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PBM Bear Thesis Update: The AWP Alternatives Will Soon Be Here

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule replacing average wholesale price (AWP) as a basis for reimbursing pharmacies for generic drugs dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries will be published this August. The rule will be effective as early

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May 21, 2013 – Data Center Spending: We Don’t Get Fooled Again!

The data center virtualization cycle that drove enterprise spending over the past decade has peaked. IT managers are now looking to a future where many of their applications will be handled by web-scale distributed cloud data centers with dramatic cost

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SSR Index of Current-Quarter Healthcare Demand Growth, Initial 2Q13 Estimate

We expect 2.9% (nominal) y/y growth in US health services demand during 2Q13, the product of 1.5% growth in unit demand, and 1.4% price growth. Unit demand growth remains very slow; the projected 1.4% rate is below the inherent rate

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Buckle Up! A Summary of Adverse Selection Pressures on Health Insurance Exchanges

For most households, the marginal costs of acquiring health coverage on an exchange are within shouting distance of the annual cost of a new car (Exhibit 1); and, the odds of health costs (if uninsured) exceeding costs of coverage (if

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Getting Left Behind – Hard For Industrials To Keep Pace With This Market

Early in the year we commented on the relative high value of most of the Industrials and Materials sectors and suggested that it would be hard for the group to outperform a rising market.  The market has been rising quite

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Cheap, Shy, or Just Misbehaving? PFE Sells Viagra Direct to Consumers

PFE announced direct to consumer sales of Viagra; orders placed on Viagra.com will require a legitimate US prescription, and will be filled by CVS Viagra is a perennial favorite of drug counterfeiters. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)

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May 1, 2013 – Qualcomm: Whadda We Gotta Do to Get Some Respect Around Here!

Consensus expects Qualcomm’s sales and earnings growth to sharply decelerate, with investors even more skeptical, worried that the company’s lucrative IPR licensing business will slow with cheaper phones and royalty rate challenges. We disagree. QCOM’s addressable market will grow with

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Why Smaller Employers Will Shift to Self-Funding; Who Wins and Loses

Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions stand to increase smaller (≤ 100 employee) employers’ premium costs by 20 percent or more in 2014, before accounting for medical trend (+/- 6 pct) The ACA provisions driving the premium increase for smaller employers

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SSR Index of Current-Quarter Healthcare Demand Growth, Final 1Q13 Estimate

We expect 3.7% (nominal) y/y growth in US health services demand during 1Q13, the product of 1.9% growth in unit demand, and 1.8% price growth; unchanged from the 3.7% actual growth rate in 4Q12. Unit demand growth remains very slow;

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Confidence Gone? – If So, It’s a Long Way Down for Some; A Buying Opportunity for Others

Our measure of skepticism shows whether investors are concerned that things might get worse from here or confident that they will get better. It is a measure of whether current valuations reflect current returns of capital (so by definition in

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