The legal challenge involves the function performed with a new type of drugs, called biosimilars, copycat versions of biologic drugs, large molecule drugs which are typically administered by injection and therefore are produced by living microorganisms.
Biosimilars really are a nascent market within the U.S., having a path for approval which was produced included in the Affordable Care Act. They’re seen as an key safety valve on high drug prices, by offering cheaper competition to some of the very most costly drugs offered today.
The concept was to produce a market, like the generic industry, that will allow competitors to create their very own versions of complex biologic drugs after patent protection expired on brand drugs.
Biologic drugs require a different path since they’re produced by living cells and therefore are more complicated than generics. Biosimilars were forecasted to result in a $44.2 billion reduction in drug spending more than a decade within an analysis through the RAND corporation.
Pfizer was one of the primary companies to launch a biosimilar drug, a copycat of J&J’s Remicade. In 2016, Pfizer won approval because of its drug, Inflectra, and launched it in a 15 % discount off its rival’s list cost at that time (that has since elevated).
Today, Remicade has a sticker cost close to $26,000 each year for many uses, and Inflectra’s cost is about $21,000.
However the lawsuit alleges that J&J launched a “biosimilar readiness plan” and joined into anticompetitive, exclusionary contracts with insurers and hospitals and clinics — that ultimately blocked 70 % of commercially-insured patients and physicians from getting accessibility drug.
“This really is, in our opinion, a bellwether situation — and just what we’re seeking is perfect for J&J to refrain form using these kinds of exclusionary contracting plans with insurers and providers,” stated Laura Chenoweth, deputy general counsel at Pfizer. “Most significantly, you want to create a wide open arena for biosimilars… to create these drugs to some broader number of patients, in a better cost.”
Inside a statement, Manley & Manley stated there wasn’t any merit towards the suit.
“We are effectively competing on value and cost, and also to date Pfizer has unsuccessful to show sufficient value to patients, providers, payers and employers,” Scott White-colored, president of Janssen Biotech, a division of J&J stated inside a statement. “Competition is getting lower the total cost of Remicade, and continuously bring lower costs later on.Inch
The suit draws back the curtain about how competition allegedly plays out behind the curtain — with Pfizer describing a scenario by which its rival joined into contracts that will punish health insurers, hospitals and clinics financially when they used Inflectra.
For instance, Pfizer alleges the contracts “coerced” insurers to not cover Inflectra by threatening to withhold the rebates they would certainly receive around the cost of Remicade.
“If Pfizer’s allegations are true and J&J is permitted to carry on executing contracts of the type, chances are it will decrease incentives for biosimilar entry moving forward,Inch Rachel Sachs, an affiliate professor of law at Washington College School of Law stated within an e-mail.
Cheaper generic drugs have had the ability to erode brand drug’s share of the market, but biosimilars haven’t yet had similar success, she stated. “This can be as a result of quantity of factors… But if it’s also because of the anticompetitive actions of innovator biologic companies, individuals actions really reduce the prospects legitimate biosimilar competition.”
Find out more:
How good does Due To Jimmy Kimmel comprehend the Republicans health-care bill?
Why Senate Republicans are in this hurry this month on healthcare
This story continues to be updated.
ENOSBURG FALLS, Vt. — Doug Greenwood lifted his shirt to allow his physician probe his belly, damaged from past surgeries, for tender spots. Searing abdominal discomfort had arrived Greenwood within the er a couple of days earlier, and he’d come for any follow-up trip to Cold Hollow Family Practice, a large red barnlike building perched around the fringe of town.
Following the appointment was over and the bloodstream was attracted, Greenwood remained to have an entirely different exam: of his existence. Anne-Marie Lajoie, a nurse care coordinator, started to pre-plan Greenwood’s financial sources, responsibilities, transportation options, food sources and social supports on the piece of paper. Another picture started to emerge from the 58-year-old male patient dealing with diverticulitis: Greenwood had moved home, with no vehicle or steady work, to look after his mother, who endured from dementia. He rested inside a fishing shanty within the yard, having a baby monitor to monitor his mother.
This more expansive checkup belongs to a pioneering effort within this Colonial condition to help keep people healthy while simplifying the normal jumble of public and private insurers that will pay for healthcare.
The actual premise is straightforward: Reward doctors and hospitals financially when people are healthy, not only when they are available in sick.
It’s a concept that’s been percolating with the health-care system recently, based on the Affordable Care Act and changes to how Medicare will pay for some types of care, for example hip and knee replacements.
“You help make your margin from keeping people healthier, rather to do more operations. This drastically changes you, from thinking of doing much more of a particular type of surgery to attempting to prevent them,” stated Stephen Leffler, chief population health insurance and quality officer from the College of Vermont Health Network.
Making lump sum payment payments, rather of having to pay for every X-ray or checkup, changes the financial incentives for doctors. For instance, spurring the state’s largest hospital system to purchase housing. Or making more roles like Lajoie’s, centered on diagnosing issues with housing, transportation, food along with other services affecting people’s well-being.
Critics, however, worry that it’ll produce a effective tier of middlemen billed with administering health-care payments without sufficient oversight. Individuals middlemen account Care Organizations, systems of hospitals and doctors that actually work to coordinate care and may be part of the rewards if providers can save health-care costs, but remain responsible if costs run excessive. In Vermont, the aim would be to limit the development in overall annual healthcare spending to three.five percent every year.
It’ll place a new burden on primary care doctors to help keep people healthy — potentially punishing providers financially for patients’ deep-rooted habits and behaviors. And also the core concept of growing outreach to high-risk patients, though sensible on its surface, might not control health spending one study found the approach was unlikely to yield internet savings.
“I think this sort of model is quite good if it is implemented the proper way. There is a big question on whether it will likely be implemented the proper way,Inches stated Amy Cooper, executive director of HealthFirst, a connection of independent physicians in Vermont.
The present initiative is Vermont’s second make an effort to transform healthcare. It had been the very first condition in the united states to embrace a government-financed universal health-care system but abandoned the program at the end of 2014 due to concerns over costs.
To listen to Al Gobeille, a restaurateur switched Vermont human services secretary, tell it, having to pay for insurance policy is among the large problems facing the American health-care system. Another, difficult the first is lowering the underlying cost — and that’s what Vermont is attempting to tackle.
In 2015, any adverse health insurance policy cost you a family $24,000 in premiums, Gobeille stated, by 2025, that’s forecasted to develop to $42,000.
“There’s likely to be a calamity. No family will probably be in a position to afford that,” Gobeille stated. “So it’s vital that you proceed to a method that aligns more carefully towards the development of our economy.”
This season, 30,000 State medicaid programs patients — like Greenwood — have transitioned in to the experimental model via a pilot operated by the accountable care organization OneCare Vermont. The machine uses software to flag individuals with complex medical needs and chronic health problems and also to coordinate care and support for individuals considered at high-risk. Rather of billing for every overnight stay or medical scan, hospitals get an upfront payment per month to handle the concern for each patient allotted to them, and first care practices receive payments to assist using the outreach work.
“It’s developing a situation in which the physicians and hospital leaders along with other clinicians in Vermont seem like they’ve enough support and structure around them that they’ll essentially pursue alterations in their clinical models as well as their business models,” stated Andrew Garland, v . p . of exterior matters and client relations at BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont. “It has all of us rowing within the same direction.”
Garland stated BlueCross is within discussions to maneuver a segment of their people — including individuals and small companies who buy plans through its Affordable Care Act exchange — in to the new payment model the coming year.
Other states are starting similar efforts to chop health-care spending, on sides from the partisan divide.
Arkansas’ State medicaid programs program has collaborated with private insurers to shift payments around discrete “episodes of care” — for example bronchial asthma and congestive heart failure. “By getting State medicaid programs and Blue Mix on a single page, we’ve got the providers’ attention,” stated William Golden, medical director from the medical services division in the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
In 2014, Maryland began giving hospitals an upfront plan for the entire year, to incentivize providers to help keep patients healthy.
