Record $8 billion payout won’t turn back the clock on US opioid crisis
- A long-running lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company accused of fuelling the US opioid addiction crisis was settled this week when Purdue Pharma agreed to pay out $8.3 billion, the largest ever such settlement.
- The firm admitted to violating anti-kickback laws, conspiring to defraud the US and to facilitating the dispensing of medication without a legitimate medical purpose.
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APRA watching credit quality like a hawk
- The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has expressed renewed confidence in the ability of the banking system to withstand the virus crisis as the number of deferrals plummets, but it is monitoring the system carefully for signs of deteriorating credit quality.
- APRA deputy chairman John Lonsdale said capital levels among the banks were not just strong but had also improved during calendar 2020, allowing them to act as economic shock absorbers but the regulator would maintain a watching brief on other key metrics.
- Appearing before the House of Representatives Economics Standing Committee, the prudential regulator said it was pleased that customers with deferred loans had returned to making full repayments after the number of frozen loans peaked at $274 billion in June.
- Following earlier revelations that ASIC commissioner James Shipton had billed $118,000 worth of tax advice back to the regulator, Andrew Leigh, MP, asked the APRA chairman, Wayne Byres, whether it was possible that any APRA employees had enjoyed similar benefits.
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America's True Unemployment Rate
- Why it matters: The official unemployment rate is artificially depressed by excluding people who might be earning only a few dollars a week.
- It also excludes anybody who has stopped looking for work or is discouraged by a lack of jobs or by the demands of child care during the coronavirus crisis.
- By the numbers: In January, when the official rate of unemployment was 3.6%, the true rate was seven times greater — 23.4%.
- That's according to new calculations from the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity, founded by Gene Ludwig, a former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency.
- The bottom line: The unemployment catastrophe in America is not new.
- It's been at crisis levels for decades, but it has been hidden behind the official numbers.
- Ludwig's hope is that his new data will light a fire under Congress to address this national emergency.
China adopts science on virus while Trump fights it
- The US President has taken the opposite stance to China on fighting the pandemic, and stats show how America is paying for it.
- But on the most important crisis facing the world right now – fighting the novel coronavirus – China is winning and America is losing.
- The United States (population 328 million) has more than 8.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 219,000 deaths – the most in the world.
- She allowed 500,000 people to come to Sturgis, South Dakota, in August for a motorcycle rally that The Post describes as "the largest gathering of people in the United States and perhaps anywhere in the world amid the pandemic".
- Little wonder that a Pew Research Centre survey showed that people in 13 countries give China higher marks than the United States on fighting the pandemic.
Election 2020: We must ‘view access to mental healthcare as a human right’ says psychologist
- I see these impacts in my Oakland-based psychotherapy practice, specifically, where people from ages 8 to 50 are returning for treatment after having successfully overcome mental health episodes years before.
- In 2017, the American Psychological Association released a report linking climate change and related disasters with short-term symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety and chronic and severe mental health conditions.
- One of my clients at my psychotherapy practice, a father of young children, is so concerned about his children’s future that he is considering uprooting his family, leaving his job, and moving across the country to a region where climate change-related disasters are less likely.
- While the ACA expanded access to mental healthcare to over 20 million Americans, these services remain chronically underfunded in private and public insurance spheres.
- Just 5 years before, Kaiser had been forced by the court to pay a $4 million fine for providing inadequate access to mental health services.