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Allergan and Pfizer set to merge in stock deal worth $A208 billion

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pfizer and Allergan have agreed on a historic merger deal worth more than $US150 billion ($A208 billion) that, if completed, will create the world’s biggest drug maker and move one of the top names in corporate America to a foreign country.
The deal, the largest ever in the health-care sector, is considered likely to draw political ire in a United States presidential election year because Pfizer would re-domicile to Ireland, where Allergan is registered, in a so-called ‘inversion’ that would slash its corporate tax rate, Reuters reports.
It will also reignite debate in the pharmaceutical industry over the role of research and development, with Allergan chief executive Brent Saunders, a prolific deal-maker and a skeptic of in-house drug discovery, joining the combined company in a position to influence its strategy.
The New York Times reports: “Perhaps most important, it would be the biggest transaction aimed at helping an American company shed its United States corporate citizenship in an effort to lower its tax bill, in this case by billions of dollars.” more

Specsavers announces ‘significant investment’ in its development

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

• Peter Larsen rejoins ANZ board of directors as company’s optometry director
• Harrison Weisinger rejoins company as director of professional services (global)

Specsavers has announced “signilficant investments” in the development of its operations in Australia and New Zealand.
“Since we first opened for business in Australia and New Zealand seven years ago, we have built a network of more than 350 stores and have a current team of more than 800 full-time-equivalent optometrists in partner, employed and locum roles,” the chief executive officer of Specsavers ANZ and its global chief financial officer, Mr Paul Fussey, said on 9 November.
“We now offer more than 100 CPD points annually via our clinical development program including our successful grand round roadshows, the Specsavers Clinical Conference and much more. We have a digital retinal camera in every one of our store locations and we are constantly monitoring advancements in diagnostic equipment for our optometrists to introduce into their practices at the right time.
“Looking ahead, we have stated publicly that we need to expand our team by more than 200 optometrists each year for the coming years to keep pace with patient demand and store growth. To do this means investing strongly in optometry and the development of enhanced clinical skills for all Specsavers optometrists and for the public. And we need the right team to lead and support that investment in the future. more

Ensure Rx-release rules are fair and effective: AOA submission

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Prescription-release rules that regulate contact lens and glasses sales don’t go far enough to safeguard consumers, contends the American Optometric Association in formal comments to the Federal Trade Commission. The AOA’s comments urge the FTC to take action to ensure fair and effective regulations.
Submitted in response to an FTC-initiated review of the Contact Lens Rule and Ophthalmic Practice (Eyeglasses) Rule on 26 October, the AOA’s comments urge the FTC to take action to ensure the regulations which implement the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act are fair and effective among patients and their practitioners, and retailers.
Pertaining to the Contact Lens Rule, the AOA’s comments encouraged the FTC to best protect patients by:
•  Fixing the broken passive verification system;
•  Ensuring retailers can’t sell lenses based on an expired prescription;
•  Stopping ‘robocalls’ that often are difficult to understand or are incomplete;
•  Shutting down online retailers that allow patients to purchase lenses without a prescription;
•  Ensuring consumers are well-informed about patient agency, and preventing retailers’ deceptive practices to assert patient agency;
•  Stopping retailers from encouraging patients to stockpile lenses that far exceed the prescription length;
•  Stopping retailers’ business practices that misguide patients on the requirements of the Rule;
•  Shutting down retailers that do not follow the requirements of the Rule and target patients through social media and e-commerce sites; and
•  Ensuring retailers provide a reliably-accessible live-contact person for practitioners to discuss prescription problems, as outlined in the Rule. more

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