NPR's business news starts with cheaper cholesterol drugs for many Americans.
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INSKEEP: The drug maker Pfizer has lost the patent on its drug Lipitor. The patent expired in the United States yesterday. And on the same day, regulators granted an Indian company approval to sell a cheaper, generic version of the cholesterol drug in the U.S. market.
And today's last word in business is West Drainage Ditch. That is currently the name of the creek that runs through Kalona, Iowa. Not the most appealing of names, but a local newspaper editor is exploring plans to change it.
The editor wants a more noble name for the waterway - or the crick(ph), as locals call it, according to the Iowa Press Citizen. City council embraced the idea of a name change, and the editor has put the naming rights up for auction on eBay. Funds will go toward replacing the sidewalks. So get in your bid now.
Steve Inskeep talks to Gene Sperling, head of the president's National Economic Council, about extending the payroll tax cut. The Obama administration is pushing Congress to extend the cut before it expires at the end of the year.
At a high school in Scranton, Pa., Wednesday, President Obama exhorted Republicans in Congress to extend the pay roll tax cut. He said putting money in the pockets of working people is more important than partisan politics.
Medicare has announced that it will pay for primary care providers to counsel obese patients on losing weight and maintaining the weight loss. Medicare will pay doctors, nurses and physicians' assistants to help plan weight loss programs.
The last time the world paid attention to students at Penn State, the image was not pretty. Some protested the firing of football coach Joe Paterno; people even overturned a TV news truck after Paterno lost his job for failing to do more about allegations of child sexual abuse.
Criminal proceedings and lawsuits in that case may continue for years. And last night, Penn State held a forum on campus so students could tell administrators what's on their minds. NPR's Jeff Brady was there.
Too many states still inadvertently provide safe havens when it comes to sex trafficking — even when children on the streets bear the consequences. That's the conclusion of a new report released Thursday by the advocacy group Shared Hope International.
The study grades each state on whether it has laws to protect children who are pushed into the sex trade — and to punish the adults who seek out those services. Leaders of the group say there's lots of room for improvement. More than half of the states they examined got grades of D or F.