“The real magic here’s when you are getting the payers — Medicare, State medicaid programs and also the commercial payers, saying exactly the same factor towards the delivery system. Vermont is attempting to get it done one of the ways . . . Arkansas is attempting to get it done with increased coordination between State medicaid programs and Blue Mix,” stated Christopher Koller, president from the Milbank Memorial Fund, a basis centered on improving health. “States like Maryland, Vermont are actually looking to get in the underlying cost.”
As Vermont retools the way it will pay for healthcare, the system is already evolving — with a focus on services that fall far outdoors the standard domain of drugs.
Vermont’s major hospital system has set up the cash to permit community partners to purchase and refurbish housing, building off earlier success of purchasing blocks of nights for temporary stays in a motel operated by the Champlain Housing Trust. After 3 years, costs for hospital stays came by $1.six million, supported with a large stop by readmissions.
That brought the College of Vermont Clinic to place in the cash this season to allow the housing trust to purchase and convert a roadside motel in Burlington right into a landing place for patients who don’t have to be inside a hospital, but do not have a appropriate spot to return.
A medical facility-owned family medicine practice in Colchester provides “health-care share” day on Thursdays, when families can select up a box of vegetables prescribed by their loved ones physician.
Kari Potter, 34, stated the farm share has altered how her family eats. She makes her own sauces, she stated, loading a bag of veggies and 2 chickens into her vehicle, and also the weekly delivery helps the children learn how to appreciate healthy snacks, simply thinly sliced cucumbers.
Many of these changes appear sensible, plus they might even improve patient health. The issue is going to be whether or not they cut costs over time. In Vermont, you will find fears that just the greatest hospital systems which have the wiggle room to visualize risk and sustain financial losses can survive.
It’s also unclear how patients will react, because the pilot is expanded beyond State medicaid programs recipients.
Throughout his appointment, Greenwood was firm he didn’t have real complaints about his existence and didn’t think he needed any particular support.
“Any issues with depression or anxiety?” Lajoie requested. Greenwood stated no and Lajoie lightly attempted to prod him to learn more — “meaning it’s not necessary any sadness feelings?”
“No,” Greenwood stated. “If I actually do, they ain’t bad.”
When she requested if his health ever got when it comes to visiting buddies, he chuckled.
“I don’t visit with buddies,” Greenwood responded. “Just watch soap operas.”
Lajoie made notes to revisit his eating tobacco habit and discover if he needed additional support inside a month. The secret for this job is locating the ways that they’ll support people, which might not necessarily be apparent — towards the care coordinator in order to the individual.
“We’re not here to evaluate them or anything. We sometimes don’t know very well what we are able to really enable them to with,” Lajoie stated. “It’s a learning factor, together.”
Concerns that Imagination Technologies’ Apple earnings will disappear earlier than expected sent the takeover target sliding as the new iPhone’s delayed release sunk suppliers across the globe.
While some of Imagination’s intellectual property remains in the new iPhone X, Apple stated that it has designed the graphics processing unit (GPU) in the new product, hinting that the company will begin to phase-out its relationship with the Hertfordshire-based company, which had derived around half of its revenues from the Silicon Valley giant.
Nearly £470m was wiped off Imagination’s valuation overnight in April after Apple revealed that it was ditching the company and making its own GPU from 2018.
Decimated by the share price plummet, the company then put itself up for sale with Beijing-backed private equity fund Canyon Bridge Capital Partners rumoured to be in the running. It appears, however, that the world’s largest listed company has fast-forwarded its plans to take full control of its products’ GPU, weakening Imagination 7.3p, or 5.1pc, to 135.8p.
If confirmed, it would mean less per device Apple royalty payments a year earlier than expected, said Stifel analyst Lee Simpson.
The iPhone X’s delayed November release date took the shine off the tech giant’s latest unveiling with unimpressed investors dumping shares in suppliers reliant on a strong Apple sales boost in the fourth quarter of the year.
Tiny Welsh chipmaker IQE, whose share price has tripled since speculation mounted that the company would be integral to the new iPhone’s 3D-tracking technology, was one of Apple’s victims, retreating 10.3p to 136.8p.
Over in the US, Apple continued to fall, shedding another 1pc after the opening bell in New York as traders attempted to decipher the impact of the tech firm’s delayed release on earnings.
Elsewhere, industrial metal producers torpedoed the FTSE 100 as copper slipped to pull down miners Glencore and Rio Tinto 8.9p to 363.6p and 66p to £36.25, respectively.
BP and Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ climbing 3.5p to 452.4p and 14p to £21.92, respectively, on the price of oil rallying mitigated the blue-chip index’s 20.99-point fall to 7379.70, however. Brent crude prices advanced 1pc to just under $55 per barrel after the International Energy Agency forecast higher demand in 2017 as OPEC’s production begins to ebb, encouraging traders that the oil market is finally beginning to rebalance.
Finally, newspaper publisher Johnston Press popped 0.13p to 12.8p after private equity firm Custos upped its stake in the I and The Scotsman publisher from 5pc to just over 8pc.
Markets wrap: Squeeze on UK households tightens as wage growth figures disappoint
The squeeze on UK households got a little tighter today after the ONS confirmed that wage growth lags far behind rising inflation, knocking hopes of an early interest rate rise.
While unemployment dropped to a fresh 42-year low at 4.3pc, the tighter labour market couldn’t pull up wages, which stagnated at 2.1pc in the three months to July.
Hawkish hopes of an early rate hike were ignited yesterday when inflation jumped to 2.9pc but sluggish wage growth has added another layer of uncertainty with the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee due to meet tomorrow.
Although no change in policy is expected in tomorrow’s meeting, inflation soaring well ahead of the bank’s 2pc target has cranked up the pressure on Mark Carney and the MPC with chief economist Andy Haldane deemed the most likely to jump ship to the hawks.
The pound coming off a one-year high against the dollar following the job figures couldn’t help the FTSE 100, which has been sunk by miners retreating on the price of copper slipping.
IG market analyst Joshua Mahony explained the miners’ drag on the FTSE 100 today:
“Miners provided a drag upon the FTSE 100 throughout today’s session, as the deterioration in both precious and industrial metals dragged the likes of Antofagasta, Anglo American, Fresnillo and Glencore to the bottom of the leaderboard.
“Copper was today’s big loser amongst a sea of red for metals, while a selloff in gold in the face of equity market weakness saw the precious metal finally trade like a physical commodity rather than just a safe haven asset.”
Hospital drugs firm Clinigen snaps up troubled rival Quantum for £150m
One of the largest companies on London’s junior market Aim, hospital drugs supplier Clinigen, has agreed a deal to snap up troubled rival Quantum Pharma for £150m.
The news sent shares in Quantum Pharma up 18pc. However, its suitor, which has a market cap of over £1.1bn, suffered a 3pc fall as investors mulled over the tie-up.
The offer is for 37p in cash and 0.0405 new Clinigen shares per Quantum share.
Shaun Clinton, chief executive of Clinigen, told the Telegraph the move would boost its ability to supply novel drugs to clinicians and enable it to expand further into continental Europe.
He said further acquisitions could be on the cards, saying: “We would consider further bolt-on deals to add speciality pharma products or to extend our geographical footprint.”
Read Iain Withers’ full report here
US markets lose steam after jumping to record closes
After jumping to record all-time closes yesterday, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 have lost their steam slightly over in the US this afternoon.
Both indices are in flat territory with the tug of war between Apple’s 1.2pc retreat and energy stocks buoyed by stronger prices resulting in a flat finish.
