Health IT

Allscripts executive changes: CTO John Gomez to resign (Morning Read)

Among today’s current medical news: Allscripts CTO John Gomez is stepping down; Novartis sells global rights to an eczema drug to Meda for $420M; and Boston’s Carney Hospital becomes the latest health facility to say ‘no’ to sugary drinks.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about the healthcare industry.

Allscripts CTO stepping down: John Gomez, chief technology officer for electronic health records company Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (NASDAQ:MDRX), will step down on May 31, the company disclosed with little fanfare as part of an an 8-k regulatory filing. Gomez will continue as a consultant to the company for 18 months. Some observers have concerns about how the management change will affect the company. Allscripts acquired Eclypsis in a $1.3 billion all stock deal last year and Benzinga reports that Piper Jaffray viewed Gomez as the “key executive” who was expected to lead the integration of the two health IT giants. reports that FBR Capital Markets views the change as a “net negative for the company as we are unsure the company can fill Mr. Gomez’s shoes with an internal candidate and may need to go outside the organization to find his replacement, which could be a costly and time-consuming process.”

Breaking up is hard to do: CVS Caremark, formed four years ago when pharmacy chain CVS bought pharmacy benefits management business Caremark, might be worth up to $25 billion more if the company were to split itself up, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

Novartis sells rights to skin drug: Norvartis (NYSE:NVS) reaches an agreement to sell to Meda the global rights to Elidel, a drug treating eczema, for $420 million.

Nurses strike vote: Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts have scheduled a strike authorization vote for Friday with results expected by 9 p.m. The nurses say that after 16 months of negotiations, talks with the hospital have stalled. They will be voting whether to authorize a one-day strike.

No soda here (that’s “pop” for our Midwestern readers and “Coke” to the Southerners): Boston hospital Carney Hospital is the latest healthcare facility to ban sugar-sweetened drinks. Carney officials say the contribution of such beverages to obesity and other conditions is inconsistent with the hospital’s health mission. But it should be O.K. to drink from a bubbler (our Rhode Island and Wisconsin readers know what I’m talking about).

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Dealflow: San Diego company Zacharon inks a deal with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) valued at up to $210 million to develop orphan drugs; Atlanta-based Inhibitex prices its $47 million public stock offering; Madison, Wisconsin company Cellular Dynamics raises $30 million from private equity.