Fed paid government $77.7 billion in 2013
WASHINGTON The Federal Reserve said Friday it paid the federal government $77.7 billion in 2013. That was down from the record set in 2012 but still far above payment levels before the Great Recession. The payments reflect a portion of the earnings the central bank makes from the Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities it has bought to drive interest rates lower to boost the economy. The Fed is funded from interest earned on its portfolio of securities. After covering expenses, the Fed makes a payment of the remaining amount to the Treasury Department. Fed payments averaged $26 billion annually in the four years before 2008.
FDA urges compounding pharmacies to register for more oversight
BOSTON The commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent letters to state agencies and other stakeholders across the country calling on them to encourage compounding pharmacies to register as producers of sterile drugs in an effort to protect the public. The letter from Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, dated Wednesday, reminds stakeholders of a law passed last year in response to a meningitis outbreak from contaminated steroid pain injections that killed 64 people and sickened more than 750. The outbreak was traced to the now-closed New England Compounding Center pharmacy in Framingham. Under the new law, large-volume compounding pharmacies that send medicine all over the country can voluntarily register with the FDA and submit to federal inspections and quality standards.
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Philip Morris to add tobacco product plants in Italy
RICHMOND, Va. Overseas Marlboro maker Philip Morris International Inc. said Friday it is investing up to 500 million euros (about $680 million) for two plants in Italy to make new tobacco products. The world’s second-biggest cigarette seller behind state-controlled China National Tobacco Corp. said the facilities near Bologna will produce its so-called “reduced-risk” products that heat tobacco instead of burning it.
The Associated Press contributed.