Wednesday 13 March 2019

The great bribe-the-distributor US drug pricing scam

The US Senate Finance Committee recently conducted a hearing investigating galloping list prices for US drugs, quizzing the chiefs of a number of pharmaceutical giants. One of the key messages from these drug companies was that their 'net' received prices, after paying significant rebates to PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) and insurance companies, are considerably less than 'list' drug prices, and that furthermore, their net prices had been rising at very modest rates, in comparison to spiralling list prices, or even falling. They blamed middlemen for escalating drug prices.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Is another tech bust coming?

The technology sector (referring to online services, and to a lesser extent, SaaS, which is somewhat different in the B2B space) has been one of the strongest stock market performers over the past decade. Growth rates in users and top-line have been incredible, but with a relatively small handful of exceptions (Facebook, Google, Tencent, Alibaba, Expedia & Priceline, and a few others), profitability has been vanishingly rare. However, managers with heavy technology exposure - either in the listed or unlisted space - have nevertheless made a tonne of mark-to-market/capital-raising-valuation profits, as valuations have escalated alongside galloping top line and user growth.