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Zombies take their medicine as some companies accept reality

The states with the biggest rise in administrations were Victoria, which recorded a jump of 23.8 per cent in September following a 49.3 per cent decrease in August, and Queensland, which recorded a 24.1 per cent increase in September after a drop of 25.4 in August.

NSW fared better, recording a 1.6 per cent decrease in business administrations, following a 34.3 per cent decrease in August.

CreditorWatch chief executive Patrick Coghlan said that while average payment times were down 10 per cent to 38 days, the backlog of company administrations was starting to make its way through the economy.

Accepting reality

“Payment times are usually a leading indicator but we are now seeing the first part of a backlog of insolvencies starting to be processed,” Mr Coghlan said.

“Seeing businesses enter into administration is never something you want to celebrate. However, September’s increase in default and administration rates does indicate that some businesses which have been reliant on government support are starting to accept the reality of their situation and are taking steps to settle with their creditors.

“What we don’t want to see is businesses that are doomed to fail continuing to operate and taking healthy companies down with them.

“The long-term trend is that zombie companies will continue to survive on government support, and so the next six months are crucial in determining what position we start our economic recovery from.”

The Reserve Bank reported in its semi-annual Financial Stability Review last Friday that government supports, particularly temporary insolvency relief, had reduced the number of business failures by about 4600 so far and would rescue more than 10,000 firms in total.

However, last week’s budget shifted away from supporting unviable firms with schemes such as the $102 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy and instead offered tax relief for businesses that have a better prospect of surviving in the new COVID-19 economy.

Industry experts say thousands of small businesses could still fail because they are unlikely to be able to pay employee entitlements required under the Morrison government’s proposed new insolvency restructuring laws.

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How Can Pharma Companies Simplify the Five-Phase Drug Development Process? Infiniti’s Experts Highlight the Need for Product Research Solutions

The increasing competition of the pharmaceutical industry has encouraged companies to invest in innovation and drug development. However, the drug development process is challenging, and without appropriate guidance, developers can face various roadblocks. What is the solution? Infiniti’s product research solutions enable companies to identify, evaluate, and strategize for potential roadblocks through the process. Additionally, our product research experts provide drug developers with crucial insights regarding target customers, regulatory requirements, and competitors’ strategies through the process. This further provides companies with a strategic advantage and enables them to successfully develop and launch a new drug and monitor their success efficiently. To leverage Infiniti’s product research solutions for comprehensive insights regarding the drug development process and an effective strategy, request a free proposal.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201008005908/en/

Five Phases of the Drug Development Process (Graphic: Business Wire)

With constant technological and pharmaceutical advancements, the pharmaceutical industry is continually becoming more competitive and challenging. Pharmaceutical companies need to focus on innovation and stay ahead of the curve to acquire and maintain market share successfully. Therefore, many pharma companies and researchers have shifted focus on drug development. The drug development process is long drawn and includes multiple phases. It is a five-phase process in the United States and acquiring regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extremely challenging. Therefore, Infiniti’s experts decided to simplify the five-phase drug development process and discuss the value of product research solutions during every stage of the process in their recent article.

Gain comprehensive insights into the five phases of the drug development process and the value of product research solutions by reading the complete article here.

“Although the drug development process becomes easier with more available resources, workforce, and a better understanding of the regulatory requirements, many major pharma companies may still struggle to complete the process without experts’ guidance,” says a pharmaceutical industry expert at Infiniti Research.

Infiniti’s product research experts discussed the following five phases of the drug development process:

  • Discovery and development of a particular compound that elicits a desirable effect on the druggable target for any disease and developing a drug candidate

  • Preclinical research involves testing of the drug candidate on an animal species with similar genetic makeup as humans and gaining an understanding of the dosage and toxicity levels

  • Designing a clinical trial, developing a protocol, and submitting an IND application is part of the third phase of the drug development process

  • The relevant information procured from the preclinical and clinical research is submitted to the FDA for review, and it is either approved, delayed, or referred to an advisory committee for further review

  • The fifth phase involves surveillance of the drug after it has been approved, manufactured, and marketed. This aims to analyze the long-term efficacy and safety of the drug and involves various inspections by FDA representatives

To learn how Infiniti Research helps pharma companies strategize for each phase efficiently, and overcome potential bottlenecks with product research

Companies are making some changes for employees health insurance amid the pandemic

More coverage for virtual doctors’ visits. Expanded mental health benefits. Access to on-site health clinics.



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As employees sign up for job-based coverage for 2021, they’ll find the coronavirus pandemic has changed some of the benefits that their companies are providing, experts said.

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And they’ll also see their premiums and out-of-pocket costs increase about 5%, which is more than wages and inflation have been rising, according to the Business Group on Health, which surveys large employers.

This bump comes on top of a 4% increase in premiums this year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual employer health benefits survey. In 2020, the average annual premiums hit nearly $7,500 for single coverage and $21,500 for family coverage. Deductibles stayed roughly the same at about $1,650 for a single person.

