THE OUTLOOK FOR HEALTH CARE IN 2023:

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November 8, 2022

Around the nation: Walgreens subsidiary may soon close $9B deal with Summit Health

Daily Briefing

    Walgreens Boots Alliance's primary care subsidiary, Village Practice Management, has agreed to buy Summit Health, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and Illinois.

    • California: Clorox last month voluntarily recalled roughly 37 million bottles of scented Pine-Sol cleaner, citing concerns of potential bacterial contamination in the products. According to a company spokesperson, Pine-Sol's research and development team detected Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacteria commonly found in water and soil, in "certain recalled products" during a "routine product review. Although there have not yet been any reports of illness or injury from the affected products, Clorox said it issued the recall "in an abundance of caution" since individuals with external medical devices or with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of severe infection. The affected products were produced at a Clorox plant in Georgia between January 2021 and September 2022 and have printed codes that begin with "A4" followed by a five-digit number under 22249. They were sold at major national retailers, as well as online. Currently, Clorox has set up a website where customers can request refunds if they purchased one of the recalled products. (Chung, New York Times, 10/26)
    • District of Columbia: Cancer-linked "forever chemicals" have been detected in children's textiles, as well as pet food packaging, according to a new study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). These chemicals, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), can wear off of products containing them as dust, and exposure has been linked to several health conditions, including thyroid disease, testicular cancer, and kidney cancer. According to lab tests conducted by EWG, total fluorine, which is a marker for possible PFAS presence, was found in all 34 children textile samples, which included bibs, bedding, clothing, playmats, and more. In addition, PFAS were also detected in pet food packaging for both cats and dogs. "It's almost impossible to avoid PFAS, because as these tests confirm, they're prevalent in all aspects of our daily lives," said Sydney Evans, a science analyst at EWG who led the project. (Udasin, The Hill, 11/3)
    • Illinois: Walgreens Boots Alliance's primary care center subsidiary, Village Practice Management, may soon close on an approximately $9 billion deal to combine with Summit Health, which owns the CityMD urgent care chain, the Wall Street Journal reports. The companies confirmed that a deal was agreed to on Monday. If the deal goes forward, health insurer Cigna is expected to invest in the new combined company. This potential merger is the latest in a string of acquisitions by large retailers who are hoping to increase their foothold in the medical care industry. (Cooper, Wall Street Journal, 11/6)

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