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July 8, 2013
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Eli Lilly and Co. and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH submitted their long-acting insulin for market approval in Europe, using the pathway for generic biotech, or biosimilar, drugs. If approved, the drug, known as insulin glargine, would finally allow Indianapolis-based Lilly to catch up with competitors Sanofi-Aventis SA and Novo Nordisk N/A in offering a once-a-day insulin for diabetics. France-based Sanofi launched the first long-acting insulin, Lantus, in 2000. Denmark-based Novo followed with its own version, Levemir, in 2004. Analysts predict sales of Lilly’s insulin glargine could top $1 billion by 2020, with some of that revenue flowing to Germany-based Boehringer.

The federal Medicare issued a mostly negative reimbursement proposal for Eli Lilly and Co.’s Amyvid imaging agent for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in living patients. According to Bloomberg News, the federal health plan for seniors will pay for the brain scans using Lilly’s drug only for patients participating in approved clinical studies. The $3,000 test, approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, identifies clusters of the brain protein amyloid, which is an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, such protein clusters could be viewed only during an autoposy. The ruling is an unexpected setback for Amyvid after European Union regulators endorsed it in January. Lilly paid $300 million in 2010 to acquire the drug and its developer, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc.

The private equity firms that own Warsaw-based Biomet Inc. want their money back, according to the Financial Times. They are considering relisting the maker of orthopedic implants as a public company or selling it whole to other investors, the London newspaper reported, citing three unnamed sources. Biomet was purchased in 2007 for $11.4 billion by four private equity firms: Blackstone, KKR, TPG and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs. The volume of hip and knee surgeries has declined since Biomet was purchased, but Biomet’s financial performance has improved, anyway. The company concluded its most recent fiscal year with $3 billion in sales and $946 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Still, the Financial Times says current stock prices for Biomet’s competitors suggest the company may have a value of $8 billion—less than what its owners paid for it.

Major Health Partners will decide in the next six months whether to spend $23 million to maintain its existing hospital in downtown Shelbyville or spend $100 million to build a new hospital in the Intelliplex business park north of town. According to the Shelbyville News, Major Health Partners has been gradually moving to Intelliplex since 2005, opening outpatient centers focused on oncology, orthopedics, cardiology and obstetrics. Now hospital officials have drawn up tentative plans to build a 240,000-square-foot facility in Intelliplex. Major officials also said they could build a “shell” facility at Intelliplex and then add services there, while maintaining its existing, 61-bed hospital. “At some point, we will have to move, but when do we pull the trigger? That is the tough question," Major CEO Jack Horner told the Shelbyville News. Major, which is owned by the city of Shelbyville, will hold community forums before making a decision.

Indiana University Health lost a four-month battle to convince the Illinois Medicaid program to pay for a multi-organ transplant for two patients. The surgeries were expected to cost more than $1 million each, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, yet no hospitals in Illinois are capable of performing them. That’s why the two patients, a 32-year-old woman and a 67-year-old woman, came to IU Health in Indianapolis. An ethics panel called the procedures, which IU Health’s surgeons have performed 38 times, experimental. Also, the Illinois Medicaid program cited a dearth of resources in declining to cover the procedures.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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