Mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry surged in the second quarter of 2011, setting a pace to break all previous records in the sector as measured by dollars, according to Norwalk, CT-based Irving Levin Associates, Inc.
In the second quarter of 2011, a total of $73.5 billion was spent to finance 243 mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry, up 44% from the $51.1 billion spent in the first quarter of 2011, and up 61% from the $45.7 billion spent in the second quarter of 2010.
Medical devices ($33.1 billion), pharmaceuticals ($27.4 billion), biotechnology ($4.9 billion), and E-health ($639 million) accounted for $66.1 billion of the mergers and acquisitions in the second quarter.
Sanford Steever, editor of The Health Care M&A Report told HealthLeaders Media in an interview that the pace of mergers and acquisitions suggests that healthcare still remains a fragmented industry.
"In pharma and biotech in particular, there are a lot of drugs facing patent cliffs right now -- 2012 is going to be a horrendous year for some of the big drug companies," Steever says. "If they can't develop new blockbusters internally, they are going to try to buy them by acquiring biotechs. At the other end of the spectrum some have glommed on to the 'if-you-can't-beat-them-join-them' bandwagon and they're buying generic drug companies."
Steever says drug companies feel the need to diversify. "With medical devices, for them there is definitely a spurt in technological innovation.