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Whistleblower Awarded For Exposing Customs Duties Fraud

Two individuals who devised a scheme to slip Chinese imports through customs without paying duties on them will pay the U.S. $435,000 to settle the allegations of fraud stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act. Robert Wingfield, a Texas resident, agreed to pay $385,000 of the settlement and Bill Ma of New Jersey agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a case stemming from a lawsuit filed by James Valenti, Jr. under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Mr. Wingfield and Mr. Ma devised a scheme to import aluminum ... Read More

Statins linked to increased irritability in postmenopausal women

Cholesterol-lowering statin medications may make women more fussy but may help temper aggression in men, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Statins, such as the widely prescribed Lipitor, are used to lower cholesterol levels in order to reduce a person’s risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Previous studies have shown that low cholesterol has been linked to a risk of violent actions and death from violence. There have also been reports of people using statins being more irritable and aggressive. Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb, professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego ... Read More

BlueCross BlueShield CareFirst data breach puts roughly 1.1 million individuals at risk

Cyber criminals have, once again, targeted the health insurance industry in yet another data breach, compromising nearly 1.1 million records of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield current/former members. Carefirst, based in Baltimore, Md., is responsible for providing nearly 3.4 million Americans in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. with health insurance and services. While it is not believed the hackers had access to social security numbers, medical claims, or financial account information, CareFirst will still be offering two years of free credit monitoring, as well as identity theft protection to those included in the data breach. According to the investigation by cybersecurity ... Read More

Hospira issues recall on sub-potent batches of cancer, MS drug

Hospira, Inc., is initiating a worldwide recall of 10 lots of MitoXANTRONE (both human and veterinary) because the medication was found to be sub-potent with elevated impurity levels, which could lead to decreased effectiveness, additional dosing and the potential for cumulative impurity toxicity requiring medical intervention. MitoXANTRONE is used to treat certain types of cancer, mostly metastatic breast cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is also used to treat children suffering from first relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, in combination with prednisone as a second-line treatment for metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer, and to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), in ... Read More

Rite Aid pays settles whistleblower allegations it lured Medicare beneficiaries with gift cards

National retail drugstore chain Rite-Aid has paid the U.S. nearly $3 million to resolve whistleblower allegations brought under the False Claims Act that it used gift cards to manipulate Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries into transferring their prescriptions to Rite-Aid. The Department of Justice said Wednesday that from 2008 to 2010 Rite Aid engaged in an “illegal” and “inappropriate” scheme to use gift cards as a way to lure new business to its stores from those who rely on government-funded health care programs. The company settled the allegations for $2.99 million. “Pharmacies are not allowed to improperly influence the decision-making of ... Read More

Legrand Wiremold announces recall of nearly 46,000 Under-Cabinet Power Strips due to poor connections

Due to substandard electrical connections that may lead to overheating, Legrand Wiremold and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have announced a recall of approximately 46,000 Under-Cabinet Power Strips. Featuring part number PX1001, all Wiremold and Plugmold under-cabinet power and lighting strips under recall have four outlets and one fluorescent bulb, and were manufactured from January 20011 through December 2013. The power strip came in a red package with the worlds “Legrand” and “Under Cabinet Power and Lighting” on the top front and “Wiremold-Series Part PX1001” on the bottom front during the period January 2011 to June 2012. However, from ... Read More

Actos, Avandia use with insulin products may increase risk for heart failure

Several insulin products have updated labels warning that using them with a class of type 2 diabetes drugs known as TZDs (thiazolidinediones) increases the risk for heart failure. TZDs include Avandia (rosiglitazone) and Actos (pioglitazone). The labels for Novolin N, Novolin 70/30, Humulin 70/30, Humulin N NPH, and Humulin R, include changes to the patient packet insert for patients to tell their health care provider of other medications they are taking, in particular if they are taking TZDs. “Taking … TZDs with this medicine may cause heart failure in some people. This can happen even if you have never had ... Read More

New York to become last state to pass no-fault divorce law

New York will soon be the last state to pass a measure that allows citizens to file unilaterally for no-fault divorce, a move proponents say will reduce domestic violence and suicide rates among women. The measure was passed by the New York legislature on July 1, and Gov. David Paterson is expected to sign the legislation soon. Under the current law, divorces in New York were only granted on the grounds of cruelty or adultery, or only after a court-sanctioned one-year separation agreement. Proponents of the new bill say that current law required determining one spouse was a bad person ... Read More

Judges advise jurors not to tweet during trials

Many judges are now amending their instructions to jurors, asking them not only to restrict talking or reading about cases they are hearing, but also to avoid using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to report news during trials. Such updates have spurred some attorneys to file for mistrials in some cases because jurors have used Twitter and instant messaging to keep others informed. There’s no secret that the Internet has changed the way many people get their news. More and more people are turning to online sources for information. Likewise, they have turned to social networking sites ... Read More