Medication spending likely to ease in future
Growth in global spending on medications will slow over the next four years because of new low-cost generic drugs coming to pharmacies in the U.S. and other developed countries, along with slower increases in what those countries spend on brand-name drugs, according to a new forecast.
That’s good news for patients and the employers, and government health programs that help pay for drugs. IMS Health’s latest forecast on global medicine sales and trends predicts total spending will rise from about $956 billion in 2011 to just under $1.2 trillion in 2016. Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson shareholders suing management for not fixing serious problems for years — from shoddy manufacturing to paying kickbacks to boost sales — have reached a tentative settlement with the health care giant.
The deal calls for a new committee of independent board members to get reports about legal and quality problems directly from key executives so they can address them right away. The plaintiffs claim Johnson & Johnson’s decentralized management gave top executives and board “plausible deniability” as problems worsened. The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits plunged last week. But a big reason is that automakers have skipped some of their usual summer shutdowns to keep up with demand, causing fewer temporary auto layoffs.
Economists expect the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid to go back up in coming weeks.
The auto industry’s recovery has helped support the struggling U.S. economy. U.S. auto sales in the first half of the year jumped 15 percent over the same period a year ago. The Food and Drug Administration plans to create a public database of 100,000 foodborne germs in an effort to speed up the government’s response to outbreaks of salmonella, E. coli and other food-related diseases.
The five-year effort aims to sequence the genetic code of the most common foodborne germs. With this information, the FDA said, scientists may be able to create tests that can identify foodborne germs in a matter of days, rather than weeks. Every year about 48 million people in the U.S. get sick from foodborne bacteria. The carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, struggling with a deep slump in sales in crisis-torn southern Europe, said Thursday that it would cut 8,000 jobs in France and shut a plant near Paris.
The news was met with an outcry of protest from French unions, increasing the pressure on President Francois Hollande, who is trying to stimulate an economy in near-recession at the same time as he cuts public borrowing.
The factory would be the first major automotive plant to be shut down in France in two decades. News Tribune news services
J&J shareholders reach settlement Jobless claims drop last week FDA to build database of foodborne germs Peugeot will eliminate 8,000 jobs, close plant