JetBlue hopes to train its own pilots
JetBlue Airways Corp., breaking with historical practices at U.S. airlines, plans to recruit potential pilots with no flight experience and provide its own training under a proposal awaiting approval from federal regulators. The program would be the first of its kind in the U.S. and would be similar to those used by some European and Asian carriers. Candidates still would have to meet U.S. requirements, including 1,500 hours of flight experience, to be certified as commercial airline pilots, JetBlue said. JetBlue crafted its plan to gain access to a broader group of candidates, oversee their training from the start and expose them earlier to being part of a crew on large aircraft, an airline spokesman said.
N.Y. declares a win in Alzheimer's drug suit
New York's attorney general is dropping an antitrust lawsuit against a drug manufacturer after his office blocked what he alleged was an attempt to force Alzheimer's patients to switch to a newer patented drug instead of cheaper generic alternatives. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Allergan PLC said that they have agreed to resolve the lawsuit filed over the company's plans to withdraw Namenda, a popular Alzheimer's treatment, a few months before lower-cost generic drugs became available. Schneiderman's office had argued the move was timed to force patients onto a new patented drug Namenda XR instead of the generics. A federal judge agreed last year, requiring Allergan to continue distributing the older drug until summer 2015, when generic medications entered the market.
Criticized company reneges on price drop
After weeks of criticism from patients, doctors and other drugmakers for hiking a life-saving medicine's price more than fifty-fold, Turing Pharmaceuticals is reneging on its pledge to cut the $750-per-pill price. Instead, the small biotech company is reducing what it charges hospitals, by up to 50 percent, for its parasitic infection treatment, Daraprim. Most patients' copayments will be capped at $10 or less a month. But insurers will be stuck with the bulk of the $750 tab. That drives up future treatment and insurance costs. Turing's move comes after a pharmacy that compounds prescription drugs for individual patients, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, started selling a custom-made version for 99 cents per capsule. Those sales weren't a factor in Turing's pricing strategy, chief marketing officer Nancy Retzlaff said Wednesday.
Sales slump, but Deere beats estimates
Even though sales fell sharply, Deere & Co. reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings as it cut costs. The Moline, Illinois-based company also posted an earnings outlook for the year that surpassed Wall Street expectations. Deere has been hurt by weak commodity prices which have made farmers less likely to buy new equipment. Sales of its agriculture equipment, which include tractors, fell 25 percent in the quarter from a year ago. Sales of its construction equipment fell 32 percent in the period from a year ago. For the fiscal year 2016, the company expects earnings of about $1.4 billion, above the $1.33 billion analysts expected, according to FactSet.