Trusts ‘can’t afford breast cancer drug’

November 30, 2005

The breast cancer drug Herceptin will cripple health authorities financially if they prescribe it, a new study has warned.

Thousands of women could be eligible for the treatment, which costs about £21,800 per year per patient.

But health managers may have to bargain over the drug’s price to avoid denying treatment to other patients, economist Mattias Nyet claimed.

The only way to make it affordable would be for health trusts to juggle money and dump less cost-effective treatments, he added.

Trusts ‘can’t afford breast cancer drug’ | the Daily Mail


What’s going to happen to your pension?

November 30, 2005

The UK faces a pensions crisis. People now live much longer than in the past – as a result, there is a higher ratio of pensioners to working taxpayers. In 1950, there were four people of working age for every pensioner. Today, the figure is 2.7 and the number is expected to fall to 1.1 by 2050.

Lord Turner’s interim report warned that people have four options: to work longer, save more, pay more tax or accept a lower standard of living. If we ignore the first three, the value of state pensions will continue to shrink, as successive governments attempt to control public spending.

Belfast Telegraph


BA announces nearly 600 job cuts

November 30, 2005

British Airways is to cut nearly 600 management jobs in a bid to save £50m, the airline announced today.

The job losses will take place over the next two years as part of a restructuring programme.

Senior managers will be the hardest hit, with their numbers to be reduced by half, from 414 to 207. There will also be a 30% reduction in the number of middle managers, from 1,301 to 911.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | BA announces almost 600 job cuts


MPs push for fresh inquiry into Iraq conflict

November 30, 2005

A cross-party group of MPs launched a fresh attempt yesterday to stage a parliamentary review of the government’s conduct of the Iraq war – before, during and since the 2003 invasion – as critics of the conflict again pressed for the Commons and Lords to control powers of war-making.

The former Tory cabinet ministers Kenneth Clarke and Douglas Hogg joined the Liberal Democrats’ foreign affairs spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell, Labour leftwinger Alan Simpson and the anti-war Welsh and Scots Nationalist leaders to call for a seven-strong committee of senior MPs, all privy counsellors, to sit in judgement on the controversy.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | MPs push for fresh inquiry into Iraq conflict


New Wave of Kidnappings Descends on Iraq

November 29, 2005

Al-Jazeera broadcast video Tuesday of four Western peace activists held hostage, part of a new wave of kidnappings that police fear is central to a campaign of disrupting elections.

The brief, blurry tape was shown the same day German TV displayed a photo of a blindfolded German woman being led away by armed captors in Iraq. The kidnappers threatened to kill aid worker Susanne Osthoff and her Iraqi driver unless Germany halts all contacts with the Iraqi government.

Also Tuesday, two American soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, a Sunni cleric was assassinated as he left a mosque, and six Iranian pilgrims were seized near a Shiite religious shrine.

The footage of the four Westerners showed Norman Kember, a retired British professor with a shock of white hair, sitting on the floor with three other men. The camera revealed Kember’s passport, but the other hostages were not identified.

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | New Wave of Kidnappings Descends on Iraq


Overcrowding at jail criticised

November 29, 2005

Inverness Prison has been criticised by the prisons’ watchdog for continuing problems with overcrowding.

The unit, designed for 108 inmates, held 150 when it was examined by the Chief Inspector of Prisons Andrew McLellan in September.

Inmates in one of two segregation cells were still sleeping on mattresses on concrete plinths, rather than beds.

The prison was described by inspectors in December last year as “regularly the most overcrowded” in the country.

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Overcrowding at jail criticised



Fraud hits over half of UK companies

November 29, 2005

More than half of UK companies suffered from fraud in the past two years, losing an average of 1 million pounds each, and the most common method of detecting it was by accident, a report on Tuesday showed.

Around 55 percent of firms reported being hit by economic crime or fraud, compared with an average of 45 percent of businesses worldwide, a survey by auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers found.

Latest Business News and Financial Information | Reuters.co.uk