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Drugs prices war heats up

THE battle for the prescription drugs market has heated up with the country's largest supplier of generics -- unbranded medicines -- is set to cut prices by more than a fifth.

Teva Pharmaceuticals is about to introduce a 23pc price-cut across its range.

This will make significant savings for the State. Brand name drugs currently take the lion's share of Ireland's total spending on medicines, accounting for 90pc of the €1.9bn outlay.

Sacked worker battles bank

A 68-year-old man fired from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in the US over a minor crime 50 years ago has become embroiled in a row over background checks.

Richard Eggers was fired in July when a background review revealed a 1963 conviction for putting a cardboard cut-out of a dime in a laundry washing machine.

He has since received a waiver and Wells Fargo has offered to rehire him.

But Mr Eggers said he will not accept the bank's offer unless Wells Fargo changes its background check policy.

Noonan holds

key debt talks

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan will try to advance Ireland's claim for a bank debt deal today when he meets German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Mr Schaeuble is pushing his own demand for a new EU Commissioner with the power to veto countries' budgets.

Mr Noonan and Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin will meet Mr Schaeuble in Farmleigh House.

Mr Noonan will be building on the statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week that Ireland is a "special case" for a bank debt deal.

Ex-president on lotto charge

A Philippine court has entered a not guilty plea for former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is accused of misusing ¤6.8m in state lottery funds.

Police brought Ms Arroyo, suffering from a neck ailment, to the Manila anti-corruption court from a military hospital where she was admitted days before the court served the arrest warrant against her. She would not enter a plea.