Buyers are running out of steam, according to CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
“Stock markets in Europe are experiencing low volatility as the rally that we saw at the start of the week has lost momentum.
“The bullish sentiment on the back of Hurricane Irma not being as severe as predicted, and no new tensions in relation to North Korea, has been replaced with a lacklustre attitude. You could say traders are pausing for breath, after the positive run.”
Blackpool Airport returns to public ownership after 13 years as Balfour Beatty sells stake
Balfour Beatty has agreed to sell its majority stake in Blackpool Airport to the council, as the local authority looks to protect the future of the site.
Construction company Balfour agreed the deal to sell 95pc of the airport for £4.25m, saying that it “further simplifies the portfolio, in line with the group’s strategy”.
Blackpool Council had originally owned the airport until 2004, when it sold the stake to a consortium led by City Hopper Airports and Mar Properties for £13m. The council retained the remaining 5pc, while the rest was sold to Balfour Beatty in 2008.
However, falling passenger numbers and a legal dispute with operator Jet2 over the opening hours of the airport led to the site falling into administration in 2014.
Read Rhiannon Bury’s full report here
Jobs growth accelerates but pay disappoints in interest rate dilemma for Carney
Unemployment tumbled to a new 42-year low in July, with more Britons than ever before in work.
Private and public hiring picked up in the three months to July with employment rising by 181,364, the fastest pace of jobs growth since 2015. More than 31.2m people are now in work, while joblessness dropped to 1.46m, or 4.3pc – a low not seen since mid-1975.
Employers appear keen to keep on hiring as the Office for National Statistics found 774,000 vacancies in August, a modest rise on the month.
The number of public sector workers also rose for the first time in a year to 5.44m.
Read Tim Wallace’s full report here
Galliford Try avoids large infrastructure projects as charge on legacy contracts hits profits
The developer and construction company Galliford Try has said it will no longer bid for large fixed-price infrastructure contracts after its profits were hit by a charge on legacy contracts.
Pre-tax profits fell nearly 60pc to £59m due to the £98m charge it announced in May, relating to problem legacy contracts for the the Queensferry Crossing and part of a road in Aberdeen. But the company posted a 7pc rise in revenues to £2.7bn in the 12 months to June 30, and a 9pc increase in pre-tax profits excluding exceptional items including the charge.
Galliford added that the amount set aside was unchanged and it was making “good progress” on its target to increase profits by 60pc by 2021.
Its housebuilding arm, Linden Homes, and the regeneration division both reported stronger results, with operating profits up 16pc and 27pc respectively, but the construction side suffered, with margins on its underlying business squeezed to virtually nothing.
Read Isabelle Fraser’s full report here
Pound and dollar await crucial Thursday
Sterling has dipped into the red against the dollar in the last half an hour but today’s movements could be small fry compared to a big day for the two currencies tomorrow.
While sterling has the Bank of England’s Super Thursday to contend with, the US’s own inflation and interest rate hike worries will be the focal point for traders stateside.
Persistently sluggish inflation in the US has dampened hike hopes but a pick-up could reignite expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise rates for a third time in the cycle before the end of the year.
Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said this on tomorrow’s US figures:
“Thursday’s CPI report is a big deal, especially when considering how concerns over stubbornly low inflation rates remain one of the key culprits weighing heavily on US rate hike expectations.
“Price action suggests that dollar bears still remain in control, as investors become increasingly sceptical over the Federal Reserve’s ability to raise interest rates again before the end of the year. A soft inflation figure on Thursday that falls below market estimates is likely to dent the prospect of higher US rates, consequently punishing the vulnerable dollar further.”
Brent crude rallies close to $55 per barrel on upgraded demand forecast
Oil demand will pick-up faster than expected this year, the International Energy Agency has forecast today, boosting the price of Brent crude to close to $55 per barrel.
The IEA said that the market is beginning to rebalance as oil demand grows and production among OPEC members begins to fall.
Brent crude jumped 0.8pc to its highest level since late May after the report bumped up its demand growth forecast by 1.6m barrels per day.
Oil stocks have lagged behind crude’s rally in recent months but today the two oil giants on the FTSE 100, BP and Shell, have advanced 0.5pc and 0.6pc, respectively.
UK funds back DNA data miner that can diagnose disease
A biotech offering artificial intelligence that can diagnose diseases by mining hundreds of thousands of patients’ DNA data has completed a $30m (£22.6m) fundraising, backed by names including UK venture capital giant Balderton Capital.
Sophia Genetics said it would use the cash to expand its network of hospital tie-ups, which already stands at 330 hospitals in 53 countries, including nine in the UK. The push will be focused on expansion outside Europe.
It will also help fund a move into cancer diagnostics, with the latest therapies from drugmakers increasingly being tailored to suit a patient’s genetic profile.
Swiss-based Sophia Genetics has already analysed the genomic profiles of over 125,000 patients, providing a database that aids doctors in diagnosing a range of conditions from cystic fibrosis and hereditary heart problems.
Read Iain Withers’ full report here
Halfords names Dixons Carphone software boss as new chief executive
Halfords has appointed the boss of Dixons Carphone’s software business as it new chief executive.
Graham Stapleton has been hired to replace Jill McDonald, who is taking the reigns at Marks & Spencer’s clothing, home and beauty business next month.
Mr Stapleton, who joins the company in January, has previously served as chief executive of Dixons Carphone’s Connect World Services division. Prior to that, he was chief executive of Carphone Warehouse UK & Ireland.
Earlier in his career he held senior positions at Kingfisher and Marks & Spencer.
Read Sam Dean’s full report here
Lunchtime update: Squeeze on households confirmed by stagnant wage growth
The squeeze on UK households got a little tighter today as the ONS confirmed that wage growth lags far behind rising inflation.
Unemployment dropped to its lowest level in 42 years but the tighter labour market failed to translate to earnings with wage growth stagnating at 2.1pc.
The fall has knocked hawkish hopes of an earlier-than-expected interest rate rise at the Bank of England and the pound has pared its early gains on the currency markets. Sterling remains at a one-year high against the dollar, however, trading at $1.3274.
The FTSE 100’s losses have eased but it is still stuck in the red, bucking the trend on markets. Miners weighed heavily on the blue-chip index as copper slipped to a three-week low while Tesco is the sharpest faller on a broker downgrade.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell commented on this morning’s action:
“While sterling’s slide took the edge off the FTSE’s losses it couldn’t fully lift it out of the red. Instead the index is still down 30 or so points, weighed down by its mining stocks. As for the Eurozone, the euro’s bounce against the pound meant there was little for the DAX and CAC to enjoy, instead both indices sitting flat as the morning went on.
“Looking to this afternoon and for now the Dow Jones seems to have stalled at 22100. The index is set to start the US session flat at that level, with little on the agenda – bar the latest PPI reading – to help it on its way to a fresh all-time high.”
Slow wage growth a global problem
Today’s wage growth figures are proving a bit of a head scratcher for economists. The normal connection between a tight labour market and wage growth just hasn’t been feeding through into the figures recently.
Real wage growth has fallen in almost all sectors with only a handful, including finance and arts, enjoying a rise.
Looking at the employment figures by region, Northern Ireland lags behind with just 68.2pc of its population in work compared to 79.6pc in the South East.
Investec economist Philip Shaw points out that slow wage growth is not just a UK problem:
“Both basic economic theory and common sense suggest that pay growth is likely to be bid up as labour becomes scarcer and shortages become more commonplace.
“However, soft wage growth is not just a feature of the UK economy, but an international phenomenon, with the authorities in the US, the euro area and Japan attempting to make sense of similar developments, despite tight, or at least tightening labour markets there.”
Ashurst employment partner Crowley Woodford believes that confidence is key to sluggish wage growth:
“There is still a lack of confidence amongst employers with regards to the longer term future whilst workers still feel insecure in their jobs. This dampens the pressure on employers to offer higher pay and employee representative bodies to demand it.”
