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How Mike Pence's 'Indiana mafia' took over health care policy

Mike Pence and Indiana Mafia takeove of health care

Sweeping new protections for religious health care workers and an overhaul of family planning programs to effectively cut out Planned Parenthood represent something unusual in the Trump administration: a clear spotting of the fingerprints of Vice President Mike Pence.

From topics ranging from trade to the president’s scorched-earth attacks against the Mueller investigation, Pence has been the loyal foot soldier while often appearing uncomfortable amid the administration’s biggest fights.

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Pennsylvania Sues Purdue Pharma for Its Tactics in Selling OxyContin

Josh ShapiroPennsylvania has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, claiming the company fueled the opioid epidemic through its sales of painkiller OxyContin, the state attorney general announced Tuesday.

The civil charges follow a two-year investigation into Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies that have for years given millions of Americans access to powerful opioid-based pain killers through doctors, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

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California jury hits Bayer with $2 billion award in Roundup cancer trial

Bayer hit with $2b settlement over Roundup A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, in the largest U.S. jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over the chemical.

The large punitive damages award is likely to be reduced due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that limit the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9:1. The jury awarded a total of $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages.

It was the third consecutive U.S. jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical, which Bayer acquired as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto last year. Both other jury verdicts also came in California, one in state court and one in federal court.

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs fetal heartbeat bill, one of most restrictive abortion laws in nation

Pro choice defeated in GeorgiaRepublican Gov. Brian Kemp signed an anti-abortion bill Tuesday that is one of the most restrictive in the country and will likely be challenged in court.

The "fetal heartbeat" bill makes it illegal to receive an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in the womb, which happens around six weeks.

Kemp said he was signing the bill “to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and prosper in our great state.”

The law has stirred up opposition among Democratic lawmakers and abortion rights advocates. Critics argue that many women don't know they're pregnant at six weeks and that it's too tight of a window for women to get an appointment with doctors and receive proper care.

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Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer's disease rates sky high

Alzheimer's care rates skyrocketingShe had researched Alzheimer's disease and its effects on the brain for years, but it wasn't until her own mother's memory began to slip that Dr. Eva Feldman, a University of Michigan neurologist, truly grasped how devastating the disease is.

Margherita Feldman was 88 when she moved in June 2017 to the memory care unit of an assisted living home in Saline. And although her memory loss wasn't as acute as some of the other residents, it's when the cruelty of the disease – now the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States – and the scope of America's Alzheimer's crisis became clear to her daughter.

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Billionaire founder of opioid firm guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe drug

Billiponaire founder of opioid firm guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe opioids

The head of a leading drug manufacturer has been found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe a dangerous painkiller to patients who did not need it, in the first criminal conviction of a pharma chief over the opioid epidemic.

A Boston jury also found John Kapoor, the 75-year-old billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics, guilty of defrauding insurance companies in the push to sell Subsys, a spray made from fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times stronger than morphine.

Subsys was approved for terminal cancer patients but the company targeted sales at a much bigger and more profitable market of people with non-life threatening chronic pain. Prosecutors said that fuelled the opioid epidemic and cost lives.

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Ebola Death Toll Nears 1,000 in Congo: World Health Organization

Ebola outbreak kills 1,000The World Health Organization announced on Friday that deaths due to the Ebola virus are about to rise above 1,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said during a news briefing in Geneva that the organization fears continued “intense transmission” of the virus. Ryan said the WHO plans to introduce an unlicensed new Ebola vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, in addition to a Merck vacciine already being used, as “another tool in the toolbox."

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