Press review

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Small pharma companies excluded from tax incentives for R&D - German lobby

BERLIN, 24 May (APM) - German pharma lobby BPI said that small and middle-sized companies would not profit from the tax incentives for companies' research and development (R&D) under a new bill, reported German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Under the bill, the incentives would be given on staff costs for research departments, which small and middle-sized companies often do not have: they usually commission external research facilities to carry out experiments or trials, FAZ reported on Thursday (p6).
A provision in the bill is missing to clarify that the commissioning company - which is bearing the economic risk - is eligible for the incentives, FAZ quoted BPI's general manager Kai Joachimsen as saying.
The bill on "research support" was initially proposed by the Ministry of Finance to support small and mediumn-sized companies (APMHE 61932). The bill was approved by the ministerial cabinet on Wednesday and it is scheduled to come into force in January 2020, FAZ said.

Monsanto kept name lists for several European countries

Bayer said that Monsanto's lists of supportive and critical stakeholders on pesticides covered not only France but also Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and UK as well as stakeholders related to EU institutions, FAZ (p25) and Sueddeutsche (p17) reported on Wednesday and Handelsblatt (p22-23) on Thursday.
The mapping, revealed last week by French media (APMHE 62952), includes journalists, politicians, scientists and other stakeholders.
Law firm Sidley Austin, which Bayer hired in the face of an independent investigation, will contact affected people.
Several former Monsanto managers complained about Bayer's position on Monsanto's business practices and threatened to leave the German group in a crop science team meeting, Handelsblatt wrote.

Health Ministry's legislation to increase costs for health insurers

The current and future legislation projects by the Health Ministry could lead to increasing costs for statutory health insurers that would affect all insurees, SZ reports on Friday (p17).
Recent bills and laws could grant more money to pharmacists (APMHE 62627), hospitals, physicians (APMHE 60667) and health IT start-ups (APMHE 63010), SZ says.
Health insurance contributions could increase to 25% of the insurees' income during 40 years, whereas the contributions amount to roughly 15% today.

German pharma lagging behind in international competition

The major German pharma companies are lagging behind international competitors, according to an EY report, FAZ (p20) and SZ (p17) said on Tuesday.
Turnover of the three largest German pharma companies - Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck KGaA- decreased by 0.3% in 2018 while the average turnover among the 22 largest pharma companies worldwide grew by 0.9%.
Profits of German companies declined by 2%, albeit to roughly the same extent as those of the global conglomerates as a whole.
German companies, which used to be world market leaders, ranked now in 14th place (Bayer), 18th (Boehringer) and 22th (Merck).

Narasimhan is Novartis' 'golden boy'

Weekly Manager Magazin on Friday (p38-42) portrays Novartis's chief executive Vas Narasimhan as the company's "golden boy", who "sees his job as a mission".
Narasimhan, the youngest CEO among global pharmaceutical giants, was mentored by chairman Jörg Rheinhard, who hired him in 2007 as project manager in the vaccine division.
Narasimhan who has a straightforward way of managing, has reshaped the group in 16 months and made large and risky investments in gene therapies.

Fresenius has no plans for major acquisitions

Fresenius is not planning any major acquisitions in the near future, reported FAZ on Saturday (p22).
There are hardly any suitable targets on the market at present, chief executive Stefan Sturm said at the annual meeting last week, confirming earlier declarations (APMHE 62599).

Evotec buys U.S. biologics specialist Just Biotherapeutics

German biotech Evotec is planning to buy U.S. biologics specialist Just Biotherapeutics for up to $90 million in cash, reported FAZ on Wednesday (p21).
The acquisition will open new growth opportunities as Evotec will diversify its business into biologics.

Abacus's second attempt to float in Germany

Danish pharmaceutical importer Abacus Medicine is making a second attempt to become a public company, Handelsblatt says on Friday (p37).
The company is planning to raise up to €79.2 million from its flotation on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The price range for the share was set at €14.50 to €16.
In October 2018, the company cancelled its first attempt due to uncertain stock markets (APMHE 59938).

Major payer launches electronic patient file

Major German health insurer TK launched the first nationwide payer-managed electronic patient file on Monday, reported FAZ on Monday (p18).
TK's 10 million members will be able to store their health data in one place and manage them themselves with their smartphones via the app "TK-Safe", developed in cooperation with IBM Germany.
Other payers plan to launch similar electronic patient file before 2021, when it will an obligation by law for all health insurance companies.
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