Delays on new drugs, Smyths Toys expand in Europe and entrepreneur awards shortlist

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from ‘The Irish Times’ business desk

Irish patients are being denied access to nine drugs that are widely available across Europe, largely on cost grounds.

Irish patients are being denied access to nine drugs that are widely available across Europe, largely on cost grounds.

 

Irish patients are being denied access to nine drugs that are widely available across Europe, largely on cost grounds. The drugs - most of them cancer therapies - have gone through the Health Technology Assessment, which examines the clinical effectiveness and safety of new drugs as well as their cost-effectiveness and budget impact.

Smyths Toys has agreed to pay up to €79 million for the central European division of Toys R Us, comprising 90 outlets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Smyths is expected to use the deal as a springboard to launch a major expansion of its brand across the continent. The deal immediately catapults Smyths towards the top of the list of the largest speciality toy retailers in Europe. It’s also likely to push the group annual revenues towards the €1 billion barrier, making Smyths, after Dunnes Stores, the most significant privately-owned Irish retailing company.

Director of Corporate Enforcement Ian Drennan has expressed concerns about the affairs of INM that extend beyond the scope of actions by former chairman Leslie Buckley, court records show. Mr Drennan has argued in court papers that Mr Buckley’s resignation as chairman last month “does not diminish my concerns, nor does it diminish the necessity that these matters be further investigated”.

The Irish economy is better placed to withstand a recession this time around, according to Central Bank governor Philip Lane. The higher levels of equity being used to finance investment in Ireland differentiates the current economic situation from the previous crisis, he said.

The EU and Mexico have agreed substantial upgrade in their trade agreement, signed nearly 20 years ago, to allow 99 per cent of goods to be traded between them on a tariff-free basis. The deal has to be ratified by the European Parliament and the Mexican Senate. It also sees a further opening up of the services sector and the €20 billion public procurement market to EU businesses and will save them up to €100 million a year in customs duties.

The UK continues to make Brexit promises it cannot keep, according to Chris Johns. In his column he writes that The UK continues to believe the EU will back down and accept a magical solution to the Irish Border offered by yet-to-be invented technology.

The shortlist for the 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) awards, now in its 21st year in Ireland, has been released with 24 finalists selected to compete across three categories.

Finally, in her column this week, Pilita Clark suggests that orporate wellbeing is no substitute for good management. “For one thing it does nothing to alter the underlying cause of stress: bad management. It also conveniently shifts the burden of wellbeing from the employer causing stress to the employee trying to deal with it.”