Apple’s iPhone X unveiling pulls down European suppliers
Unless you’ve been living under the rock or taken a vow against capitalism, you may have noticed that Apple unveiled its new iPhone X yesterday and the markets are of course not immune to the latest release from the world’s largest listed company.
Disappointment that the iPhone X will not hit stores until November dragged down Apple shares 0.4pc last night in the US with the new £999 phone available to buy on November 3, a considerable delay compared to previous releases.
Given that Apple left its fourth quarter guidance in tact, it suggests that the tech giant expects to compensate for the delay with sales of its new iPhone 8, which will be released later this month.
Apple’s share price knock has had a read across to its suppliers with British semiconductor firm IQE falling nearly 6pc while in Europe suppliers AMS and Dialog have both retreated. Imagination Tech shares, which have plummeted since Apple announced that it would soon stop using the company’s chips, have fallen 4.5pc.
Markets update: easyJet jumps on new long-haul booking service
All that wage growth excitement has led me to neglect the big movers in London this morning so let’s take a quick look at the laggards and leaders.
On the FTSE 100, easyJet has been propelled to the top of the leaderboard after making the move into long-haul through a new service that allows passengers to book connecting flights on partner airlines.
At the other end, Tesco has dropped 1.9pc on a broker downgrade from Exane BNP Paribas while mining stocks are struggling as the price of copper falls to a three-week low.
On the mid-cap FTSE 250, homeware store Dunelm has popped over 7pc after it told shareholders of a strong start to its financial year while wholesale retailer Booker has retreated 2.5pc following a broker downgrade.
Dunelm sales drop as it warns of difficult trading climate in the UK
Homewares retailer Dunelm has warned that it expects trading conditions to remain difficult in the UK as it reported a drop in like-for-like sales.
In its full-year results, Dunelm said like-for-like sales in its stores were down 2.4pc in the year to the start of July.
Overall like-for-like sales were down 0.5pc, and pre-tax profits fell to £92.4m from £128.9m in the previous year.
The decrease came despite an 8.5pc jump in total revenues, from £881m to £956m.
The FTSE 250 company said the sales drop in its stores was the result of lower footfall as a result of “unusually warm weather”.
Shares jumped 40p to 650.5p, a 6.6pc increase, following the update.
Read Sam Dean’s full report here
Job figures reaction: link between wages and unemployment weakening
The link between wages and unemployment is weakening, according to Deloitte’s chief economist Ian Stewart.
“Job creation is a huge UK success story. Despite Brexit uncertainties and slower growth, the UK continues to generate ever lower unemployment and ever more jobs. “
“But the recession, and its aftermath, has weakened the link between unemployment and wages. In the past this degree of tightness in the jobs market would be pushing wages higher. Instead earnings growth has flat lined in the last couple of years.”
Here’s the reaction of the Minister for Employment Damian Hinds to today’s job figures:
“The strength of the economy is helping people of all ages find work, from someone starting their first job after leaving education, to those who might be starting a new career later in life.
“Britain’s employment success is largely about a growth in full-time and permanent work, as employers invest in Britain and offer quality job opportunities that put more money into people’s pockets.
“But there is more to do, and we will continue to build on our achievements through our employment programmes and the work of Jobcentre Plus.”
Unfortunately that extra money in people pockets is being pinched by high inflation.
Job figures reaction: high inflation and weak wage growth muddies BoE decision
The Bank of England is stuck between a rock and a hard place ahead of tomorrow’s monetary policy meeting after wage growth failed to keep up with inflation.
While high inflation boosts hopes that the central bank will soon take a hawkish turn, today’s poor wage growth figures in a tight labour market has added another layer of uncertainty.
Ranko Berich, head of market analysis at Monex Europe, believes today’s figures have put the central bank in an uneviable position:
“Looking at the across the board inflation increase reported in August and low unemployment rate, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the BoE’s policy decision will be a no brainer in favour of higher rates at some stage in the next 12 months. But today’s miss on average earnings highlights the fact that this is just not the case: wage growth remains sluggish, and real wages are in deep contraction in the UK.
“The BoE is in an unenviable position heading into tomorrow’s MPC meeting, given that inflation is above target but the latest wage and investment data show that the economy is hardly going through a demand driven boom that needs an immediate monetary response.”
Wage growth failing to keep pace with inflation has muddied the decision at the Bank of England, according to ETX Capital analyst Neil Wilson.
“At the same time inflation is exchange rate rather than demand driven and therefore expected to retreat soon enough. Hopes of a hike by year-end may well be dashed on the rocks of economic uncertainty.
“In the short-term, cable may find it hard to hold onto gains if there is no additional indications from the Bank that it is prepared to hike this year. Today’s wage growth data would appear to temper any hawkish inclination, proving bearish for sterling in the near-term.”
Wage growth reaction: today’s disappointing figures pull down early interest rate hike hopes
Has today’s disappointing wage growth wounded hopes of an early interest rate hike?
The chance of an early rate rise have been dealt a blow this morning, according to Jake Trask, FX Research Director at OFX.
“Before this morning’s data, there had been some speculation that the Bank of England’s Chief Economist would switch tack tomorrow, and address above-target inflation by voting for a rate hike.
“But this morning’s sluggish reading will likely see him sit on his hands a while longer, to avoid adding pressure to consumers already facing rising prices.”
Pantheon Macro UK economist Samuel Tombs agrees that today’s job figures weaken the argument of monetary policy hawks.
“The latest labour market data are, on balance, a setback for the hawks on the MPC arguing for higher interest rates. Admittedly, employment rose by 181K, or 0.6%, in the three months to July, the fastest growth since the end of 2015.
“But the three-month average number of job vacancies in August was 0.9% lower than in the previous three months, pointing to a slowdown in employment growth ahead.”
Gap between wages and inflation widens
Today’s wage growth figures will reignite concerns that the tightening labour market is still failing to feed through to wage growth.
Wage growth was expected to nudge up to 2.2pc but the figures remained steady at 2.1pc.
The figures mean that the gap between wages and inflation, which rose to 2.9pc yesterday, has widened even further to tighten the squeeze on UK households.
London Capital Group analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya believes the pound’s retreat following today’s data could be short-lived, however.
“The widening price-wage inflation gap is becoming a serious headache for the Bank of England (BoE) policymakers as lower wages require a dovish monetary policy, but only as long as the inflation allows.
“Despite the slow improvement in wages and street protests from several sector workers, the rising inflationary pressures could encourage some Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members to vote in favour of an interest rate hike in the coming months.”
Job figures key takeaways
- Wage growth remains steady at 2.1pc, lower than expectations. The disappointing figures widen the gap between pay and rising prices.
- Unemployment nudges down to 4.3pc, its lowest rate since 1975.
- 32.14m people were in work in the three months to July, 181,000 more than the period between February to April.
- Pound retreats back to flat territory on the currency markets following sluggish wage growth data.
Wage growth disappoints; unemployment nudges down to 4.3pc
Wage growth disappoints, remaining steady at 2.1pc to widen the gap between rising prices and pay.
Unemployment nudges down to 4.3pc, a 0.1 percentage point drop.
Pound slips back towards flat territory against dollar, trading 0.1pc higher at $1.3280.
Pound eases off morning highs; still firmly in positive territory against most major currencies
The pound’s ascent on the currency markets has eased off a little as we approach the job figures at the bottom of the hour with sterling flirting with flat territory against the euro.
The FTSE 100 is continuing to suffer at the expense of the stronger pound, according to Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
“With the UK jobs report on the way the FTSE continued to suffer in the shadow of sterling’s September rise. The FTSE plunged more than 50 points after the bell, swiftly falling to a 7350-grazing near one week low. The miners have all moved lower, while BP and Shell are both down half a percent.
