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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Insurers eligible for TARP funds

The Treasury Department on Thursday granted preliminary approval for some of the nation’s largest insurance companies to receive capital infusions under the government’s Troubled Assets Relief Program, Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said.

Recipients are Hartford, Prudential, Allstate, Ameriprise, Lincoln National and Principal Financial Group, he said.

The money could shore up the life insurance industry, which plays a major role in the economy and has been weakened by the financial crisis.

Trenton, N.J.

Pfizer announces drug giveaway

Pfizer Inc. said Thursday it will give away more than 70 of its most widely prescribed drugs, including Lipitor and Viagra, for up to a year to people who have lost jobs since Jan. 1 and have been taking the drug for three months or more. The announcement comes as the unemployment rate topped 8.9 percent in April.

Pfizer stands to benefit, too – by keeping its customers, and with a tax write-off that will cover much of the cost of the donations.

The 70-plus drugs covered in the program include several diabetes drugs and some of Pfizer’s top moneymakers, from cholesterol fighter Lipitor and painkiller Celebrex to fibromyalgia treatment Lyrica and Viagra for impotence.

The program will likely help prevent patients from switching to cheaper brands or generics through the worst of the recession.

Spokane

ASWA annual fundraiser set

Spokane’s chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants will hold its annual spring dinner and auction Thursday at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park, at 303 W. North River Drive.

The dinner and auction, starting at 6 p.m., will raise scholarship funds that help students attend regional colleges or universities. The funds are part of the Mary M. Fraijo Scholarships, named after the former Northwest area director of ASWA.

Those scholarships are awarded to women or men enrolling in college accounting courses.

Keynote speaker will be KHQ News anchor Stephanie Vigil.

For reservations go to www.aswa4.org or e-mail reservations@aswa4.org.

From staff and wire reports

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