Health Care Flat, Traders Hedge on Growth View -- Health Care Roundup

FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Shares of health-care companies were flat as traders hedged their bets on the outlook for the sector's growth.

The second half of 2017 was marked by a wave of mergers that crossed traditional lines as drug store CVS Health agreed to buy insurer Aetna, among other silo-breaking deals.

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Such deals are a result of adjustments to a reshaped health-care system in the U.S. and a likely slowdown in drug-price increases. Further, the price of health insurance looks set to rise in Affordable Care Act exchanges as a key tenet of that law, the penalty for not carrying insurance, was repealed under the Republican tax-cut bill.

The path forward for Apotex is uncertain following the sudden death of founder and Chairman Barry Sherman, who was the architect of the generic drugmaker's litigation-heavy strategy. Apotex was known for challenging drug companies' patents in court, allowing it to become the first to market with generic versions when such litigation succeeded.

A federal jury found Evan Greebel, a former corporate lawyer, guilty of charges that he helped former drug executive Martin Shkreli defraud Retrophin, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company that Mr. Shkreli helped found.

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 28, 2017 17:21 ET (22:21 GMT)