Getting a share.

IPN remains listed on the stockmarket following the rejection of a move to cancel all shares in IPN not owned by Sonic Healthcare. In March, an announcement was made that IPN would pay 8c per share capital to all shareholders other than Sonic, leaving Sonic as 100% owner. Last year Sonic made a proportional takeover bid for IPN netting 72% of share capital. The reduction in capital was seen as a mop-up. Interests associated with Dr Edmund Bateman emerged with a 6% shareholding in IPN after the move was announced. A special meeting vote on the proposal to reduce capital was defeated 103 million to 52 million. Analysts observed other shareholders apart from Edmund Bateman would have voted against the proposal. IPN continues to trade between 7-7.5c. Punters expect Sonic to return with another mop-up proposal.

Corporate shudders.

From the ‘ouch’ file, the New York Times reports that Bristol Myers Squibb has agreed to pay US$300m to settle a US Justice Department investigation into its accounting practices. Last year BMS paid fines of $150m and civil settlements of $390m. The investigations allege BMS paid wholesalers to stockpile inventory thereby allowing the company to claim greater sales and increased profits, a practice described as “channel stuffing”. The company has also agreed to set-up government supervised compliance disclosure and ethics programs.

Cancer capers.

The Brownes Cancer Support Centre at the SCGHosp recently received $45,000 from Appealathon on top of the $230,000 already donated by Brownes Dairy. The Centre, under director Dr David Joske, provides free complementary therapies such as massage and Reike for cancer patients and is researching outcomes. Thus far, patient surveys have shown an overall improvement in their wellbeing and help with managing pain, nausea and fatigue. Across town, a new Cancer Centre at SJOGHosp Subiaco is to go ahead. Perth businessman Jack Bendat has reportedly donated $5m towards construction and has called on other wealthy businessmen as well as the State Government to contribute.

Detainee aftershock.

Following on our piece on the Baxter Dr Detainee (July edition), Dr Don Reid says doctors with some experience of refugee or detainee health care are invited to put their oar in with the People’s Inquiry into Detention at www.achssw.com or email linda.briskman@rmit.edu.au This inquiry is independent from political processes.

Ramsays stalled.

The ACCC has invited further comment on Ramsay Health Care’s acquisition of Affinity Health’s hospitals across Australia, with Victoria, NSW and Queensland interests being the stumbling blocks to its final competition analysis. It is happy with the carve up of WA hospitals that sees the Mount stay with Affinity while Attadale, Glengarry and Joondalup will go to Ramsays. And Hollywood Private Hospital may lose its DVA Tier 1 status in February next year when the system comes under review, so consolidation within the hospital group will take on a new dimension.

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