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Report: Private equity firms fueling clinic growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Driven by the need for consumers to have access to convenient, cost-effective and quality healthcare services, the number of walk-in health clinics has been on the rise across the country in recent years, and according to a Reuters report, private equity firms are helping to fuel the expansion.

In recent years, at least a dozen private equity firms have invested millions of dollars into urgent care clinics and several private equity executives reportedly told Reuters that they are eager for more acquisitions.

Citing Thomson Reuters data, the article states that private equity firms invested $4 billion in 2012 in health and medical services, which include urgent care, up from $3.5 billion in 2011.

One such example is WellStreet, a chain of walk-in health clinics in Georgia. According to Reuters, Aaron Money of San Francisco-based private equity firm, FFL teamed up with physician Lee Resnick to start WellStreet and, today, FFL owns 70% of the business.

Money told Reuters that he expects business to grow as health reforms under the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kick in.

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FDA approves new MS drug

BY DSN STAFF

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for multiple sclerosis made by Biogen Idec, the agency said Wednesday.

The FDA announced the approval of Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) capsules for adults with relapsing forms of MS.

"No drug provides a cure for multiple sclerosis, so it is important to have a variety of treatment options available for patients," FDA Division of Neurology Products director Russell Katz said. "Multiple Sclerosis can impair movement, sensation and thinking and have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life."

 

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Reports: Bashas’ chairman, CEO dies

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Bashas’ chairman and CEO Eddie Basha, Jr. has died, according to published reports. He was 75 years old.

According to the Associated Press, Basha’s cause of death was not disclosed, but his family had said his health had been failing.

Basha took over the Phoenix-based company in 1968 following the death of his father, Eddie Basha Sr., who had founded it in 1932 with his brother, Ike. The company had grown out of the retail business of their parents, Najeeb and Najeeby, who had immigrated to the United States from Lebanon at the turn of the 20th century. Since then, it has grown to more than 130 stores in Arizona, New Mexico and southern California.

Basha unsuccessfully ran for Arizona state governor in 1994 as a Democrat. He supported same-sex marriage years before it became a significant issue in American politics, and he was a supporter of Martin Luther King Day before it became economically important, recalling his family’s victimization by the Ku Klux Klan due to their ethnic origin, according to reporting on his campaign in the Tucson, Ariz., Citizen at the time. "The issue to me is discrimination. I felt if someone is being discriminated against by any means, I oppose it," the newspaper quoted Basha as saying.

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