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Monday, Aug 29th

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W. Virginia recovering addicts wage legal battle over prescription use

W Va. addicts wage legal battleWilbert Hatcher admits he broke the law.

In the depths of a decade-long addiction to prescription opioid painkillers, the father of two fed his craving by buying blackmarket pills on the streets of his small West Virginia town. He finally shook the addiction three years ago. But now Hatcher, 50, an assistant manager at Walmart, is at the heart of a groundbreaking legal battle with the medical industry over whether he is a criminal or a victim.

“I’m a well-rounded, educated individual who thinks that I don’t have an addictive personality. But when you go to the doctor and they’re pushing the drugs, and they feed and feed the addiction,” he said. “What is it going to take before we as a nation accept that we are the victims for the most part and the doctor, the pharmacist and pharmacies are the perpetrators feeding off the lives of others?”

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225+ heroin overdoses in 4 counties in 4 states in 1 week

Heroin overdose epidemicAn overdose crisis in the past week has left police and emergency responders here drained and without clues.

It has also underscored that this region does not have resources to treat all of people addicted to opioids, including heroin.

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the source of heroin sold here that caused scores of overdoses, including at least three deaths. More than 200 people in four states have been victims of what law enforcement officials are calling a supercharged form of the sedative, and one additional person died in Indiana.

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EpiPen maker offers patients $300 savings cards

EpiPen discount cardMylan N.V., makers of the anti-allergic reaction EpiPen, announced programs Thursday to lower the device's cost after U.S. senators expressed outrage at the price increase.

The single-use auto-injection pens, used as dispensers of the medicine epinephrine in emergencies resulting from food allergies, were created by Merck Group in the 1970s, and were acquired by Mylan in 2007. A price increase, from $57 per pen in 2007 to about $500 per pen today, drew the anger, earlier this week, of four U.S. senators who asked Mylan for an explanation.

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Monsanto pulls new GM cotton seed from India in protest

Monsanto pulls GM seed from IndiaMonsanto Co (MON.N) has withdrawn an application seeking approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seeds in India, a major escalation in a long-running dispute between New Delhi and the world's biggest seed maker.

A letter sent by Monsanto's local partner in India, the conglomerate's biggest market outside the Americas, strongly objects to a government proposal that would force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies.

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Dem senator's daughter could face Congress over EpiPen price hike

Epipen price hikeSen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) daughter may have to explain to Congress why her company hiked up the price of EpiPens, Bloomberg News is reporting.

Heather Bresch serves as the CEO of Mylan, which acquired EpiPen in 2007. Since then, the device's cost has increased 400 percent, from $57 to more than $500.  Bresch could be called to Capitol Hill next month to explain the price increase, according to Bloomberg.

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Toxic Firefighting Foams Won’t Be Used In Air Force Bases Anymore

Toxic firefighting foam will not be usedA toxic firefighting foam that may have tainted drinking water near military sites with cancer-causing chemicals will cease to be used across the country, the U.S. Air Force said Thursday.

The announcement comes as Colorado health officials said this week it’s highly likely toxic chemicals found in three drinking water systems south of Colorado Springs stem from firefighting foam used at a nearby Air Force base, the Associated Press reported.

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Pregnancy-Related Deaths Nearly Doubled In Texas After Cuts To Women’s Health

Texas pregnancy related deaths riseTexas experienced a sudden and dramatic spike in pregnancy-related deaths in 2011, the same year the state slashed funding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health programs, according to a study in the September issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

After a modest increase in maternal mortality in Texas between 2000 and 2010, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths nearly doubled in 2011 and 2012 ― something researchers described as “puzzling” and out of sync with data from the other 49 states. Seventy-two women in Texas died from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in 2010, and that number jumped to 148 in 2012.

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