Content about Economics

April 17, 2012

Workers' compensation pharmacy costs took on an extra $2.1 billion in 2011 due to unnecessary use of more expensive drugs, according to a new report by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

ST. LOUIS — Workers' compensation pharmacy costs took on an extra $2.1 billion in 2011 due to unnecessary use of more expensive drugs, according to a new report by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

April 2, 2012

The controversial merger between Express Scripts and Medco was completed Monday morning, according to a press release issued by both Express Scripts and the Federal Trade Commission.

WASHINGTON — The controversial merger between Express Scripts and Medco was completed Monday morning, according to a press release issued by both Express Scripts and the Federal Trade Commission.

March 28, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission's ruling on the Express Scripts and Medco merger may be imminent, Express Scripts noted in a Form 8-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

ST. LOUIS — The Federal Trade Commission's ruling on the Express Scripts and Medco merger may be imminent, Express Scripts noted in a Form 8-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

March 7, 2012

Prices for generic drugs may be dropping, but increases in branded and specialty drug prices have offset those decreases, according to a new study.

WASHINGTON — Prices for generic drugs may be dropping, but increases in branded and specialty drug prices have offset those decreases, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by AARP's Public Policy Institute, found that the cumulative change in drug prices from 2005 to 2009 was almost double the rate of inflation. As a result, the average annual cost of drug therapy continued to rise.

February 24, 2012

Budget cuts are never an easy thing to do. Even if slashing spending on this program or that program can help replenish the government's coffers and reduce a budget deficit, somebody always ends up losing.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Budget cuts are never an easy thing to do. Even if slashing spending on this program or that program can help replenish the government's coffers and reduce a budget deficit, somebody always ends up losing.

(THE NEWS: Healthcare providers can challenge Calif. Medicaid cuts, Supreme Court rules. For the full story, click here)

January 27, 2012

AmerisourceBergen on Thursday reported $20.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter ended Dec. 31, up 2%.

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Thursday reported $20.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter ended Dec. 31, up 2%.

“We are off to a good start in our fiscal year 2012, with December quarter results in line with our expectations and excellent progress being made on the integration of our recent acquisitions,” stated Steven Collis, AmerisourceBergen president and CEO. “We continued to demonstrate expense and working capital discipline, and our balance sheet remains strong, giving us outstanding financial flexibility.”

January 17, 2012

Royal Bank of Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart are launching a nationwide program that makes it more convenient for Canadians to bank and earn rewards at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix locations throughout the country.

TORONTO — Royal Bank of Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart are launching a nationwide program that makes it more convenient for Canadians to bank and earn rewards at Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix locations throughout the country.

January 12, 2012

Walgreens on Thursday declared a regular quarterly dividend of 22.5 cents per share, a 28.6% increase over the year-ago dividend. The dividend is payable March 12, 2012, to shareholders of record Feb. 17, 2012.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday declared a regular quarterly dividend of 22.5 cents per share, a 28.6% increase over the year-ago dividend. The dividend is payable March 12, 2012, to shareholders of record Feb. 17, 2012.

Walgreens has paid a dividend in 317 straight quarters (more than 79 years) and has raised its dividend for 36 consecutive years. Over the last five years, Walgreens' annual dividend rate has increased from 31 cents per share to 90 cents per share, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of 23.8%.

January 11, 2012

The maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

NEW YORK — The maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Irving, Texas-based Hostess Brands carried $860 million in debt and also faced high labor costs and rising prices for sugar and other ingredients that exceeded its annual sales of about $2.5 billion, according to published reports. Hostess previously filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004 and emerged in 2009.

January 10, 2012

Weis Markets on Monday announced it has lowered the prices on 1,700 staple items and that it will freeze the prices of these products for 90 days through April 2, marking the company’s eighth 90-day Price Freeze since 2009.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Monday announced it has lowered the prices on 1,700 staple items and that it will freeze the prices of these products for 90 days through April 2, marking the company’s eighth 90-day Price Freeze since 2009.

December 23, 2011

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the United States increased 0.5% in November to 118 (baseline based on 100 in 2004), following a 0.9% increase in October, and a 0.1% increase in September, the Conference Board announced Thursday.

NEW YORK — The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the United States increased 0.5% in November to 118 (baseline based on 100 in 2004), following a 0.9% increase in October, and a 0.1% increase in September, the Conference Board announced Thursday.

December 15, 2011

Cambridge Consultants on Thursday released a report outlining how the health-and-wellness market may take shape as more consumer-friendly medical devices featuring the latest in technology reach the market.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Cambridge Consultants on Thursday released a report outlining how the health-and-wellness market may take shape as more consumer-friendly medical devices featuring the latest in technology reach the market.

“Disruption in this market will come from medical firms moving from 10-year product lifecycles and confronting the 18-month lifecycles of the consumer world, and from consumer companies adapting to the rigorous processes demanded by medical regulations,” stated Duncan Smith, head of product development at Cambridge Consultants.

December 13, 2011

The unemployed and underemployed have limited access to health care and, in many cases, are putting off seeking medical care, according to the "Long-Term Unemployed Survey" released on Monday by NPR News and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The unemployed and underemployed have limited access to health care and, in many cases, are putting off seeking medical care, according to the "Long-Term Unemployed Survey" released on Monday by NPR News and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

When they are sick or need medical advice, the long‐term unemployed and underemployed are much more likely than those with full‐time jobs to say they rely on a hospital emergency room or that they have no usual place to go for care (39% compared with 15% of full‐time employees).

