Doctors in the US are wasting hundreds of millions of dollars a year prescribing expensive branded medicines even when cheaper generic alternatives are available, according to an FT analysis. David Crow and Sujeet Indap discuss the findings.

 

The price of milk in Canada is disproportionately higher than it is in the US or even France, thanks to a government policy known as Supply Management implemented in the 1970s to protect dairy farmers from market instability. What does this policy mean in practice and how does it affect Canada’s involvement in global trade? FT Alphaville’s Cardiff Garcia and Matt Klein discuss with guest George Pearkes, Canadian expat and macroeconomic strategist at Bespoke Investment Group. Visit FT.com/Alphachat for show notes and links.

 

The pound, the yen and the dollar have dominated FX in 2016, putting the euro in the shade. But as Dominic Bunning of HSBC tells Roger Blitz, there is growing resilience in the performance of the single currency and that is set to continue.

 

For decades, astronomers have searched the skies for planets in our galaxy similar to Earth that could harbour life. A team of European scientists has now revealed they are closer to this goal, with the discovery of a new Earth-like body orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun. John Murray-Brown talks to Madhumita Murgia, FT technology correspondent, about the discovery.

 

The FT’s Davide Ghiglione reports from Amatrice as rescue teams race to find survivors from the earthquake that devastated mountain towns in central Italy this week.

Picture credit: Davide Ghiglione

 

Turkey sent tanks into Syria on Wednesday, as part of a major offensive ostensibly against Isis – but also to contain Syrian Kurds. The move follows a recent coup attempt against President Erdogan and a deadly terrorist attack in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep. Andrew England, the FT’s Middle East editor, speaks with Turkey correspondent Mehul Srivastava and former Turkey correspondent Daniel Dombey.

 

Four of the world’s biggest banks are collaborating on a new blockchain project to transform the way securities trades are processed, with the aim of making it cheaper and safer. Patrick Jenkins asks Martin Arnold, the FT’s banking editor, to explain what’s behind the development. Music by Kevin MacLeod

 

Patrick Jenkins and guests discuss the latest developments in the UK Brexit debate and what options are on the table for UK financial institutions, why a Deutsche Bank whistelblower spurned his award and developments in the US mortgage insurance market. With special guests Barney Reynolds of Shearman & Sterling and Dinos Iordanou of Arch Capital.

 

Britain’s stunning medals success in the Rio Olympics was a cause for elation at home — but in parts of Europe it was met with sneers and some incredulity. Joshua Chaffin discusses this reaction and what’s behind it with Guy Chazan and Henry Foy, FT correspondents in Berlin and Warsaw.

 

A dramatic decline in bond yields has added to the pressures of longer lifespans and falling birth rates to create a looming social and political pensions crisis, say John Authers and Robin Wigglesworth. In this report they examine the outlook for retirees. You can also listen to John and Robin discuss the pensions squeeze at podcast.ft.com.