Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau is signalling he won’t introduce a big-tick- et universal plan to cover drug costs, opting instead for a cheaper solution that helps the uninsured. With Morneau announcing the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.

The pet product industry is expanding at a record pace as companies in other sectors jump into the market. Last year, packaged foods in the U.S. grew 1.2 percent, while retail pet foods grew more than 6.0 percent, according to the research firm Euromonitor. In 2013, Americans spent approximately $55.7 billion on pet products, according to the American Pet Products Associa- tion. That number jumped to $66 billion in 2016 and is estimated at nearly $70 billion in 2017, with $29 billion to $30 billion spent on pet food alone. Cigna to buy Express Scripts

U.S. health insurer Cigna announced that it will buy pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts for about $54 billion, the latest deal in the sector aimed at tackling soaring healthcare costs.

The move follows the $69 billion merger of insurer Aetna and drugstore chain CVS Health announced last December, and highlights a sector-wide trend toward deals between companies that do not have directly overlapping operations.

Microsoft seeks business frommedical firms moving to cloud as its platform appeals to larger, highly regulat- ed customers in the industry where rival Amazon does better with health startups. While many of Microsoft’s health-care products and ideas are not new, large conservative medical firms and practices are more likely to trust the company because it’s a familiar partner in the past.



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