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San Diego 119 articles

Tractor trailers, tour bus collide on California highway, injuring 23

California law enforcement officials are investigating why a tractor trailer traveling on the 60 Freeway in Hacienda Heights east of Los Angeles slammed into another big rig last week, causing it to collide with a tour bus. Twenty-three people were injured in the crash, which happened just before 10 a.m. Wednesday and tied up eastbound traffic on the highway for hours. According to Southern California’s NBC 4 News, a California Highway Patrol officer said that one tractor trailer struck another big rig, causing it to veer toward the center median. The second truck then collided with a tour bus that ... Read More

Sysco to pay $20 million in fines for illegal storage of food in California

The nation’s largest food distribution company has agreed to pay nearly $20 million in fines and restitution after a California State investigation found the company improperly stored highly perishable foods in unrefrigerated and unsanitary sheds. According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Sysco Corporation and seven of its California affiliates routinely stashed seafood, milk, raw meat, and other perishable foods in unsafe sheds. Prosecutors allege Sysco trucks would deliver food orders to the sheds, where employees would later pick them up and deliver them to customers in their personal vehicles. The food orders went out to restaurants, hotels, ... Read More

Federal grand jury investigating reports of fraud and abuse at Millennium drug-testing company

A federal grand jury in Boston is investigating allegations of health care fraud and employee intimidation against Millennium Laboratories of San Diego, Calif., a company that tests urine samples for the presence of pain medications. Millennium is one of a few companies in a relatively new industry of selling urine-testing services to pain clinics and doctors throughout the U.S. A growing number of health care providers rely on such services to test patients for painkillers before prescribing new drugs that can have potentially harmful interactions with painkillers the patient may already be taking. The services help health care providers monitor ... Read More

Toyota seeks sudden-acceleration closure after Oklahoma verdict

Less than two months after an Oklahoma jury found that Toyota had acted with ”reckless disregard” in its response to two women injured in a sudden, unintended acceleration crash, the Japanese auto maker has decided to enter an intensive settlement process. The decision to negotiate a settlement hasn’t surprised many following Toyota’s sudden-acceleration saga. Even though it appeared the carmaker had gained some momentum fighting earlier lawsuits brought by crash victims and their families — as well as vehicle owners suffering monetary losses — the jury’s verdict in Oklahoma likely derailed Toyota’s hopes for prevailing over some 300 additional lawsuits ... Read More

New safety concerns with diabetes meds Januvia, Byetta question future of the drug class

New research into Januvia (sitagliptin), a widely prescribed type 2 diabetes medication has raised “worrisome” concerns about the safety of the medication and the future of all drugs in its class. Januvia is in a class of medications known as DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-4), or gliptins. They work by blocking DPP-4, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels. DDP-4 inhibitors are closely aligned with another class of anti-diabetes drugs known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) agonists, which includes the brand names Byetta (exenatide). The first red flag came when Dr. Peter Butler, chief of Endocrinology at UCLA and former editor of the ... Read More

Researcher uses fruit flies to find better ways to diagnose, treat traumatic brain injuries

Ever swat at a fruit fly and watch him stagger a bit before righting himself and flying off again seemingly unscathed? That response raised a curiosity in Barry Ganetzky, a geneticist at University of Wisconsin-Madison medical school who has studied the insects for more than 30 years. After the suicide of retired San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau due to a brain disease caused by repeated concussions, Ganetzky began to wonder if the fruit fly could hold the answer to treating complex human neurological problems such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Fruit flies have been used in research for decades ... Read More

New type of metformin for type 2 diabetes fares well in clinical trials

Elcelyx Therapeutics, a “virtual” biotech firm, is hoping positive clinical trial results with its type 2 diabetes drug NewMet will secure the product’s sale to a larger drug company. NewMet is a delayed-release version of metformin, a widely prescribed drug to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin is not recommended for patients with kidney problems because it can cause a life threatening condition called lactic acidosis. NewMet, however, is designed especially for patients with compromised kidney function. Many diabetics with kidney problems cannot eliminate metformin efficiently, which causes excess metformin to build up in the blood, leading to lactic acidosis. NewMet ... Read More

Santa Monica airplane crash investigation to be shelved during government shutdown

The U.S. government shutdown has forced federal investigators to suspend their probe of an airplane crash in Santa Monica, Calif., that killed four people Sept. 29. The nation’s safety regulators and investigators are stopping work on accidents they deem noncritical and responding only to the most serious cases, sometimes without pay, as partisan political issues on Capitol Hill prevent a budget from being passed. Working without a public affairs staff, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) communications director Thomas Zoeller told POLITICO that the Board has to be more selective in the cases it chooses to investigate. For instance, Mr. Zoeller ... Read More

Byetta may improve Parkinson’s symptoms but side effects are concerning

The type 2 diabetes drug Byetta may help improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms in diabetics, a small study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests. The study involved 44 people, 20 of whom were regularly given injections of Byetta. The remaining 24 were given a placebo. The patients were followed for 14 months. Patients who were given Byetta injections showed a mean improvement of symptoms of 2.7 points on the MDS-UPDRS scale, a process to measure progression of Parkinson’s disease. The group of patients who were given a placebo declined 2.2 points on the scale. Researchers noted that the findings ... Read More

Walmart settles criminal pollution charges in California for $81 million

Walmart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty to criminal charges for illegally dumping hazardous waste into landfills and down sewer drains across California. The retail giant has agreed to pay $81 million to resolve the charges, which it has been fighting in court for nearly a decade. According to the Associated Press, Walmart entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco. The agreement also resolves similar criminal pollution charges in Missouri. Twenty prosecutors and 32 environmental groups were involved in the litigation against Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and private employer. Three years ago, the company agreed to pay $27.6 ... Read More