will be at the center of the discussion, bringing together organizational silos no matter where they sit in the supply chain. Organizations that embrace supply chain as an enabler of profitable growth will thrive, and we expect the difference between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ to widen in this area, further increasing the likelihood for consolidation."

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CVS/pharmacy launches promotion to promote flu shots

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In recognition of this year’s National Influenza Vaccination Week, which runs Dec. 8 to 14, CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are reminding families that it is not too late to get a flu shot, and are offering a 20% off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass to those who get their flu shot at either CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic this holiday season.

"As people plan their family gatherings during this busy holiday season, we want them to remember that a flu shot will provide them and their loved ones the best protection available from getting sick with the flu," stated Papatya Tankut, VP pharmacy affairs at CVS/pharmacy.  "While flu season is unpredictable, it typically peaks in January or later. In fact, last season’s national flu outbreak occurred right after the holidays so this an ideal time to get vaccinated if you haven’t received your flu shot yet."

More than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores and more than 750 MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS locations provide flu shots every day, including evenings and weekends, no appointment necessary.

Customers will receive a 20% Off CVS/pharmacy Shopping Pass this holiday season when they get a flu shot at CVS or MinuteClinic. The Shopping Pass can be used with CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare card to save 20% off non-pharmacy purchases up to $100.

Members of CVS/pharmacy’s ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program will receive $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards when they get a flu shot at a CVS/pharmacy by Dec. 31, 2013.

Health insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, typically cover the full cost of a flu shot. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot.

In addition to flu shots, CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are available to provide a number of other vaccinations, including pneumonia and whooping cough.

National Influenza Vaccination Week was established by the Centers for Disease Control to annually highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for everyone ages 6 months and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza. A yearly flu shot is recommended because a new formulation of the vaccine is produced every year to protect against the currently circulating influenza viruses. Also, immunity provided by the vaccine declines over time.

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