AstraZeneca pressures fellow pharmas with vow to reveal doctor payments worldwide, according to Angus Liu on FiercePharma.com, 4 June 2018.
Big Pharmas’ payments to doctors raise concerns about prescription bias and have triggered bribery investigations, too. So, to win patients’ trust, transparency matters. And now, AstraZeneca is going beyond its Big Pharma fellows to disclose all its doc payments, even in regions where it’s not required. CEO Pascal Soriot told investors at its annual meeting that his company plans to disclose payments in all countries where it has commercial activities. Several countries, including the U.S., require those disclosures under local regulations.
AstraZeneca slashed CEO Pascal Soriot’s total compensation by 34% to £9.4 million ($12.7 million) in 2017, but that pay cut wasn’t deep enough for one influential voice on corporate governance. The proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is urging AstraZeneca’s stockholders to vote against the company’s remuneration report. The problem? Soriot’s bonus was 87% of the maximum, despite the fact that AstraZeneca’s operating profit fell 25% to $3.7 billion and its earnings per share dropped 14% to $2.37 last year. The company’s revenue was down 2% to $22.5 billion.
Medtronic aims for 4% growth through consolidation, high-tech and direct-to-customer deals, as reported by Conor Hale of FierceBiotech.com, 6 June 2018. Ooooh, consolidation sounds like we might see a decline in customer support?
Medtronic will target 4% annual increases in revenue through investments in higher-growth technology markets, and to increase savings in global operations, Medtronic plans to continue consolidating its manufacturing footprint—down from 92 sites a few years ago to about 55 in the next few years—as well as reduce its supply chain base by about 50%. Currently the company maintains about 70 sites and plans to leverage contract manufacturing where appropriate.
As a result, the $30 billion medical equipment maker hopes to grow adjusted earnings per share by 8%, expand its underlying operating margin by 40 to 50 basis points, and return at least half of its free cash flow to shareholders, among other long-range financial goals. Medtronic also expects continued growth from its emerging market businesses.
Getting Pumped Up is all about Insulet, according to Todd Campbell, in the Yahoo Finance Report: 3 Stocks That Have Doubled and Still Have Room to Grow, 31 May 2018.
The growing addressable market and technological advances toward a fully automated, closed-loop system for measuring blood sugar and dosing insulin could be a boon for Insulet, a company that markets insulin pumps. Already, the benefit of reducing patient burden by partnering glucose monitors that continuously track blood sugar with Insulet’s Omnipod pumps is paying off. In 2017, more widespread use of the Omnipod increased revenue 26% in 2017 to $464 million, and since May 2017, the company’s shares have skyrocketed 121%.
Demand for the company’s pumps isn’t waning. In the first quarter of 2018, management reported sales of $124 million, up 21% year over year. That’s a solid performance, especially considering the first quarter is usually the company’s weakest for new sales because of resetting insurance deductibles. Management expects its full-year sales will be between $565 million and $580 million, up 22% to 25%. But I think that’s only the beginning for this company. In the U.S. alone, the type 1 diabetes population is 1.5 million, and it’s growing by about 40,000 new patients per year. Insulet has competitors, including Tandem Diabetes (NASDAQ: TNDM), that it needs to elbow for share. But the market got more attractive last year when Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) decided to stop selling its insulin pumps.
In the future, Insulet’s revenue opportunity could be even bigger because it’s developing a closed-loop insulin system that pairs its pumps with a continuous monitor to automatically deliver insulin. The potential for systems like that is enormous.