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December 4, 2002 - 8,019 subscribers
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Managed Care Groups Defend Drug-Switching Practices
Excerpt: "Managed care organizations are warning that draft guidelines recently published by the federal agency charged with policing government health programs could impede efforts to control prescription drug costs. The groups are particularly concerned about language questioning the legality of the rebates and other discounts health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) get from drug manufacturers to switch patients from a manufacturer's drug to a rival product." (Reuters Health via Medscape; free registration required)

Employer Spending on Health Care: 1987-2000
Excerpt: "In 2000, private business spent a total of $334.5 billion on health services and supplies, up from $123.3 billion in 1987. Between 1987 and 2000, private business spending on health services and supplies increased at an average annual rate of 8 percent." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

GAO Report: FDA Oversight of Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising Is Limited
Excerpt: "Supporters [say DTC ads educate] consumers about medical conditions and care options and that the increased use of prescription drugs that DTC advertising encourages has improved the public's health. Critics ... contend that it is sometimes misleading, leads consumers to seek prescription drugs when other treatments may be more appropriate, and causes some patients to ask their physician to prescribe new drugs that are more expensive but may not be more effective than older drugs." (U.S. General Accounting Office)

Drug Companies Increasing Their Sponsorship of Doctors' Continuing Medical Education
Excerpt: "[S]ome experts are concerned that drug companies, which are prohibited by the FDA from promoting their treatments for off-label uses, could use CME classes as a 'backdoor way' to provide such information to physicians, the [Wall Street] Journal reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Drug Companies Make Deceptive Claims in Product Ads, Study Says
Excerpt: "The report also found that the ads have led to a 'significant increase' in prescription drug use and expenditures. According to the report, about 8.5 million U.S. residents each year ask for and receive prescriptions for specific treatments featured in ad campaigns." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Large Hospital Employer Offers Pay in Form of Debit Cards
Excerpt: "Generically known as a payroll debit card, the CashPay card offers the benefits of direct deposit without requiring employees to have a bank account." (The Orlando Sentinel via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Workplace Breastfeeding Has Business Benefits
Excerpt: "Research shows lower illness rates and child-related health costs, plus less absenteeism among new mothers employed by lactation-friendly companies. But relatively few employers have jumped on the breast-feeding bandwagon, Work-Life Benefits, a Greater Boston consulting firm, pointed out in a recent report." (The Boston Herald via Society for Human Resource Management)

Washington Post Examines Health Issues 107th Congress Failed To Address
Excerpt: "The Washington Post on Dec. 4 examines how the 107th Congress was marked by gridlock that prevented practically 'every significant health care proposal' from being approved. With Congress closely divided along party lines and largely focused on the economy and national security, lawmakers failed to address ... Medicare prescription drug benefit, patients' rights legislation and plans to expand insurance coverage." (KaiserNetwork.org)

A Call for Universal Health Coverage in California
Excerpt: "The chief executive of one of California's largest health insurers is calling for legislation that would provide public or private health coverage for every resident of California." (New York Times; free registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

2003 Annual Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The Segal Company's 2003 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans summarizes compliance requirements for qualified, single employer benefit plans. To see a brief description of each requirement and information about such details as the plan(s) affected, filing requirements and due dates, click on any underlined item ..." (The Segal Company)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Benefits Assistant
for Valley National Bank
in NJ

Regional Pension Sales Manager-Wholesaler
for Nationwide Financial Services-The Best of America product line
in ALL STATES, CA

Senior Defined Contribution Administrator
for Longaker, Rimkus & Associates, Inc.
in NY

Benefits Analyst
for Catholic Health Initiatives
in IN, KY, OH

Account Executive
for Principal Financial Group
in PA

Director of Retirement Plans
for CapTrust Financial Advisors
in NC

Retirement Client Services Manager
for Invesmart, Inc.
in ME

Retirement Client Services Manager
for Invesmart, Inc.
in MA


Newly Posted Conferences
(Post Yours!)

Stock Options - To Expense Or Not Expense? (and) Stock Based Compensation - What Else Is New?
in NY
December 12, 2002
New York City Chapter of WEB

Online Class - CEBS Course 1, Employee Benefits: Concepts and Health Care Benefits
in ALL STATES
February 10, 2003
IFEBP/CEBS Program

Online Class - CEBS Course 3 - Retirement Plans: Basic Features and Defined Contribution Approaches
in ALL STATES
February 10, 2003
IFEBP/CEBS Program

Online Class - CEBS Course 8 - Human Resources and Compensation Management
in ALL STATES
February 10, 2003
IFEBP/CEBS Program

Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Law
in LA
March 6, 2003
ALI-ABA


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

ExpertPlan Adds Sales VP for Western US
(ExpertPlan)


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