“However, the main reason for the UK index’s decline was the pound’s latest climb. Though only up 0.2%, that takes cable to a fresh, $1.33-plus one year peak; it has also risen 0.1% against the euro, cementing a 6 week high.”
Job figures preview: what the experts say
Let’s have a quick round-up of what the experts are saying ahead of today’s job figures.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson believes strong figures today will lift interest rate hike hopes.
“A solid wages number could shift the calculus on the MPC further towards a rate rise with Chief economist Andrew Haldane likely to join the other two hawks Michael Saunders and Ian McCafferty in pushing for a rate rise, given recent comments he made during the summer, when inflation ticked up to the same level it is now.
“He suggested that “beginning the process of withdrawing some of the incremental stimulus provided last August would be prudent moving into the second part of the year”, though the caveat was that the data supported such a move.”
He added that it would have been a “delicious irony” if inflation had pushed past 3pc and Bank of England governor Mark Carney had been forced to write a letter to chancellor Philip Hammond to explain why the figures had so badly missed the central bank’s 2pc target.
Many blame Mr Carney and co’s emergency monetary policy change after the EU referendum for knocking down the value of the pound and pushing up inflation.
Disappointing wage figures will only complicate matters at the central bank, according to Accendo Markets head of research Mike Van Dulken.
“Following yesterday’s much hotter than expected inflation prints, the Bank of England will be hoping for a reciprocal surprise from wages too.
“A disappointment, however, will add yet another level of complexity to their current interest rate quandary, with policymakers hesitant to increase rates which consumers are subject to an extended pinch on their pockets.”
Job figures preview: what to expect
Yesterday’s jump in inflation reignited hawkish hopes of an interest rate hike before the end of the year, sending the pound soaring on currency markets.
There are concerns at the dovish end of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, however, that the UK economy is too fragile to withstand a rate rise. Could today’s figures be enough to persuade wavering MPC members, such as chief economist Andy Haldane, to back a hike?
What to expect
Wage growth is expected to nudge up to 2.2pc in the three months to July, a 0.1 percentage point rise on last month’s figures and lagging far behind inflation.
Meanwhile, unemployment will remain unchanged at 4.4pc, a 42-year low, according to economists.
Agenda: Pound pushes past $1.33 against dollar ahead of wage growth data
Lagging wage growth is the focal point for the markets this morning with the ONS’ figures expected to show the gap between pay and rising prices continuing to widen.
Average earnings growth will nudge up to 2.2pc, according to the consensus of economists, cranking up the pressure on households and marking another knock-back for real wages.
The pound this morning has built on yesterday’s post-inflation data gains against the dollar, rising 0.4pc at $1.3326, a one-year high.
The FTSE 100 under pressure from the buoyant pound missed out on the relief rally pulling up equities globally yesterday. This morning it has lurched into the red while European stocks’ rally has stuttered with the CAC 40 in flat territory and the DAX nudging down.
Galliford Try’s full-year results are the highlight on a slightly lighter corporate calendar. The housebuilder, which was hit by a £98m provision to cover legacy contract costs earlier this year, posted profits at the upper end of estimates, pushing its shares 1.3pc higher earlier on.
Interim results: Alliance Pharma, Ten Entertainment Group, Just Group, Soco International, Gaming Realms, Ingenta, Epwin Group, SQS Software Quality Systems AG, Advanced Medical Solutions Group, Columbus Energy Resources, MyCelx Technologies Corporation
Full-year results: Wilmington, Dunelm Group, Town Centre Securities, Galliford Try, Haynes Publishing Group
AGM: Marechale Capital, Versarien, Tricorn Group, Argo Group, Games Workshop Group, Intercede Group, Hardy Oil & Gas
Economics: Unemployment Rate (UK), Claimant Count Change (UK), Average Earnings Index 3m/y (UK), PPI m/m (US), Industrial Production m/m (EU)Employment Change q/q (EU)
A British biotech minnow developing bloodstream tests to identify cancer has struck a sales cope with a German genetics giant indexed by New You are able to it hopes will unlock accessibility lucrative US market.
Position, that is for auction on London’s junior market Aim, has sealed a tie-track of Qiagen, a strong with $1.34bn (£1.01bn) of revenues this past year.
Qiagen, also indexed by Frankfurt, is almost 3,000 occasions the size of Position, which in fact had sales of just £361,000.
Position hopes the offer, which provides it use of Qiagen’s subscriber base in excess of 500,000, would be the to begin many with big pharma because it looks to commercialise its technology.
“It’s a significant advance for all of us,Inches stated Andrew Newland, leader at Position. “We wish to partner with as numerous large companies as possible.Inches
The co-marketing agreement will initially concentrate on bloodstream tests to assist determine cancer indications and then any relevant genetic traits in prostate and cancer of the breast patients.
Ultimately Position wishes to develop bloodstream tests that may catch the first indications of cancer in patients exhibiting limited or no signs and symptoms.
Analysts expect Position to develop substantially as health services and drug firms turn to match modern-day drugs with better diagnostic tools. Mr Newland added: “Developing better diagnostic tools is important towards saving on healthcare bills.”
The NHS has accused big pharmaceutical firms of creating spurious arguments to mount a higher Court challenge to drug prices forces made to have a lid on Britain’s medicines bill.
A business trade body covered with overseas drugs giants including Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi faces allegations from top health sector managers that it’s going after an “unarguable” and “makeweight” judicial review. In the court papers seen by The Sunday Telegraph, NHS England urges idol judges to get rid of the task through the Association from the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), an appearance representing britain’s £63bn existence sciences industry.
The row has ended forces introduced in April giving NHS England the authority to ration pricey medicines, including if they’re likely to are more expensive than £20m in almost any of the first 3 years useful. Formerly medicines signed off as clinically effective and good good value by public drug cost regulator Nice needed to be instantly funded making available through the NHS within three several weeks.
Credit: YAY Media AS / Alamy
The challenge, presently being considered by idol judges, may be the latest flashpoint inside a running bitter fight between drugmakers and also the NHS over rising drug prices, because the health service struggles to satisfy the increasing cost of complex next-gen medicines.
The drugmakers argue the alterations will limit patients’ use of cutting-edge treatments, designed for rare illnesses in which the benefits are large however the patient figures are small. Within their claim the drug firms argue Nice acted beyond its forces introducing the so-known as budget impact make sure unsuccessful to see correctly with industry around the detail from the proposals.
However the public physiques refute these claims, quarrelling they’d the authority to result in the changes and consulted broadly. They argue costly treatments can continue to obvious the different hurdles when the benefits could be proven.
Credit: © Julian Claxton / Alamy
The challenge continues to be introduced against Nice, with NHS England named being an interested party. As the ABPI speaks for that British drugs industry, its 16-strong board is covered with 14 overseas conglomerates.
The Sunday Telegraph revealed in This summer the impetus for that judicial review originated from these overseas people, using the 3 British board people, the FTSE 100’s AstraZeneca and GSK, distancing themselves. At the time the ABPI stated it had been backed by a “majority” from the board.
However this week the ABPI was adamant there is “complete unanimity over the industry around the issue”. GSK stated its position hadn’t altered.
Dr Richard Torbett, executive director in the ABPI, added: “These are exceptional conditions, but because of the impact these new measures may have on NHS patients and our people, we feel the applying for judicial review may be the right factor to complete.Inches
Consultation responses highlighted that patient groups were divided around the forces, with a few, including Prostate United kingdom, saying these were “very concerned” regarding their potential impact.
A few of the latest therapies, including one-time genetic treating cancer for example Novartis’ breakthrough drug Kymriah for a kind of leukaemia, cost thousands and thousands of pounds. Nice declined to comment and NHS England was unavailable for comment.
