The health care initiative created by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase worries traditional health care companies — the recent lawsuit between the venture and UnitedHealth is a stark example of aggressive tactics such companies will take to protect their turf from the technology powerhouses edging into the health care landscape. In other health industry news: a pelvic mesh settlement, the e-cigarette crackdown and health care real estate.
The New York Times: Clash Of Giants: UnitedHealth Takes On Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway And JPMorgan Chase
Inside a federal courtroom in Boston this week, a bit of intrigue has emerged as lawyers try to pry open the secretive plans of a new venture created by three of the world’s most powerful corporations. The underlying case involves allegations made by UnitedHealth Group, which is asking a judge to stop a former executive from working at the new health care outfit created by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. UnitedHealth has accused the executive, David William Smith, of removing confidential, proprietary information that could benefit his new employer, and he has denied any inappropriate action. (Abelson, 2/1)
The New York Times: As Pelvic Mesh Settlements Near $8 Billion, Women Question Lawyers’ Fees
When Sherise Grant filed a claim against the manufacturer of her pelvic mesh implant, she hoped to use the money from a settlement to pay for its removal. Ms. Grant, 51, was among the millions of women around the globe whose urinary problems were treated with pelvic mesh. But not only has the surgically implanted device done little to help her, it frequently causes Ms. Grant discomfort, including pain during sex with her husband. (Goldstein, 2/1)
The Washington Post: Conservatives Bash FDA For ‘Regulatory Panic’ On E-Cigarettes
A coalition of conservative and libertarian groups is demanding President Trump “pump the brakes” on the administration’s crackdown on e-cigarettes, arguing the anti-vaping efforts will hurt “an innovative industry that is helping American smokers quit.” The letter, sent to the White House on Monday, criticized the Food and Drug Administration — and specifically its commissioner, Scott Gottlieb — for waging an “aggressive regulatory assault” on e-cigarettes. The signers include Americans for Tax Reform, ALEC Action, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Goldwater Institute. (McGinley, 2/4)
Modern Healthcare: Foreign Cash, Loose Capital Bolstering Healthcare Real Estate
A confluence of factors is feeding demand for healthcare real estate, including robust domestic demand, related interest from investors outside the U.S. and relatively easy access to capital. The rapidly ascending ambulatory sector—one of several trends impacting the undulating healthcare real estate landscape—is feeding a booming medical office market. That, in turn, has drawn increased foreign investment and loosened the purse strings on a vast supply of capital that also has fueled construction and mergers and acquisitions. (Kacik, 2/2)
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