35,000 pharma layoffs so far this year: While that number sounds scary, remember that it could always be worse. The amount of pharma layoffs in the first half of this year plunged 32 percent compared to the first six months of last year. The pharmaceuticals industry has experienced the second-most layoffs this year, trailing only the government/nonprofit sector. In another piece of encouraging news to pharma workers, June’s 830 layoffs looks pretty sweet when compared to May’s 6,943.
Whither Provenge? Medicare officials are reviewing whether the agency should provide reimbursements for Dendreon’s prostate cancer drug Provenge, creating uncertainty that’s caused the company’s stock price to fall. While most experts expect that Medicare will eventually reimburse for the drug, considering that it costs $93,000 and extends the life of those suffering from advanced prostate cancer by just four months, it won’t hurt to make the company sweat a little bit.
Q2 M&A is “meh”: The National Venture Capital Association and VentureSource both released data on second-quarter M&A activity. The NVCA pegs the deal numbers at 92 for a value of $2.9 billion, with VentureSource reporting 79 at $4.3 billion.VentureBeat pronounces the results “meh,” citing rising volume but “shaky” finances.
Arizona struggles with physician retention: Arizona, which apparently has a more-severe physician shortage than the rest of the nation, may see the situation grow worse as the state struggles to retain residents. With resident retention rates estimated at around 55 to 65 percent, one expert recommends paying residents (or forgiving loans) to stay in the state.
The world’s most expensive X-rays: Three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest from 1954 fetched $45,000 at an auction last weekend. The auctioneer had expected a price of $3,000.
Healthcare.gov: The federal government has launched a new website, which took $3.5 million to build, that will eventually help people in the individual insurance market compare and contrast plans once health reform takes effect in 2014. Ezra Klein finds the site “slick and easy-to-use.”
Photo from flickr user epSos.de