Davenport expects the marijuana industry to carry on to figure out ways to reduce prices for that simple reason why it’s a lucrative business design. “Some consumers will prefer greater priced brands, but there’ll always be an industry for that brand that may produce sufficient quality cannabis in the least expensive cost,” he notes.
The continuing loss of marijuana’s cost after legalization comes with an important implication for drug policy more generally. The expertise of Washington along with other marijuana legalization states helps guide you enormously effective prohibition of production and purchase reaches raising drug prices. For instance heroin’s cost required ten years to fall by 16 percent, that the legalization of marijuana accomplished in only eight several weeks. Particularly, even high taxes on legal marijuana don’t keep your legal cost anywhere near what it really was once the drug was more broadly illegal.
Prohibition imposes huge costs on drug producing industries which are forwarded to consumers by means of greater prices. These greater prices are among the principal reasons (others being stigma and anxiety about punishment) that illegal medicine is used a lot less often than legal drugs for example alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana is really a rare example where we are able to begin to see the impact of legalizing a medication instantly, which implies that were the development and purchase of heroin, cocaine and crystal meth also legalized, individuals drugs would also become dramatically cheaper to eat.
MAPLETON, N.D. — One of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States teaches third grade here at Mapleton Elementary, a public school with about 100 students in the sparsely populated plains west of Fargo.
Her name is Kayla Delzer. Her third graders adore her. She teaches them to post daily on the class Twitter and Instagram accounts she set up. She remodeled her classroom based on Starbucks. And she uses apps like Seesaw, a student portfolio platform where teachers and parents may view and comment on a child’s schoolwork.
Ms. Delzer also has a second calling. She is a schoolteacher with her own brand, Top Dog Teaching. Education start-ups like Seesaw give her their premium classroom technology as well as swag like T-shirts or freebies for the teachers who attend her workshops. She agrees to use their products in her classroom and give the companies feedback. And she recommends their wares to thousands of teachers who follow her on social media.
“I will embed it in my brand every day,” Ms. Delzer said of Seesaw. “I get to make it better.”
Ms. Delzer is a member of a growing tribe of teacher influencers, many of whom promote classroom technology. They attract notice through their blogs, social media accounts and conference talks. And they are cultivated not only by start-ups like Seesaw, but by giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft, to influence which tools are used to teach American schoolchildren.
Their ranks are growing as public schools increasingly adopt all manner of laptops, tablets, math teaching sites, quiz apps and parent-teacher messaging apps. The corporate courtship of these teachers brings with it profound new conflict-of-interest issues for the nation’s public schools.
Moreover, there is little rigorous research showing whether or not the new technologies significantly improve student outcomes.
More than two dozen education start-ups have enlisted teachers as brand ambassadors. Some give the teachers inexpensive gifts like free classroom technology or T-shirts. Last year, TenMarks, a math-teaching site owned by Amazon, offered Amazon gift cards to teachers who acted as company advisers, and an additional $80 gift card for writing a post on its blog, according to a TenMarks online forum.
Teachers said that more established start-ups gave them pricier perks like travel expenses to industry-sponsored conferences attended by thousands of teachers. In exchange, teacher ambassadors often promote company products on social media or in their conference talks — sometimes without explicitly disclosing their relationships with their sponsors.
Many public schools are facing tight budgets, and administrators, including the principal at Ms. Delzer’s school, said they welcomed potentially valuable free technology and product training. Even so, some education experts warned that company incentives might influence teachers to adopt promoted digital tools over rival products or even traditional approaches, like textbooks.
“Teachers can’t help but be seduced to make greater use of the technology, given these efforts by tech companies,” said Samuel E. Abrams, director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Public-school teachers who accept perks, meals or anything of value in exchange for using a company’s products in their classrooms could also run afoul of school district ethics policies or state laws regulating government employees.
“Any time you are paying a public employee to promote a product in the public classroom without transparency, then that’s problematic,” said James E. Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine who is a lecturer at Harvard Law School. “Should attorneys general be concerned about this practice? The answer is yes.”
Ms. Delzer and other educators forcefully argue that they’re motivated by altruism, and not company-bestowed status or gifts. “I am in this profession for kids,” Ms. Delzer said, “not for notoriety or the money.”
At a time when teachers shell out an average of $600 of their own money every year just to buy student supplies like pencils — and make pleas for student laptops on DonorsChoose.org, a fund-raising site — it’s understandable that teachers would embrace free classroom technology.
“My kids have access to awesome things that, as a district, we could never afford,” said Nicholas Provenzano, an English teacher in the Detroit area who is an ambassador for companies that make $1,299 3-D printers and $300 coding kits. He noted that he had apprised his school, and his students, of his company ties.
Another important draw for teachers, who already often feel underappreciated: Having tech companies, the icons of American society, seek their views provides welcome attention. “Teachers have really responded well to feeling like they are being listened to,” said Carl Sjogreen, a co-founder of Seesaw.
The benefits to companies are substantial. Many start-ups enlist their ambassadors as product testers and de facto customer service representatives who can field other teachers’ queries.
Apple, Google and Microsoft, which are in education partly to woo students as lifetime users of their products, have more sophisticated teacher efforts — with names like the Apple Distinguished Educators program, Google for Education’s Certified Innovator Program and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert program. Each yearlong program selects teachers to attend a conference and work with the company to help create, or develop, education innovations, often using company tools. The tech giants position their programs as professional development for teachers, not marketing exercises.
Microsoft and Apple said they worked with schools to make sure any conference travel expenses they covered for teachers complied with district ethics rules. Google said it provided meals but not teachers’ travel expenses.
An Amazon representative, responding to a question about the gift cards that TenMarks offered to certain teachers last year, said that the company had not given that incentive recently and that it had procedures “to ensure our compliance with applicable laws and to help facilitate teachers’ obligations to their schools.”
The competition for these teacher evangelists has become so fierce that GoEnnounce, a one-year-old platform where students can share profiles of their accomplishments, decided to offer a financial incentive — a 15 percent cut of any school sales that resulted from referrals — to Ms. Delzer and a few other selected teachers just to try to keep up with rival companies’ perks.
So far, no teacher has asked for the payment, said Melissa Davis, GoEnnounce’s chief executive. Still, she said, teacher referrals accounted for 20 percent of GoEnnounce’s first-year sales.
“These champions are really essential in giving us a really powerful foot in the door to meet with districts and schools,” Ms. Davis said.
The medical profession has long wrestled with a similar issue: Can pharmaceutical-company gifts like speaking fees or conference junkets influence physicians to prescribe certain medications? A recent study of nearly 280,000 doctors concluded that physicians who received even one free meal promoting a specific brand of medicine prescribed that medication at significantly higher rates than they did similar drugs. Drug makers are now required by law to provide details on their payments — including gifts, meals and fees for promotional speeches — to a range of physicians and academic medical centers.
Unlike industry influence in medicine, however, the phenomenon of company-affiliated teachers has received little scrutiny. Twitter alone is rife with educators broadcasting their company-bestowed titles.
“If medical experts started saying, ‘I’m a Google Certified Doctor’ or ‘I’m a Pfizer Distinguished Nurse,’ people would be up in arms,” said Douglas A. Levin, president of EdTech Strategies, a consulting firm.
Another issue: The Federal Trade Commission considers sponsored posts to be a form of advertising. It expects people who receive a product, a meal or anything else of value from a company, in exchange for promoting a product, to disclose that sponsorship when they endorse the product.
This is true for celebrities and teachers alike. And it applies equally to conferences, YouTube videos, personal blogs or Twitter posts.
Some teachers and start-ups said they were not aware of those guidelines.
“If you are receiving any sort of incentive to promote the company’s product, that is what we call a material relationship,” said Mary K. Engle, associate director of the trade commission’s division of advertising practices, “and that has to be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the endorsement message.”
