PHARMACY

UnitedHealth reportedly in tentative agreement to buy Genoa Healthcare

BY Sandra Levy

Health insurer UnitedHealth reportedly has at least a tentative agreement to buy specialty pharmacy operator Genoa Healthcare from private equity firm Advent International, according to an Axios report.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Walgreens Boots Alliance was among those suitors interested in Genoa.

Genoa, which is estimated to be worth about $2.5 billion has more than 400 full-service pharmacies within community mental health centers. It serves about 650,000 customers and has more than 250 psychiatrists and nurse practitioners who provide telepsychiatry services to mental-health patients, according to the Bloomberg report.

Genoa CEO John Figueroa is expected to move on and Genoa chief commercial officer Mark Peterson will head the business for UnitedHealth, Axios’ report said.

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Seqirus begins shipping 2018-2019 influenza vaccines

BY Sandra Levy

Seqirus has started to ship its portfolio of more than 50 million doses of influenza vaccines to the United States in preparation for the upcoming 2018-2019 influenza season, the company announced Wednesday.

The company will provide Fluad influenza vaccine, adjuvanted, which it said is the only adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine specifically developed for people ages 65 years and older, as well as Flucelvax Quadrivalent influenza vaccine, available for those aged four and older, according to the company.

The Seqirus 2018-2019 influenza vaccine portfolio also includes Afluria Quadrivalent, an egg-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine, and Rapivab (peramivir injection), which the company said was the first-and-only one-dose intravenous antiviral treatment for acute uncomplicated influenza.

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Report: Merck’s experimental Ebola vaccine to be used amid Congo outbreak

BY Sandra Levy

Merck’s experimental vaccine is slated to be used today against a new outbreak of Ebola virus in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a Reuters report.

The vaccine was deployed during its first wide-scale usage against an outbreak in northwestern Congo that was declared over less than two weeks ago.

More than 3,000 doses remain in stock in the capital Kinshasa, enabling authorities to quickly get it to the affected areas near the Ugandan border, said the report.

The vaccination will be administered to health workers and other people who come in contact with confirmed cases of the disease, Barthe Ndjoloko, who oversees the health ministry’s Ebola response, told Reuters.

“Teams are conducting investigations on the ground to identify the contacts of the confirmed cases, including health workers,” Ndjoloko reportedly said in the town of Beni.

Health workers are ensuring that the vaccine is kept well below zero by creating a so-called cold chain, given that in this tropical climate there aren’t reliable power supplies, according to the report.

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