Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rite-Aid, Importation, and Obamacare

Here's a hand-picked selection of free-range news stories for your reading pleasure.

Concerns Over McKesson Rite Aid Exposure Being Lifted – Rite-Aid (RAD) recently refinanced about $1.9 billion of debt and its stock price has quintupled since my March 11 post. This article highlights the relatively good news for McKesson (MCK), which is Rite-Aid's primary wholesaler. Bankruptcy may be temporarily off the table, but Rite-Aid continues to reduce store count and is growing more slowly than their industry peers. Walmart is now the third largest pharmacy retail pharmacy chain behind CVS and Walgreens. Let's see how long it remains the big 4.

Snowe, Dorgan Comment on Drug Manufacturers Deal – Senators Snowe (R-ME) and Dorgan (D-ND) wasted no time in complaining about this week's proposal by pharmaceutical manufacturers to reduce consumer costs in the Part D doughnut hole. (See PhRMA's Bold Gamble.) Why? Drug importation! Yawn. They trotted out the bogus $50 billion savings claims again. As far as I can tell, $80 billion in real savings is still more than $50 billion in imaginary savings -- even in Washington DC.

Cartoon of the Week

Hat tip to the pharmacy god.

1 comment:

  1. Two comments: the PhRMA donut hole proposal is salutary, no doubt. But 1) while many Medicare enrollees face hardship in the coverage gap, many who can afford to purchase medications see the value proposition in buying generic equivalents, and presumably the PhRMA discounts will somewhat reverse that trend, and 2) applying PhRMA payments/discounts to Part D TrOOP costs moves people into fully subsidized catastrophic coverage more quickly, transferring the bill to the government.