July 22, 2015 / 3:57 PM / 5 years ago

Healthcare M&A tops full-year record - and it's only July

LONDON (Reuters) - Healthcare deal-making scaled a new peak on Wednesday with mergers and acquisitions so far in 2015 reaching $395.8 billion, topping the full-year record of $392.4 billion set in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The scorecard was tipped into record territory by St. Jude Medical Inc’s STJ.N decision to buy smaller rival Thoratec Corp THOR.O for more than $3 billion, giving it more devices for patients with heart failure.

Healthcare has seen an unprecedented wave of deals since the start of 2014, stretching from large drugmakers buying up smaller rivals to consolidation among makers of generic medicines to tie-ups between insurers.

Overall deal-making this year in healthcare is up 78 percent on a year ago, with pharmaceutical businesses accounting for 49 percent of tie-ups, followed by healthcare providers (32 percent) and biotech companies (10 percent).

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Susan Thomas

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