For some teachers, corporate relationships can be steppingstones to lucrative speaking or training engagements. Schools often hire company-connected educators to give training sessions to their teachers. And technology conferences for teachers often book influential teachers as speakers.
Ms. Delzer said her fees for such events started at several thousand dollars a day. Some veteran education influencers charge much more.
To do it all, Ms. Delzer negotiated a special contract with her district, allowing her to take 10 unpaid days off a year. She uses those days off to give speeches and run teacher workshops for other schools.
She spends some evenings and weekends doing her consulting work. She also co-founded her own teacher training conference, called Happy Go Teach.
“It’s like two full-time jobs,” Ms. Delzer said.
The Starbucks Classroom
Just before 8:30 a.m. on school days, Ms. Delzer, 32, stations herself at the classroom door. She greets each of her third graders by name, ushering them in one by one with a brief shoulder squeeze. “I want them to feel love when they walk in,” she said.
If her classroom looks less like a traditional schoolroom and more like a den — with a colorful rug and inspirational signs exhorting children to “DREAM” and “LAUGH” — that is no accident. A few years ago, Ms. Delzer decided to remodel her classroom to foster the kind of independent work habits she thought her students would need in life.
So she ditched the standard-issue desks and rearranged the room to look more like the place where she goes to work on her conference talks: her local Starbucks. Today, her third graders sit wherever they please — on cushions, rocking chairs, balance balls.
“If I’m just feeling like relaxing, I usually sit on the rockers or the ball chairs or the beanbag chairs,” Jennings, a third grader in Ms. Delzer’s class last spring, explained. “But if I want to be really, really focused, then I usually feel like going on something a little harder so that I don’t lose concentration.”
The “Starbucks for kids” classroom proved so successful that Ms. Delzer wrote about it for EdSurge, an industry publication, in 2015. The article quickly spread in education circles.
Sitting in her local Starbucks in West Fargo, Ms. Delzer noted: “If you Google ‘Starbucks Classroom,’ it’s a thing now.”
But Ms. Delzer said she did not start out seeking to influence the practice of teaching. It was serendipity, she said, and an iPad experiment.
In 2011, Ms. Delzer’s school, in Thief River Falls, Minn., bought a few iPads and asked her to try using them in class. Two years later, her school’s technology director suggested that they speak at an education conference about her experiment.
That was when Ms. Delzer realized, she said, that by addressing her peers, she could reach vastly more students.
“I see the ripple effect on teachers who leave the conference,” she said. “It’s really gratifying to know that those classrooms are better because of it.”
She soon found herself a bigger stage — at TEDxFargo, a local chapter of the well-known TED conference. It was 2015, and she spoke about using technology and other approaches to give students more autonomy. The YouTube video of her talk has racked up more than 127,000 views.
Today, so many teachers from other districts want to visit her classroom that Mapleton Elementary has set aside every Tuesday to host them. “We limit it to four teachers a day,” Ms. Delzer said.
Some non-tech companies, too, are eager to harness her star power by providing their products at no charge.
“BIG THANKS to our friends @TradeWestEDU for the new chairs, bean bags and tables!” Ms. Delzer tweeted in January after Trade West Equipment, an office and school supplier, furnished items for her classroom. “We are loving our new #flexibleseating options!”
Potential for Conflict
One morning last spring, Ms. Delzer assigned her third graders a math problem to solve on their iPads using Seesaw. Developed by two former Facebook product managers, Seesaw lets students produce and share their schoolwork as written notes, diagrams, audio recordings or videos.
Some children love the sharing aspect. “They can see what you are doing now that we have Seesaw,” McCoy, a third grader in Ms. Delzer’s class, said of his parents. “Other years they couldn’t — they were only able to see on your papers.”
Ms. Delzer is also an ambassador for Seesaw, an unpaid post. “Seesaw, my teacher heart loves you :-),” Ms. Delzer wrote on Instagram this year with a video clip showing her students using the program. It was seen more than 6,500 times.
Teaching, by nature, is a helping profession. And educators have a long tradition of sharing ideas with colleagues.
Ms. Delzer said she did not see a conflict between her teaching and other activities. She said she deliberately divided her work, devoting herself to her students during school hours while giving conference talks on days off and working with companies on some school nights.
“It’s really important to keep the two things separate,” she said.
She added that she worked only with companies whose products she personally believed in. Those relationships, she said, gave her valuable access to resources that could benefit her students, colleagues and teacher followers.
“If I am going to put my name on it, it either has to make learning better for students or teaching better for teachers,” Ms. Delzer said.
But companies that tap public-school teachers to use or promote their products in exchange for perks are effectively engaging the educators as consultants — a situation that could conflict with teachers’ obligations to their employer: schools.
According to the Seesaw site, for instance, the company expects its teacher ambassadors to “use Seesaw regularly in your classroom,” host two Seesaw-related conference talks or workshops annually and participate in Seesaw discussions online. In exchange, Seesaw offers teachers a subscription to its $120 premium service, product previews and a company badge to post on their profiles.
Joel R. Reidenberg, a professor at Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, said those kinds of arrangements could violate state or school district conflict-of-interest rules governing public employees.
“Vendors offering free technology to teachers for their personal or professional use in exchange for teachers promoting it to students or other teachers is a very questionable activity,” Professor Reidenberg said.
Tim Jacobson, the principal of Mapleton Elementary School, where Ms. Delzer teaches, offered a different view. He described the company-teacher relationships as mutually beneficial for schools and industry. After Ms. Delzer developed a relationship with Seesaw, he noted, the company gave every Mapleton teacher a premium subscription and training sessions.
“It’s a real advantage when she comes back and she shares with us what she sees happening at the forefront of education,” Mr. Jacobson said. “Plus, it is good recognition for Mapleton Elementary School. We do a lot of things you wouldn’t expect in a school of our size.”
Mr. Sjogreen, the Seesaw co-founder, said that his company’s ambassador program did not pay teachers and that its premium software was not valuable enough to be a draw for them.
“There is nothing that we are doing really to incentivize teachers to become ambassadors,” he said. “To the extent that they give us great feedback and help us spread the word, we are happy to support them to become more knowledgeable.”
Ms. Delzer has also served as an Amazon Education “Teacher Innovator”; a “Digital Image Champion” for GoEnnounce, the student portfolio platform; a brand ambassador for GoNoodle, a classroom activity app; and a “Lead Digital Innovator” for PBS LearningMedia, the education arm of the nonprofit broadcasting company.
The Lesson of Drug Makers
One evening last spring, Mr. Provenzano, the English teacher and tech company ambassador, came home from school and went downstairs to his basement.
He had just finished teaching “To Kill a Mockingbird” in his English classes at Grosse Pointe South, a public high school in a Detroit suburb. And he had given his students an unusual choice of assignments: They could make traditional class presentations, or use computer-assisted design software to draft objects illustrating themes from the novel.
At a time when many teachers feel constrained by curriculum requirements, Mr. Provenzano said digital tools provided a creative outlet. The design software assignment also took advantage of his side business, called The Nerdy Teacher. Mr. Provenzano consults for education technology companies, and his basement is chock-full of the electronics they send him to try.
Now, he used a $1,299 3-D printer sent to him by Dremel, a tool brand for which he is an ambassador, to turn his students’ designs into three-dimensional objects. He printed one student’s design, a gavel, representing the struggle for justice in the novel.
Later he posted a photo of the gavel on Twitter, mentioning the brand: “Student designed and @DremelEdu 3D40 printed gavel for a To Kill a Mockingbird presentation.”
Mr. Provenzano also blogs and gives conference presentations to teachers, sharing interesting ways that he uses the 3-D printers. “I feel comfortable saying teachers have bought Dremel because of me,” he said.
This teacher-influencer soft sell may be new in schools. But researchers who study medical marketing recognize it from techniques used for years by the pharmaceutical industry.
