Gary W. Herschman and Anjana D. Patel, Members of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Newark office, were quoted in Bloomberg BNA Health Law & Business, in “Health-Care Deals Drop in February, Uncertainty Ahead Amid Crisis,” by Sara Hansard.

Following is an excerpt:

Health-care transactions in February outpaced deal volume from February 2019, but they were down considerably from January. It likely won’t be clear until summer how deals will be affected by the new coronavirus pandemic. …

Late Spring for Full Picture

The outlook for the rest of the year remains to be seen due to the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

“The global coronavirus pandemic really hit our country hard in March, and we don’t expect to get a full picture of its real impact on health-care M&A volume until late this spring,” Gary Herschman, a member of Epstein Becker & Green in Newark, N.J., said.

Some deals in process may be impacted by the resulting instability in the financial markets, but private equity funds and large companies are still actively pursuing deals because the health-care industry “is largely recession-proof,” Herschman said.

By summer it should be clear if there was a dip in new activity in the pipeline that started in the March to April timeframe, Herschman said. …

Innovation Drives Life Science Deals

The high deal volume for life science and pharmaceuticals in February and over the last year has been driven by “innovation and regulatory focus on drug pricing and transparency,” Anjana Patel, a member of Epstein Becker Green’s health-care and life sciences practices in the Newark and New York offices, said.

Physician services remain a continuing area of interest to investors, to both private equity and health systems, with new transactions in eye care, dermatology, primary care, orthopedics, and fertility/women’s health practices, Patel said.

The medical device and supplies sector “continues to see an upward tick in the number of transactions, and there are no signs that this will be slowing any time soon,” Patel said.

Health information technology also “remains an area of great interest for investors as vendors try to leverage the increasing importance of data and how it is collected and utilized within the health-care industry to achieve lucrative outcomes,” Patel said.

But hospital and health systems deal volume dropped from a year ago, Patel said. “This may be a result of significant consolidation in this sector, with current deals involving smaller community and rural hospitals merging with larger urban systems.”

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