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Morning Read: The Pfizer Allergan merger is a go. How dirty do you feel?

Also, Mallinckrodt earnings are out, payers (besides UnitedHealth) back Obamacare and – ARE YOU KIDDING ME! – Google created but then shelved a Star Trek-like wearable.

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There’s not much new in the announcement just minutes ago about the $160 billion Pfizer Allergan merger. But the more I read the more I feel the need to shower again this morning. To believe the press clippings, there is no advantage to this deal besides the tax inversion (with some passing mention of a chance for Allergan to have a broader opportunity at international sales).

Pfizer and Allergan are taking steps to sidestep the current rules altogether. Though Pfizer is significantly bigger, with a market value of $199 billion to Allergan’s $123 billion, it is Allergan that would technically be the buyer, according to the people briefed on the matter.

Because Allergan already has its headquarters in Dublin — even though the bulk of its operations are based in Parsippany, N.J. — the planned transaction could avoid the Treasury rules, which apply to American companies that buy foreign companies.

But in most respects, Pfizer would lead the combined company…

Exploiting loopholes instead of driving innovation and research: the legacy of this era in pharma. What a corporate culture that will create. Legal fees are the new R&D.

Once they are merged the new company will split into two. – Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times & Reuters

LIFE SCIENCES

Speaking of exploitation over innovation, this overview that linked Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Horizon Pharma, Mallinckrodt and Concordia Healthcare made me realize I totally fine with what’s happening to this “new breed of pharmaceutical company.” Each business now desperately tries to contrast its business model from the others. Five month ago, they would have embraced comparisons. – The Wall Street Journal

Mallinckrodt reported better-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter this morning. Look for a lot more analysis of these numbers throughout the day. – Benzinga & PR Newswire

Roche feels good about early Phase 1b data about its advanced melanoma treatment atezolizumab. – Reuters

PAYERS/PROVIDERS

I thought the latest Zeke Emanuel piece on mortality rates of cardiologists wasn’t that interesting and could have been turned into an online list with the headline, “These 4 questions could save your from death – from your doctor!!!!!” – The New York Times

Equally uninteresting? This article that asks, “This often makes me wonder why we expect so much out of our doctors.” – KevinMD

A new Ebola report says the World Health Organization was too slow to declare Ebola an international public health emergency. It includes 10 recommendations to respond to future disasters. – BBC

TECH

Malaysia’s ZocDoc, BookDoc, has named its advisory board, including former Malaysian government health officials. – PR Newswire

POLITICS

It looks like other payers are saying, “All is well” when it comes to the UnitedHealth announcement saying it could leave Obamacare exchanges. Anthem, Aetna and the Blues are all sticking.The Hill & Forbes

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

Darn tech companies: shelving wearables that actually do something useful (i.e,. make us bigger nerds): Google says it developed – but then shelved – a prototype wearable device based on the Star Trek communicator. The concept was intended to test out how users might interact with voice search in new ways. – Time

Photo: Getty Images

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