Mon, Nov. 23, 9:18 AM
- Round one in the Repatha (evolocumab) versus Praluent (alriocumab) competition goes to Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN). After evaluating both PCSK9 inhibitors, Pharmacy benefit manager CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) exclusively adds Amgen's Repatha to its commercial formularies, effectively shutting out Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) and Regeneron's (NASDAQ:REGN) Praluent.
- No word yet on the decisions from other PBMs.
Fri, Oct. 30, 10:16 AM
- CVS Health (CVS -6.3%) Q3 results: Revenues: $38,644M (+10.3%); COGS: $31,983M (+12.0%); Operating Expense: $4,330M (+2.6%); Operating Income: $2,331M (+3.8%); Net Income: $1,236M (+30.4%); EPS: $1.10 (+35.8%); Quick Assets: $3,011M (+19.7%); CF Ops: $4,841M (+2.7%).
- Q4 Guidance: $1.51 - 1.55; GAAP EPS: $1.41 - 1.45.
- 2015 Guidance: Adjusted EPS: $5.14 - 5.18; GAAP EPS: $4.69 - 4.73; CF Ops: $7.6B - 7.9B; FCF: $5.9B - 6.2B.
- 2016 Preliminary Outlook: Preliminary Adjusted EPS: $5.68 - 5.88.
Fri, Oct. 30, 6:53 AM
Thu, Oct. 29, 5:30 PM| Thu, Oct. 29, 5:30 PM | 19 Comments
Thu, Oct. 29, 3:54 PM
- According to CNBC, CVS Health (CVS +0.3%) has kicked Philidor Rx out of its network for some sort of "noncompliance" with its provider agreement. Option holder Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX -4.6%) is down on the news.
- Previously: Notes from Valeant's conference call (Oct. 26)
- Previously: Valeant confirms appropriateness of accounting (Oct. 26)
Thu, Oct. 29, 2:32 AM
- Top antitrust lawmakers in the U.S. Senate are calling for close scrutiny of Walgreens Boots Alliance's (NASDAQ:WBA) plan to buy Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD), the latest healthcare consolidation following the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
- The deal would unite two of the three largest U.S. drugstore chains, the other being CVS Health (NYSE:CVS).
- Walgreens Chief Executive Stefano Pessina said previously that the company had analyzed the antitrust aspect of the deal but did not speculate on the number of drugstores it might need to divest in order to win regulatory approval.
- Previously: Walgreens buying Rite Aid for $17.2B ($9/share) (Oct. 27 2015)
Mon, Oct. 5, 12:44 PM
- Blame it (mostly) on energy/commodities as Markit expects another 62% cut in dividends in the basic resources sector. Payouts in the media sector will decline 21%, but this is due to Disney switching from paying annually to semi-annually, and reallocating $1.1B in returns to next year.
- In total, Markit sees dividend growth of just 3.4% in Q4, down from 11.5%, 11.4%, and 24.1% growth in the previous three quarters. Special dividends in Q4 this year will total just $1.5B, down from $5.6B a year ago.
- The top five dividend increases coming in Q4: MasterCard (NYSE:MA) is expected to boost its payout by 31%; Visa (NYSE:V) by 25%, CVS (NYSE:CVS) Health by 23%, Lincoln Financial (NYSE:LNC) by 20%, and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) by 19%.
- ETFs: DVY, SCHD, ADX, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, DVYL, SDYL
Thu, Oct. 1, 3:03 PM
Fri, Sep. 4, 12:14 PM
- CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) might be reaching a bit when it implied earlier this week that the company's decision to stop selling tobacco products led to a drop in smoking in different states, according to analysts.
- The retail chain has sold more smoking cessation products over the last year since the tobacco exit, but its impact on the national smoking rate is hard to quantify.
- The percentage rate of smokers in the U.S. has been steady decline over a longer period of time than the CVS action.
- CVS lost 780 bps off its front-end comp in Q2 due to the tobacco decision, but results have held up better than some forecasts.
Thu, Aug. 27, 2:23 AM
- CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) is jumping further into telehealth with a partnership that will expand patients' remote access to doctors.
- Three leading telehealth companies - American Well, Teladoc and Doctor On Demand - will begin receiving referred CVS customers, as well as referring their own customers to 150 CVS walk-in clinics, in six states by the fourth quarter.
- The new move also underscores CVS's push to position itself as a broader healthcare services company, and not just medications.
Tue, Aug. 11, 10:15 AM
- In a letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA), CVS Health (CVS -0.5%) urges heart specialists to revamp guidelines for treating patients with high cholesterol to provide clarity on how best to choose the best and most cost effective therapy now that expensive new drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors are now on (or will soon be on) the market.
- PCSK9 inhibitors, led by recently-approved Praluent (alirocumab) (SNY -0.4%)(REGN -0.8%) and soon-to-be-approved Repatha (evolocumab), are, at least initially, more than 20 times more expensive than statins. Pharmacy benefit managers, like CVS, aim to control costs by extracting significant discounts from manufacturers and controlling patient access to the pricier drugs.
- CVS wants the guidelines to include specific LDL targets, which older guidelines did before new ones issued in 2013 did away with them. The emphasis now is on a patient's risk of developing heart disease as the main determinant for more intensive treatment. Unsurprisingly, the American College of Cardiology and the AMA have shown scant enthusiasm for revisiting the issue.
- CVS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troyen Brennan says that if the guidelines are not changed, then CVS will use its own targets, which will vary depending on each patent's medical history. "We expect patients to first use statins. If they can't use statins or can't make (NYSE:LDL) targets, then they would use PCSK9 inhibitors."
- The PDUFA date for Amgen's (AMGN -1%) Repatha is August 27.
Mon, Aug. 10, 12:25 PM
- CVS Health (CVS +0.8%), the number two pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), says it will wait until a second PCSK9 inhibitor is approved before adding either one to its list of covered drugs and negotiating price discounts, clearly an effective strategy if its hopes to win significant price reductions, which is likely if one firm secures exclusive coverage.
- Last month, the FDA cleared Praluent (alirocumab), co-developed by Sanofi (SNY +1.6%) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN +0.9%). The PDUFA date for a second PCSK9 inhibitor, Amgen's (AMGN -0.8%) Repatha (evolocumab), is August 27.
- PCSK9 inhibitors are the "next big thing" in lowering bad cholesterol. They ain't cheap, though. Generic statins cost ~$50 per month while Praluent costs ~$1,200 before discounts.
Tue, Aug. 4, 3:33 PM
- Effective January 1, 2016, Orexo AB's (OTC:ORXOF) (OTCQX:ORXOY) Zubsolv (buprenorphine and naloxone) will no longer be in a preferred position in CVS Caremark's (CVS -2.6%) formulary and will be excluded from the high controlled commercial plans where Zubsolv has been the only branded option since January 2014. The company believes the action, which apparently came as a surprise, could negatively impact sales 10 - 15%.
- Zubsolv is indicated for patients suffering from opioid dependence.
Tue, Aug. 4, 7:03 AM
Mon, Aug. 3, 5:30 PM
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Fri, Jul. 31, 8:06 AM
- CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) faces a new lawsuit alleging the company purposefully overcharged pharmacy customers for generic drugs.
- The legal action seeks class-action status from a judge and an order prohibiting CVS from pricing above co-payment levels.
- The company says it hasn't reviewed the lawsuit yet.
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