How the Pfizer-Allergan deal has completed healthcare's M&A explosion
The pharmaceutical merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has been on a record-breaking pace throughout the year, and it recently just got the icing on the cake.
Drugmaking giant Pfizer is close to completing its deal to purchase Allergan for over $150 billion, which will bring the total value of healthcare mergers and acquisitions to over $600 million in 2015.
RELATED TOPIC: Health care M&A activity continues to soar in 2015
That would be a record-breaking achievement for the sector, as large pharmaceutical companies have been buying smaller competitors in mass since 2014. This latest arrangement will put healthcare ahead of both technology and energy as the top deal-making sector.
The deal between Viagra-producer Pfizer and Botox-maker Allergan is the largest ever in the healthcare industry, topping Pfizer’s purchase of pharma company Warner-Lamebert for $90 million back in 1999.
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It is also the second-biggest deal of all time overall, eclipsing Anheuser-Busch’s $117 million purchase of SABMiller earlier in the year. The only larger merger was British telecom giant Vodafone’s $172 million purchase of Germany’s Mannesmann in 2000.
Pfizer is heavily involved in M&A, as it has been involved in six of the pharmaceutical industry’s top-20 deals. It will also make Pfizer the biggest drug company in the world with 110,000 employees, $63.5 billion in sales and $9 billion in yearly research spending.
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With just over five weeks remaining in 2015, this year’s M&A value is up to $3.42 trillion, matching the total from all of 2007. Eight transactions this year are worth over $50 billion, while there were only two deals of that size in 2014 and one in 2013.
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Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!