Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Acquisitions, Investments and Licenses - Acquisition Narrative (Details)

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Acquisitions, Investments and Licenses - Acquisition Narrative (Details) - USD ($)
$ / shares in Units, $ in Thousands
1 Months Ended 2 Months Ended 3 Months Ended 5 Months Ended 9 Months Ended
Aug. 31, 2016
Aug. 31, 2015
May 31, 2015
Sep. 30, 2016
Sep. 30, 2015
Sep. 30, 2016
Sep. 30, 2015
Sep. 30, 2015
Sep. 30, 2016
Sep. 30, 2015
Dec. 31, 2015
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Purchase price allocation adjustment, decrease in goodwill                 $ 45,714    
Income tax benefit           $ 19,988 $ 92,978   24,626 $ 87,218  
Reduction of goodwill       $ (700,526)   (700,526)     (700,526)   $ (743,348)
Common Stock                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Stock price per share (in dollars per share) $ 9.10 $ 12.38 $ 13.88                
Transition Therapeutics                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Consideration transferred $ 58,500                    
Revenue       0              
Net income (loss)       (500)              
Reduction of goodwill $ (3,453)                    
Transition Therapeutics | Common Stock                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Common stock received 6,431,899                    
Bio-Reference                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Consideration transferred   $ 950,148                  
Revenue         $ 102,100            
Net income (loss)         $ 6,800            
Value of replacement stock option awards   2,259                  
Purchase price allocation adjustment, other current assets                 38,900    
Purchase price allocation adjustment, decrease in goodwill                 49,200    
Purchase price allocation adjustment, decrease in accrued expenses                 500    
Purchase price allocation adjustment, income taxes payable                 600    
Purchase price allocation adjustment, decrease in deferred tax liability                 8,000    
Purchase price allocation adjustment, increase in amortization                 2,600    
Reduction of goodwill   $ (391,991)   (392,000)   (392,000)     (392,000)    
Useful life   13 years                  
Bio-Reference | Common Stock                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Common stock received   76,566,147                  
Acquired entity share price (in dollars per share)   $ 34.05                  
EirGen                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Consideration transferred     $ 133,800                
Revenue               $ 7,600      
Net income (loss)               $ (100)      
Value of replacement stock option awards     33,600                
Reduction of goodwill     $ (83,373)                
Useful life     15 years                
Cash paid at closing date     $ 100,200                
EirGen | Common Stock                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Common stock received     2,420,487                
Other intangible assets | Bio-Reference                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Purchase price allocation adjustment, other intangible assets                 7,800    
Trade Names | Bio-Reference                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Useful life   5 years                  
Customer Relationships | Bio-Reference                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Purchase price allocation adjustment, other intangible assets                 5,400    
Useful life   19 years 100 days                  
Customer Relationships | EirGen                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Useful life     15 years 290 days                
Technology | Bio-Reference                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Useful life   10 years 60 days                  
Currently Marketed Products | EirGen                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Useful life     10 years                
Change in Income Tax Accounting Method                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Income tax benefit                 51,700    
Other Current Assets and Prepaid Expenses | Change in Income Tax Accounting Method                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Income tax benefit                 39,400    
Reduction of goodwill       $ 51,700   $ 51,700     51,700    
Deferred Tax Liabilities | Change in Income Tax Accounting Method                      
Business Acquisition [Line Items]                      
Income tax benefit                 $ 12,300