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Loose change

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 3, 2002

MARKETING MEDS: One in three adults ask their doctor about a prescription drug after seeing it advertised on television, a survey by online market research company InsightExpress found. The survey of 500 adults also showed that of five prescription drugs advertised on TV, the most widely recognized is Viagra.

SOAK AND SAVE? A hot tub could be more than an indulgence. If regular use eases a medical condition, a spa manufacturer says the purchase price and ownership costs could be tax-deductible. A tax expert concurs, but suggests prospective buyers first consult a tax adviser.

X-TREMELY POPULAR: Automakers looking to emphasize brand over model are swapping names for letters, and X seems to be the letter of choice. The Acura Integra, for example, has given way to the RSX. That's not to be confused with Cadillac's SRX or the Subaru WRX. Or Acura's own NSX or MDX.

INCARCERATED COMPETITION: Employers using prison labor find inmates a bit more productive than workers on the outside, according to a survey by Bethesda, Md., consulting company Enterprise Prison Institute. The survey included 24 companies employing 1,435 inmates.

TERROR TOLL: About 114,700 workers were laid off between Sept. 15 and Dec. 29 because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. The BLS said a third of those employers expect to call some workers back.

GO FIGURE: Beef jerky has become the fastest-growing snack food in Canada with sales increasing about 50 percent a year. Last year, an estimated $60-million to $75-million of jerky, pepperoni sticks and kippered beef was sold. Manufacturers are turning out new flavors to cash in on the trend.

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