Cholestech (Hayward, California) has acquired Health Net (Hammond, Louisiana), which provides cholesterol, lipid, glucose, hemoglobin A1c and osteoporosis testing to consumers across the U.S. Warren Pinckert II, Cholestech president and CEO, said Health Net will be "the cornerstone of WellCheck, our new national testing service. WellCheck Inc. will be responsible for ongoing testing programs in retail venues, promotional venues, and corporate facilities and will be a primary vehicle for attracting members to our website,, scheduled to be launched early this summer."

Laerdal Medical (LMC; Wappingers Falls, New York) has purchased what it termed its "valued collaborator and industry partner," Medical Plastics Laboratory (MPL; Gatesville, Texas). The two companies produce therapeutic and training manikins for offerings in basic and advanced life support, defibrillation training and trauma training. LMC produces Resusci Anne, a widely used CPR training manikin, and Heartstart automated external defibrillators. Financial details were not reported.

Pall (East Hills, New York) said it will buy certain assets of Instrumentation Laboratory SpA, including a 63,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and equipment in Ascoli, Italy, used to manufacture sterile, disposable systems for the collection, processing, storage and transfusion of blood products. The transaction is expected to close by month's end. Pall said the additional plant enhances its ability "to provide the highest levels of service and support. Combined with our strong alliance with the manufacturing arm of the Austrian Red Cross, Pall is well positioned to meet the growing needs of the European markets."

Total Renal Care Holdings (Torrance, California), the second-largest international provider of integrated dialysis services, completed previously announced plans to sell its dialysis businesses in Argentina, Europe, Puerto Rico and Hawaii for approximately $161 million, including the assumption of $3 million in debt, to Fresenius Medical Care AG.

Control of the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor was considered one of the key factors in last month's acquisition of Warner Lambert (W-L; Morris Plains, New Jersey) by Pfizer (New York), according to industry observers. Though developed by W-L, Pfizer was a co-marketer of the drug and receives half of the drug's revenues, which last year totaled $5 billion. That arrangement was clearly threatened when American Home Products (Madison, New Jersey) proposed purchase of W-L and Pfizer immediately countered with a higher offer. To be called Pfizer, the merged company will be the largest drug maker in the U.S.