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Accounting News Roundup: EY and LinkedIn; CAQ and Cathy Engelbert; Pfizer and Allergan | 10.30.15

EY and LinkedIn
Here's the buzziest press release you'll read today from EY and LinkedIn, announcing an "Exclusive alliance":

EY’s extensive business transformation knowledge, data analytic capabilities and global reach, combined with LinkedIn’s platform and network of more than 400m professionals around the globe, can effectively transform relationship management. Together, the two organizations will help companies develop deeper and more trusted customer relationships through the use of social and data analytics. This strategic relationship will lead to collaboration on the co-creation of solutions and services.

The joint offering will leverage social media as an element of building relationships with buyers. With the right tools and strategy in place, this platform has the power to build a positive reputation, unearth buried insights and establish key contacts for anyone in a revenue-generating role. In the future, there is also tremendous opportunity to drive innovation around EY’s organizational strength and LinkedIn’s platform.

The whole thing is breathless and confusing, but after reading it a couple of times, I think the news is that EY is partnering with LinkedIn and the details are a work-in-process. The whole thing mirrors the announcement EY made about a partnership with Microsoft earlier this year.

CAQ and Cathy Engelbert
A slightly less buzzy press release is this one from the CAQ announcing Cathy Engelbert as the new chairman of its governing board. She replaces Bob Moritz who spent two two-year terms as the chair.

Taxes Drive Potential Merger of Pfizer, Allergan [WSJ]
Inversions are alive and well and the CEO of Pfizer, Ian Read, says he basically had no choice:

“We’re fighting with one hand tied behind our back,” Mr. Read said in an interview. While declining to comment on the Allergan talks, he said Pfizer was “doing what we need to do to ensure that we can continue to innovate.”

Such a takeover would create a pharmaceutical colossus, with a market value likely exceeding $300 billion. It would rank as one of the largest corporate mergers ever and push this year’s deal-making further into record territory. 

Inversions will make for fine political fodder over the next 13 months.

Philidor Said to Modify Prescriptions to Boost Valeant Sales [Bloomberg]
Rules around insurance and healthcare are confusing, but people who know about these things do not like the looks of this:

Workers at the mail-order pharmacy, Philidor RX Services LLC, were given written instructions to change codes on prescriptions in some cases so it would appear that physicians required or patients desired Valeant’s brand-name drugs — not less expensive generic versions — be dispensed, the former employees said. Typically, pharmacists will sell a generic version if not precisely told to do otherwise by a “dispense as written” indication on a script. The more "dispense as written" orders, the more sales for the brand-name drugmaker.

An undated Philidor document obtained by Bloomberg provides a step-by-step guide on how to proceed when a prescription for Valeant dermatological creams and gels including Retin-A Micro and Vanos is rejected. Similar instructions for changing the DAW indication are supplied for patients who are paying in cash.

Yeah, that sounds pretty bad. So bad in fact that Valeant has cut ties with Philidor. There's more from John Hempton at Bronte Capital and ProPublica. Also, one of Valeant's largest shareholders, Sequoia Fund, Inc., had two board members quit. There's so much news around this I can't really keep up, but it's all pretty fascinating.

In other news:

  • The SEC is voting on crowdfunding rules. [WSJ]
  • Thanks Becker for reminding me I'm in the right profession [r/accounting]
  • Australian accents. [The Age]
  • The End of Craft Beer [Grub Street]
  • Colin Powell will continue being a Republican "because it annoys them." [CNN]