December 5, 2011

During Black Friday weekend, people were spending more money during an economy where that nasty word "recession" still is on the back of everyone's tongue. But was foot traffic down during the weekend because of the number of tryptophan-dazed consumers walking the aisles a day early to get the best deals?

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — During Black Friday weekend, people were spending more money during an economy where that nasty word "recession" still is on the back of everyone's tongue. But was foot traffic down during the weekend because of the number of tryptophan-dazed consumers walking the aisles a day early to get the best deals? Or did consumers forsake the Black Friday shopping madness in exchange for the no lines/free shipping offered on Cyber Monday?

November 28, 2011

The recession grinch may have to pack it up this holiday season, as initial spending indicated that this year's holidays are on track toward some pretty significant growth as compared with last year.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The recession grinch may have to pack it up this holiday season, as initial spending indicated that this year's holidays are on track toward some pretty significant growth as compared with last year.

(THE NEWS: Black Friday proves to be record day for retail, NRF reports. For the full story, click here.)

November 28, 2011

A coalition of retail organizations, including the National Retail Federation, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Association of Convenience Stores, have filed a lawsuit charging that the Federal Reserve failed to comply with a new law requiring it to reduce fees bank charge retailers when shoppers use credit cards.

NEW YORK — A coalition of retail organizations, including the National Retail Federation, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Association of Convenience Stores, have filed a lawsuit charging that the Federal Reserve failed to comply with a new law requiring it to reduce fees bank charge retailers when shoppers use credit cards.

The law, which went into effect Oct. 1, said that banks could charge a maximum of 21 cents when consumers use a debit card, down from an average of 44 cents per transaction.

November 9, 2011

A few years back, The Economist stated that 70 percent of the value of a new car lies in intangibles. It is a great reminder that companies — and brands — are made up of impressions, insights and even ideas.

A few years back, The Economist stated that 70 percent of the value of a new car lies in intangibles. It is a great reminder that companies — and brands — are made up of impressions, insights and even ideas.

November 8, 2011

Target shoppers have a new incentive for joining the retailer's REDcard Rewards loyalty program: free shipping on Target.com.

MINNEAPOLIS — Target shoppers have a new incentive for joining the retailer's REDcard Rewards loyalty program: free shipping on Target.com.

What's more, Target debit cards now can be used on Target.com, the company said.

October 28, 2011

Weis Markets' board of directors on Thursday declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets' board of directors on Thursday declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents to.

In addition to the 30-cent dividend, the board also offered a special one-time dividend valued at $1 per share as a reward to shareholders, Weis chairman Robert Weis said. The special dividend will be paid to shareholders of record as of Nov. 7 and payable on Nov. 12.

Weis added that the company's $100 million 2011 capital expansion plan is 75% complete.

October 11, 2011

Redbox remains the dominant player in kiosk DVD rentals with an average of 55 million rentals monthly in second quarter 2011.

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — Redbox remains the dominant player in kiosk DVD rentals with an average of 55 million rentals monthly in second quarter 2011. The company, which built its market dominance on $1 rentals, is testing price increases in some markets. Redbox and Foursquare are partnering to allow consumers to use their smartphones to check availability and reserve titles at their nearest kiosk.


Competitor NDR is experimenting with DVD sales as well as rentals from its kiosks, and may expand the concept.

September 30, 2011

Retailers and their customers will save billions of dollars when new Federal Reserve regulations cutting debit card swipe fees roughly in half take effect this weekend, the National Retail Federation said.

WASHINGTON — Retailers and their customers will save billions of dollars when new Federal Reserve regulations cutting debit card swipe fees roughly in half take effect this weekend, the National Retail Federation said.

September 15, 2011

Big Y is saying "so long," to its self-service checkout lanes at its stores, according to published reports.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Big Y is saying "so long," to its self-service checkout lanes at its stores, according to published reports.

The New England-based retailer is slated to phase out self-serve lanes at all 61 locations.

September 1, 2011

The Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team on Thursday announced a reduction in employee injuries across Kroger's Mid-South division, thanks to the implementation of a new employee wellness program called Living Life Safe and Well in October.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team on Thursday announced a reduction in employee injuries across Kroger's Mid-South division, thanks to the implementation of a new employee wellness program called Living Life Safe and Well in October.

August 25, 2011

A new agreement between Innovation and RxSafe allows Innovation to distribute RxSafe's line of automated, high-density robotic storage and retrieval systems for pharmacies, the two companies said.

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — A new agreement between Innovation and RxSafe allows Innovation to distribute RxSafe's line of automated, high-density robotic storage and retrieval systems for pharmacies, the two companies said.

Innovation makes the PharmASSIST line of pharmacy automation products, while RxSafe makes the RxSafe and RxVault systems.

August 9, 2011

Consumer Reports announced that its index, which measures overall consumer sentiment, fell to its lowest level since December 2009 and registered its sharpest drop in two years, as recent events in Washington about the debt ceiling debate fixed attention on the weak economy.

YONKERS, N.Y. — Consumer Reports announced that its index, which measures overall consumer sentiment, fell to its lowest level since December 2009 and registered its sharpest drop in two years, as recent events in Washington about the debt ceiling debate fixed attention on the weak economy.