November / December 2010

businesshealth® e-news
November / December 2010 vol. 6-4

In This Issue

Healing the Drug Industry - The business model for the pharmaceutical industry has relied upon blockbuster products, those with annual sales of at least one billion dollars. But the new drug pipeline has been shrinking, and global industry spending on research and development actually fell in 2009 by 0.3%. Sales of drugs launched in the last five years accounted for just 7% of total industry revenue. And then there’s the “patent cliff” heralding the entry of new generic products. Read More »
Quantifying the Cost of Mental Illnesses - So-called “mental and nervous conditions” have been the major cause of long-term disability for years. A new study uses data from a large Canadian resources company to quantify and describe short-term disability (STD) occurring among 12,407 unique employees who incurred almost 4,800 STD claims in 2003, 2004 and 2005. While respiratory conditions were the most common (2.4 cases per 100 person-years), mental/behavioural disorders ranked a close second (2.1) and were almost twice the mean cost of any of the five measured conditions (mental, respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, injuries). Read More »
The Skinny on Workplace Nutrition Programs - Obesity is one of North America’s major public health challenges. About 60% of Canadian adults are overweight or obese, as are one in four (26%) of our children. Recent data show there is now very little difference between Canadian and American children in Body Mass Index (BMI). Read More »
Another Call for a National Drug Plan - A new report projected that Canada’s prescription drug spending could be cut by over 40% ($10.4 billion) if a national, universal, first-dollar coverage pharmacare program was introduced. A competitive bidding process would deliver most of savings. Eliminating private drug plans would save $1.5 billion by lowering administrative costs and removing tax subsidies to employers and insurers. So, is a 40% saving too good to be true? In a word, yes. Read More »
Companies Act to Improve Work-Life Balance - A leaner and meaner workplace might be expected in the face of a slow economy and stubbornly-high unemployment. Indeed, the 2010 sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey reported that 63% of health benefit plan members experienced more fatigue, stress or insomnia compared to the previous year. Read More »
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