Credit crisis diary: Cashing in on fear of a flu pandemic
Friday 01 May 2009
With the uncertainty about swine flu continuing, here are a couple of facts to give you some perspective. The Government says its Tamiflu stockpile will run to 50 million courses, and the cost of an NHS
prescription for most people is £7.20. Alternatively, you can shell out £11.95 to Healthcare Connections now, just for the privilege of getting on the firm's list of customers. Then, should you go down with swine flu, the company will sell you Tamiflu for an additional £49 – a total of £60.95. Just to be clear, that means paying almost nine times as much for the same drug. It's comforting to know, in these scary times, that not everyone thinks a flu pandemic is all bad news.
Haunted by the past
A glossy new report arrives from BAE Systems extolling the defence company's corporate responsibility performance. Chief executive Ian King explains: "We are determined that we shall be recognised as a leader in responsible business worldwide." Pity about the outstanding investigations into BAE's dealings with Saudi Arabia by the Serious Fraud Office and the US Department of Justice.
Is Lloyds' Daniels working for free?
Looks like Lloyds Banking Group meant what it said about cracking down on excessive executive pay. The bank emailed journalists yesterday, claiming to have attached details of the remuneration of directors such as its chief executive, Eric Daniels. In fact, there was nothing there – looks like Lloyds bankers are forgoing more than just their bonuses in 2009.
Protesting at Primark
Some people are so ungrateful. The people of Tooting in south London get a swanky new Primark and how do they respond? Some of the locals plan to join a demonstration against the store planned for tomorrow morning by the charity War on Want, which is complaining about the wages the company pays textile workers in developing countries.
The Tories are too slow
David Cameron's media-savvy Conservatives need to step up the pace a bit. The Tories were naturally keen to shout about the fact that the Government's scheme to help people struggling with mortgage payments had offered aid to just one family last month. But by the time they got round to publishing a press release on the subject yesterday, the Lib Dems had been briefing with the same message for an hour and a half.
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