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Morning Read: Pharma changes afoot as Valeant courts a new CEO and Novartis U.S. head exits

Also, Dr. Francis Collins offers action plan on how it will fix safety issues for National Institutes of Health Clinical Center research hospital, and synthetic cartilage implant developer Cartiva clears one hurdle in its path to FDA clearance.

partnership. collaborationTOP STORIES

Valeant Pharmaceuticals wants Joseph Papa, the head of generic and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals company Perrigo, as its next CEO. The only hitch? Perrigo’s board isn’t quite ready to say goodbye. — The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. head of Swiss pharma company Novartis has said she will step down due to family reasons, effective May 1. Christi Shaw’s role will be split into two positions: U.S. president of Novartis Corp., which will be filled by Tom Kendris, and president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp, which Fabrice Chouraqui will fill.— NJBIZ, Fierce Pharma

Alphabet’s operating losses expanded to more than $800 million compared with $633 million one year ago. The losses were largely driven by its research division, which works on “moonshots” as well as Google Fiber, Nest, and self-driving cars. — Reuters

LIFE SCIENCES

Consolidation comes to anesthesia management via a merger of Epix Anesthesia and PhySynergy to create Epix Healthcare.  — PR Newswire

Johns Hopkins spinout medical device company, Clear Guide Medical, which combines ultrasound and CT images to support minimally invasive surgery, has raised $3 million. — Baltimore Business Journal

A synthetic cartilage implant developer cleared a regulatory hurdle after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel voted to clear Cartiva SCI. The panel agreed it met efficacy and safety guidelines and that its benefits outweigh its risks. The SCI implant could offer an alternative to a joint fusion approach. implant to treat osteoarthitis and cartilage injuries. — FierceMedicalDevices

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

Dr Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health highlighted how he will address embarrassing patient safety issues at its Clinical Center research hospital, such as adding an NIH Office of Research Support and Compliance add supervisors not fixing issues reported by staff, and hospital leaders failing to comprehend the federal regulations the facility needed to comply with. — STAT, NIH

Insurance for fertility treatments. Vitality Solutions’ plan covers the IVF process, including pre-screening costs, medication, the actual IVF procedure, counseling and therapy, and any travel over 250 miles from their home to the IVF clinic of their choice.  — PR Newswire

Humana launched an Apple watch app that allows users to order prescriptions. It’s an expansion of an app initially launched for iPhones in 2014. — Louisville Business First

TECHNOLOGY

Amino has tweaked some of its physcian search engine components. Now users can search for physicians based on their location to their home rather than having to enter criteria like, withing five miles away, etc. It also added a more nuanced approach to specialty physician results. Not only can you view them by specialty but by who focuses on which procedures. — Amino blog

The former CEO of Geisinger Health Systems, Dr. Glenn Steele, who is currently the vice chairman of its spin-off data analytics company xG Solutions, has been named vice chairman of the Health Transformation Alliance. — PR Newswire

Less than half of caregivers with a smartphone use apps aimed at caregivers, according to a report by Parks Associates. — MobiHealthNews

POLITICS

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island) a co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, is cool with the FDA’s draft cybersecurity guidelines for medical devices. There’s been a push to tighten up regulations as more medical devices connect to the Internet of Things. — The Hill

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

Bundled payments are leading to an unexpected employer benefit from the likes of employers such as Lowe’s: free surgery. —  Kaiser Health News

Photo: Bigstock

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