Headlines On Deadline…

What goes around comes around. At least that’s what critics of the pharmaceutical industry seem to be saying as they gloat over reports that Novartis wants its employees to use more generic and over-the-counter medications. The brand-name drug maker also wants its workers to use mail order pharmacy more to “control the escalation of costs,” according to a memo reportedly sent to employees by the CEO, Paulo Costa….Think that employers aren’t getting more eager to find some sort of solution to rising health care costs? Then you missed the story about General Motors jolting Wall Street last month with the announcement that it would reduce its 2004 earnings forecast to $6 to $6.50 a share from $7 a share. And what did Rick Wagoner, GM’s chairman and CEO, cite as the cause for the adjustment? Do you even have to ask? “These continuing large increases in health care costs put GM, and many other U.S. businesses, at a significant disadvantage,” Wagoner tells the Wall Street Journal.

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