"It is not so hard to earn money as to spend it well."

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Justine Cadet,
News Editor

This statement from 19 th century British Baptist preacher C.H. Spurgeon embodies the bold, yet trepidatious, ideology behind those cardiovascular vendors who still possess liquid portfolios. In spite of, and maybe because of the unpredictable market, device makers and pharmaceutical companies are making strides to bulk up their cardiovascular pipelines.

First, U.S. implantable heart pump maker Thoratec is in the process of acquiring its Australian rival HeartWare for $282 million. When the merger is finalized, HeartWare's operations will be integrated into Thoratec's cardiovascular division.

In the meantime, Novartis has purchased Portola Pharmaceutical's proprietary IV and oral Elinogrel ADP receptor antagonist—currently in phase 2 clinical development—for $575 million. The Swiss-based Novartis is most likely hoping to grab a chunk of the anti-clotting drug market, currently dominated by Plavix, which reaped in $7.8 billion dollars in 2008.

Also, certain bigger deals may continue to loom on the horizon. Sanofi-Aventis' new CEO Christopher A. Viehbacher has hinted that the company could be interested in making certain smaller acquisitions-nothing to the scale of Pfizer's $68 billion nab of Wyeth-but perhaps mid-sized deals with growth potential.

In a glance away from industry, Spurgeon's statement could be considered when weighing the salaries of hospital administrators. This week, the IRS released a report about salaries of non-profit hospital CEOs, revealing that the average salary is $500,000, which the agency questioned as a proper allocation of funds.

On these topics, or any others, feel free to contact me.

Justine Cadet, News Editor