AlamyHere’s a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you’ll just want to know.
• This is a tale of two prescriptions: Both drugs are made by Genentech. Both prevent people with macular degeneration from going blind. And both work equally well. But one costs about $2,000 per injection. The other costs $50. Guess which one gets prescribed far more often, costing Medicare an extra $1 billion or more every year?
• The American Airlines/US Airways merger is on the runway and set to take off Monday. The two carriers have overcome the last potential issues, and will join forces to form the world’s largest airline. Soon, millions of travelers will learn whether this was a direct flight to higher ticket prices and fewer travel choices, or whether combining US and A makes as good sense as the airlines hoped.
• On Thursday, China’s central bank ordered that nation’s financial institutions to stop accepting Bitcoin in transactions. On Friday, Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, did just that. It appears that was enough to trigger a more than 20 percent decline in the value of the virtual currency — which had been, up until then, rapidly growing in popularity in China.
• If you have an entrepreneurial bent, you may just want to head south. Way south. According to a recent report from the World Bank, New Zealand is the world’s easiest place to start a business. You can file all the necessary paperwork in just one day, and then you’re in business — literally.
• And finally, while most of the video gaming world is focused on the billion-dollar battle between Microsoft’s Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4, let’s not forget the name that started so many gamers on their way: Atari. Yes, Atari still exists (sort of), and with a plan in place to get out of bankruptcy, it might just be on its way toward recovery. Or at least, we may see someone releasing modern updates of Centipede and Missile Command. That would be cool too.