Drug makers have long cultivated doctors to promote brand-name medicines to their peers. Insiders have a nickname for these doctors: “Key Opinion Leaders.” Among other things, drug makers have paid physician influencers to give talks about company drugs, sent them on junkets and lavished them with fancy dinners.
If the ed-tech industry is now replicating these strategies, it is because, at least in medicine, they work.
“These techniques encourage the use of the product being promoted rather than evidence-based practices,” said Dr. Aaron S. Kesselheim, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who has studied how drug company payments influence doctors. “There is evidence that even a small amount of money, like a meal, can influence prescribing.”
Some academic medical centers now prohibit their doctors from giving industry-sponsored speeches. And some drug companies have stopped giving doctors swag.
But there has been little public discussion about the ramifications of similar tech industry cultivation of teachers.
Mr. Provenzano said he did not see a conflict of interest between his teaching and industry affiliations, noting that his blog prominently listed his company affiliations. He added that school districts often hired him to train their teachers precisely because his industry relationships had helped him become an expert.
He left his public-school teaching job over the summer and started a position as director of maker spaces at a nearby private school. “These ambassadorships helped me get this job,” Mr. Provenzano said.
Some ambassador programs involve formal contracts that may take advantage of well-meaning teachers, legal experts said. For instance, a document online reviewed by The New York Times titled “Dremel Idea Builder Ambassador Agreement” contains a number of stipulations for teachers.
Among other things, the document said the company would provide a 3-D printer in exchange for a teacher’s developing at least one four-minute video tutorial every other month featuring a classroom project using the device. It required the teacher to give Dremel-related presentations at two or more conferences. The document, as written, also included a noncompete clause prohibiting teachers from working with other 3-D printing companies.
And Professor Reidenberg of Fordham Law pointed out that the document reviewed by The Times would give Dremel the right to settle any legal claims arising from the teacher’s work, while making the teacher liable for legal costs. “This clause could bankrupt the teacher,” Professor Reidenberg said.
Linda Beckmeyer, a spokeswoman for Bosch, the maker of Dremel, said its contract with teachers was confidential and declined to discuss its terms.
“The purpose of the ambassador program is to advance the maker movement in education by giving teachers and students access to 3-D printing,” she said.
‘We Are Not All Kim Kardashians’
Earlier this year, after school, Ms. Delzer drove to Kittsona, a trendy midpriced clothing boutique in Fargo. She already had a host of speaking engagements on her calendar, and she wanted new outfits to wear to them.
The Kittsona staff greeted her like a V.I.P.
Last year, the store’s owners agreed to outfit Ms. Delzer free of charge after she asked them to sponsor her in exchange for her tagging Kittsona on social media. Now, a stylist rushed about, picking out cute sleeveless dresses, embroidered tunics, layered necklaces and suede bootees for the teacher to try on.
Kittsona ran several promotions this year in which Ms. Delzer offered her Instagram followers a store discount. Each one directly resulted in 50 to 100 sales, said Nicole Johnson, Kittsona’s co-owner.
It was an indication, she said, that young working women were responding to Ms. Delzer’s ambitious-but-approachable schoolteacher brand. “We are not all Kim Kardashians,” Ms. Johnson said.
An hour or so later, Ms. Delzer left the boutique laden with shopping bags. But her working day was hardly done.
After dinner, Ms. Delzer installed herself at her kitchen counter. Dozens of emails from companies, conferences, publishers and teacher fans on social media needed responses.
Ms. Delzer recalled how, when she was starting out a few years ago, some veteran teacher influencers snubbed her. Tonight, she would try to respond to as many requests as possible. “I just drink a lot of coffee,” she said.
If her Top Dog Teaching fans nationwide love her, so do her third graders. One reason is that she often treats them like budding adults.
Every fall, for instance, Ms. Delzer holds a social media boot camp to teach her students how to run the class Instagram and Twitter accounts. She teaches them rules like “never share your password” and helps them understand how to maintain an upbeat online image.
After all, the class accounts, called TopDogKids, are essentially an offshoot of her own.
“You don’t want to post something bad,” McCoy, the third grader, said, “because if you want a job, those people are probably going to look at your social media page and they are going to decide if they’ll let you have the job.”
Lest they forget, a sign on the classroom wall reminded students and teacher alike: “I am building my digital footprint every day.”
US regulators have approved the very first cancer drug that utilizes a patient’s own cells to battle cancer. But the medication is costing $475,000.
Oncologists described the drug, produced by Novartis and marketed as Kymriah, as revolutionary, but critics repeat the first-of-its-kind cancer treatment could usher inside a new type of ultra-costly medications.
Kymriah is a one-time, intravenous treatment patients receive after scientists at Novartis engineer a patient’s own immune cells (T-cells) to battle cancer. The drug will treat acute lymphocytic leukemia, the most typical kind of childhood cancer in america.
85% of kids into remissions of 5 years or longer, based on the American Cancer Society. Kymriah would treat patients who don’t react to standard treatment, most likely merely a couple of hundred children and youthful adults each year.
“This is really a completely new method of treating cancer,” stated Dr Stephan Grupp of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who brought the Novartis study. Grupp treated the very first patient while using new immunotherapy procedure: a woman who had been near dying but has become cancer-free 5 years and counting. Grupp described the drug as “enormously exciting”.
Although the cost might be shocking to a lot of, analysts will most likely see the $475,000 cost tag as conservative. An English study recommended the “upper bound” for any drug like Kymriah might be $649,000.
Critics countered the Novartis treatment only demonstrated drug prices in the usa was “completely broken”.
“While Novartis’s decision to create a cost at $475,000 per treatment might be seen by a few as restraint, we believe that it is excessive,” stated David Mitchell, obama of Patients for reasonable Drugs. Mitchell stated Novartis shouldn’t “get credit” for getting an costly drug to promote “and claiming they might have billed people a great deal more”.
Mitchell’s group met Novartis yesterday the drug’s approval – and cost – was announced.
“Instead of the discussion on how to get to a good cost because of its new Vehicle-T drug, Novartis spent the majority of the meeting explaining why it must charge a huge cost,” Mitchell stated.
Inside a business call Wednesday, Bruno Strigini, Novartis’s mind of oncology, stated the $475,000 cost was an effort to balance patient accessibility drug with making certain coming back around the company’s investment, Stat News reported.
Their Chief executive officer, Frederick Jimenez, stated inside a statement: “Five years back, we started collaborating using the College of Pennsylvania and committed to further developing and getting what we should believed will be a paradigm-altering immunocellular therapy to cancer patients in dire need. Using the approval of Kymriah, we’re once more delivering on the dedication to change the path of cancer care.”
The drug company also stated within the statement it had become collaborating with Medicare on the plan where the government would only spend the money for treatments if patients taken care of immediately them through the finish from the first month.
Patients for reasonable Drugs calculated that before Novartis collaborated with College of Pennsylvania, American taxpayers invested roughly $200m into “foundational” research on Vehicle-T cell therapies, because the new immunotherapy treatment methods are known.
The Food and drug administration approved Novartis’ drug carrying out a study of 63 patients that found 83% who required the medication entered remission. However, it’s unclear how lengthy the advantages of the therapy may last some patients relapsed several weeks later.
Further, patients may also experience extreme as well as existence-threatening negative effects. One for reds effect, cytokine release syndrome, may cause high fevers, diarrhea and vomiting. Another, nerve toxicities, may cause delirium, lack of balance and difficulty speaking and understanding.
Furthermore, patients will likely have to go to get the treatment. Novartis individually edits patients’ cells. Anybody seeking treatment will have to visit certainly one of 32 sites round the country for his or her cells to become collected and mailed to Novartis in Nj, Stat News reported.
The Connected Press led to this report