One of the biggest changes for 2021 will be a growth in the number and types of virtual care options, said Steve Wojcik, the group’s vice president of public policy. Employers had long offered telehealth, but few of their staffers actually used it.

The pandemic changed all that. Utilization soared as Americans sought medical care from the safety of their homes.

Some 53% of large employers will offer more virtual care options next year, the group found. And they are extending the services to weight management, prenatal care and management of chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Coronavirus, as well as the accompanying economic upheaval, has also greatly affected many Americans’ mental health. Companies plan to bolster their support and make employees more aware of the offerings available to them, said Mark Hope, senior director at Willis Towers Watson.

Some 45% of large employers are planning to work with their insurers to expand mental health provider networks, according to the Business Group on Health report.

Some 91% of large employers said they would offer virtual mental health services in 2021, up from 73% in 2019. And 65% said they would provide virtual emotional well-being services next year, up from 45% in 2019.

And nearly nine in 10 employers will offer access to online mental health resources, including apps, videos and webinars.

Meanwhile, 61% of employers plan to have an on-site clinics, which can provide coronavirus testing, in addition to basic health services. This ticked up from 58% this year.

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Headspace Announces World Mental Health Day Pledge, Encouraging Companies Globally to Prioritize Mental Health

New initiative with Box, Farmers Insurance, Hyatt, Snap, and other leading organizations commits to ongoing focus on caring for the mental health of their teams and families.

Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, announced a call to action today, rallying people and organizations all over the world to “Be Kind to Your Mind” in honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201007005329/en/

(Graphic: Headspace)

Box, Farmers Insurance, Hyatt, Snap, Spectrum Health, and National Military Family Association are among the first companies and nonprofits to join forces with Headspace in an effort to celebrate, renew, and expand their commitment to caring for the mental health of their employees and their families. Headspace is inviting leaders and companies to sign the pledge and learn more about how to ease the mental health burdens of employees at headspace.com/wmhd. Participating organizations are standing together and committing to the shared responsibility in this moment to demand a greater investment in mental health for all.

Headspace is tracking employee sentiment around a variety of factors affecting peoples’ mental health, surveying thousands of employees in May and again in September. The data show some trends heading in the wrong direction, namely:

While research showed some great initial responses by leaders and companies, many more employees feel less supported now than earlier in the crisis.

“Our people, teams, our communities, and each of us know we are in a moment that calls for compassion and support,” said Dr. Megan Jones Bell, Headspace Chief Strategy and Science Officer. “The challenges of 2020 are bringing a lot of mental health issues to the surface. World Mental Health Day is the perfect time to acknowledge the reality that our mental health is as important as our physical health.”

So far, 600 organizations have signed the pledge, joining together to commit to their teams’ mental health and encouraging other companies to follow suit.

“Wellbeing is at the core of our purpose – to care for people so they can be their best – and a true point of difference for Hyatt,” said Malaika Myers, Hyatt Chief Human Resources Officer. “When Hyatt first teamed up with Headspace in January, we knew how important it was to make mindfulness and meditation content accessible to help employees, guests, and customers prioritize their wellbeing. With 2020 proving to be an exceptional year with unexpected challenges, now, more than ever, prioritizing our wellbeing is paramount. We can only care for others if we take care of our own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing first.”

The Headspace “Be Kind to Your Mind” pledge encourages the prioritization of mental health care beyond just World Mental Health Day. To support leaders and companies, Headspace is sharing a toolkit with educational resources and tactics to keep the spotlight on mindfulness for the next year. In the coming months, Headspace will provide additional guidance on how to continuously invest in employees’ mental health with companies who

11 virtual fitness companies vying to compete with Peloton’s winning membership model and cash in on the at-home exercise boom

  • On-demand and virtual fitness has never been more popular, as the pandemic drastically changes the way Americans stay fit. 
  • While Peloton continues to dominate the at-home fitness market, several digital fitness programs — both new and existing — are looking to cash in on the on-demand exercise boom. 
  • We took a closer look at 11 of the most popular virtual fitness membership programs. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Gone are the days of traditional gym memberships, as Americans enter the era of the virtual, at-home fitness movement buoyed by the pandemic.

On-demand fitness platforms have never been so popular, nor so ubiquitous. Though digital fitness has been on the rise in recent years, the coronavirus outbreak has put fledgling virtual companies on the map while prompting the rise of a slew of new platforms designed to help Americans stay fit while cooped up at home. 

These programs vary in price and types of workouts, but most are designed to bring streaming fitness classes directly into living rooms, with little to no additional equipment required. And while past decades have brought the likes of Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, and Billy Blanks into our homes, today there are more options and different types of classes at consumers’ disposal than ever before. 

The breadth of new options, however, hasn’t stopped Peloton from dominating the virtual fitness market, with sales skyrocketing by 172% year-over-year and overwhelming demand for its stationary bikes causing mass delivery delays.

Companies ranging from tech giant Apple to StretchIt — an emerging app dedicated entirely to stretching — are vying for a piece of the at-home fitness market. We took a closer look at 11 virtual fitness membership programs looking to cash in on the at-home fitness boom.

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