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What’s trending in pharma: a top 10 watch list for 2019


Patricia Van Arnum
DCAT Editorial Director


As 2018 came to a close, what are key trends and emerging areas of interest for the pharmaceutical industry overall and in manufacturing? From new business models in healthcare delivery, to drug pricing, to digital transformation, to new partnership and alliance strategies, DCAT Value Chain Insights provides its Top 10 Pharma Watch List for 2019.

1. New business models in healthcare delivery. Market solutions to reduce healthcare costs to achieve a competitive advantage was the driving force behind the $69-billion merger of CVS Health Corporation (CVS), the largest retail pharmacy chain in the US, and Aetna, the third-largest health-insurance company in the US, a deal that closed in late November 2018. The companies gained conditional approval for the deal from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in October 2018 under the condition that Aetna divests its Medicare Part D prescription drug-plan business (Aetna sold that business to WellCare Health Plans), and the companies subsequently received state regulatory approvals to close the deal.

One potential issue, however, for the deal arose in early December 2018 when U.S. District Judge Richard Leon for the District of Columbia set a hearing for December 18, 2018 to consider ordering the companies to keep their assets separate until he weighs approval of the antitrust settlement with the government. A US federal law known as the Tunney Act requires court approval of settlements the DOJ reaches with merging companies to resolve competition issues. Alth ...