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Saturday, May 28th

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How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes

Big Pharma uses charities to cover for high pricesIn August 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals and its then-chief executive, Martin Shkreli, purchased a drug called Daraprim and immediately raised its price more than 5,000 percent.

Within days, Turing contacted Patient Services Inc., or PSI, a charity that helps people meet the insurance copayments on costly drugs. Turing wanted PSI to create a fund for patients with toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that is most often treated with Daraprim.

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FDA modernizes Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods

new food labelsToday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took a major step in making sure consumers have updated nutritional information for most packaged foods sold in the United States, that will help people make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families.

“I am thrilled that the FDA has finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label that will be on food products nationwide,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices.”

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Frozen food recall covers hundreds of items from many store

CRF frozen food recallAmid a massive frozen foods recall involving millions of packages of fruits and vegetables that were shipped to all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico, authorities who want to stem the listeria-linked illnesses and deaths worry it'll be difficult to get consumers to dig through their freezers and check for products they may have bought as far back as 2014.

It's one of the largest food recalls in recent memory, with well over 400 products from CRF Frozen Foods in Pasco, Washington, sold under more than 40 different brand names at major retailers like Costco, Target, Trader Joe's and Safeway. So far, eight people have been sickened by listeria that's genetically similar to that found in CRF vegetables, and two have died, though listeria was not the primary cause of death.

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Could superbugs become deadlier than cancer?

superbugsDrug-resistant infections kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.

That number could soar to as many as 10 million a year by 2050 unless the world acts now.   That is the warning from British researchers about drug-resistant bacteria.

For the first time, the researchers have set out what needs to be done to tackle the rise of so-called superbugs.

Overuse of antibiotics is raising the prospect of a future where routine operations will become too dangerous for doctors to perform. And a simple infection could leave you fighting for your life.

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Oklahoma’s Legislature Passed A Law Making It A Felony To Perform An Abortion

Gov. Mary FallinOklahoma’s legislature passed a first-in-the-nation law Thursday that would make it a felony for abortion providers to perform or induce the procedure.

Senate Bill 1552 now heads to the desk of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R). It contains no exceptions for cases of rape and incest or to protect the health of a pregnant person. (Abortions necessary to save the mother’s life are acceptable under the law.) Doctors would be barred from obtaining a license to practice medicine in the state if they violated the law, which refers to performing an abortion as “unprofessional conduct.” The minimum punishment for the law would be one year in jail.

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Tobacco firms lose UK court bid to stop standard packaging

UK cigarette packaging law upheldA group of tobacco firms have lost a U.K. court bid to prevent the sale of cigarettes in standardized green packaging.

Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International challenged the legality of the new packages, which bear warnings and graphic images of the dangers of smoking. The companies argued that the packaging destroys property rights and makes their products indistinguishable from one another.

TVNL Comment:  Good for the UK.  Once agin, the US is behind other countries in putting greed before the health of its people.  All toxic products are required to have warning labels.  Why are cigarettes the exception?

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Supreme Court upholds $25 million punitive damages against Philip Morris USA

Philip Morris punitive damages upheldThe Supreme Court has rejected Philip Morris USA's appeal of a $25 million punitive damages award to the family of a dead smoker in Oregon.

The justices on Monday are leaving in place a state appeals court ruling that likened the cigarette maker's role in smoker Michelle Schwarz's death to manslaughter under Oregon law, had the case been pursued in criminal court.

TVNL Comment:  Reminder: this is the only product that - if used as directed - will kill you.  The product has no purpose other than to addict the user.  And yet, it is freely available to all the youngsters who are the primary target to replace the nearly half million Americans who die of smoking-related illnesses every year.

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