In brief: FDA OKs drug for infections often contracted in hospitals
WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new antibiotic from Durata Therapeutics to treat adults with common skin infections often acquired in U.S. hospitals.
Regulators approved the intravenous drug Dalvance to treat bacterial skin infections caused by common bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains of those germs.
The FDA said it approved Dalvance based on two trials of nearly 1,300 patients with skin and skin structure infections.
Germany raises retirement age to 67, OKs pension reform plan
BERLIN – German lawmakers on Friday approved a pension-reform package that included a much-criticized provision for some people to retire early on full pensions.
Germany is raising the retirement age to 67 from 65, but it plans to allow people who have paid pension contributions for 45 years to retire at 63 without a financial hit. The latter policy met opposition from business leaders but was included at the insistence of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-left coalition partners.
The package also features higher pensions for mothers who stayed at home, advocated by Merkel’s conservatives. Annual costs are expected to total up to $15 billion.
Court tosses out federal rule to reduce wholesale energy use
WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court on Friday overturned an electricity regulation in which utilities pay energy users in the wholesale market to reduce consumption.
The court ruled 2-1 that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission directive encroaches on states’ authority to regulate the retail power market, a position taken by utilities, which also oppose the regulation on grounds that it is too generous to major energy users.
In an approach known as demand response, electricity users are paid to reduce their consumption in response to rising prices.
Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe settle tech workers lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO – Nearly 60,000 high-tech workers are likely to receive an average of $4,000 apiece in a settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple and Google conspired in an illegal cartel of Silicon Valley employers that secretly refused to recruit each other’s engineers.
The estimate is based upon an analysis of court documents, including the terms of a $324.5 million settlement outlined for the first time in a filing made late Thursday.
If approved, the $324.5 million settlement will be paid by Apple Inc., Google Inc. and two other companies, Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc., accused of colluding to corral their top technology workers.
The 3-year-old lawsuit alleged the companies had reached “no-poaching” pacts prohibiting each other from trying to lure away each other’s top workers with offers of higher-paying jobs.