Walgreens Boots Alliance on Thursday announced that it has sold around $1 billion in shares of AmerisourceBergen to help fund VillageMD's purchase of Summit Health-CityMD, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Illinois, New York, and Texas.
- Illinois: Walgreens Boots Alliance has sold shares of AmerisourceBergen to help fund VillageMD's purchase of Summit Health-CityMD. On Thursday, Walgreens announced that it publicly sold common stock for around $800 million and AmerisourceBergen repurchased roughly $200 million of Walgreens' holdings in the company, reducing Walgreens' ownership of AmerisourceBergen from around 20% to roughly 17%. In total, Walgreens has sold almost $4 billion in AmerisourceBergen stock in 2022. According to Walgreens, the proceeds from the most recent sell off will be used to pay down debt and fund strategic moves, including its $9 billion deal for VillageMD to purchase Summit Health-CityMD. (Asplund, Crain's Chicago Business/Modern Healthcare, 12/9)
- New York: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) on Friday issued a health advisory encouraging residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. As respiratory illnesses and high levels of hospitalizations increase, DOHMH also recommended wearing a mask when people are sick and cannot distance from others. "The holiday season is about togetherness and there is a way to gather safely — even as respiratory viruses in our city are unusually high," said New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan. "It starts with protecting yourself. Vaccination and boosters are critical but so are common sense precautions like masking when indoors or among crowds and staying home if you don't feel well," he added. "Also, get tested before getting together, and get treated quickly if you test positive." (Choi, The Hill, 12/9)
- Texas: U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker on Wednesday blocked an FDA rule that would require graphic health warnings on cigarette containers and advertisements. After the FDA rule was finalized in March 2020, several companies, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, ITG Brands LLC, and Liggett Group LLC, sued in April 2020 to block the rule. The companies claimed that the rule was unconstitutional, saying it forced them to promote an anti-smoking message. Ultimately, Barker ruled that FDA's rule, which was set to take effect in October 2023, violated cigarette companies' rights under the First Amendment. (Pierson, Reuters, 12/8)