Off Label Drug Marketing Costs Pfizer:
So you go to your doctor,she gives you medicine. So far so good. Within the limits of ethics and good medical practice,she can prescribe almost anything she wants to treat whatever ailment you have. Where it gets tricky is when you bring pharmaceutical manufacturers into the equation.
They can only market the drugs they make to treat the specific illnesses the FDA has approved it to treat. To do otherwise is what you call off-label marketing. And that is why Pfizer’s going have to come up with $2.3 billion in civil and criminal fines. From Washington,Marketplace’s Tamara Keith reports. (09/02/09)
Judge Wants Another Look at BofA SEC Settlement Deal:
There was a great set of news alerts that crossed the wires earlier this week. Monday morning I’m sitting at my desk,minding my own business,when up pops the news that Bank of America will pay a $33 million fine to settle charges it misled investors. Specifically,about billions in bonuses it gave executives at Merrill Lynch.
Not two minutes later came the news that,oh by the way,the Securities and Exchange Commission was suing BoA over those bonuses. So it was pretty obvious that the two sides had worked everything out before hand. Trouble is they didn’t tell the federal judge in charge of the case. He’s put a hold on the deal and set a hearing for Monday morning. It’s just the latest development in the BofA purchase of Merrill Lynch late last year. From Washington,Tamara Keith explains. (08/07/09)
I also covered this issue on the Marketplace Morning Report in a live Q&A with host Steve Chiotakis.
Geithner Tells Banks to Improve:
Some of the country’s biggest loan-servicing companies have been summoned to the capital. The White House is unhappy with their progress on its Making Home Affordable program. That’s the Obama administration’s plan to help more than three million homeowners modify their mortgages and so stay out of foreclosure. Five months into the program,just 200,000 families have been helped. Tamara Keith tells us what happened at the meeting. (07/28/09)
Banks Told to Improve Rate of Mortgage Modifications:
The White House has spent a lot of time and energy and political capital on home loan modifications. The administration’s Making Home Affordable program is supposed to modify mortgages for as many as 4 million people at risk of losing being foreclosed on. Today,Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner let it be known he thinks banks and loan servicing companies aren’t doing their part. And he’s going to be watching. From Washington,Tamara Keith has more. (07/10/09)
Putting Jobs Numbers Into Perspective:
There are more economic statistics out there than anybody can really keep track of. There are the A-list figures,like gross domestic product and the monthly unemployment report. And then in descending order you’ve got things like the leading economic indicators,which we learned today were positive for the second month in a row. Also the weekly unemployment report —the number of people making their first claims for jobless benefits. That is a notoriously volatile number. It can change a lot from week to week.
But given how important unemployment is in this recession,it’s getting a lot of attention. The Labor Department shared with us this morning that the number of people on the unemployment rolls has fallen for first time since early January. It is a promising sign,to be sure. But also,as Tamara Keith reports now from Washington,more less bad than actually good. (06/18/09)