Glenn Chin, former supervisory pharmacist of the now-shuttered New England Compounding Center, was resentenced to 126 months in prison plus three years of supervised release, ordered to pay $82 million in restitution and forfeit $473,584 after being convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud and introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead. Authorities said Chin manufactured, as well as supervised the manufacturing and directed the shipping of, contaminated methylprednisolone acetate to compounding center customers across the country, among other offenses. The drug was linked with a fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012.
Amanda Lowry of Sherman, Texas, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to obtain information from a protected computer. Authorities said Lowry and others breached a health care provider's EHR system, stole protected information and identifiable information of patients and repackaged the information to fraudulent and false physician orders, which were then sold to durable medical equipment providers and contractors, allowing them to obtain over $1.4 million from selling the information.
Enrico Arguelles, a former rheumatologist from Billings, Mont., agreed to pay over $2 million to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act. Authorities said Arguelles, who owned Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center, improperly billed for services for patients fraudulently diagnosed with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.
Mindfulness can be practiced in almost any situation to improve your focus, regulate your emotions, set better goals and be more grateful, writes LaRae Quy. "At its core, mindfulness allows us to observe our interior thoughts and external circumstances with compassion and a lack of judgment, no matter how harsh the reality," she writes.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Americans owed $140 billion in medical debt to collection agencies last year, nearly twice the level of medical debt in 2016. Researchers analyzed 10% of credit reports from TransUnion between 2009 and 2020, and they found an estimated 17.8% Americans had unpaid medical bills averaging $429 in June 2020, with higher levels of debt seen in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.
A study published in The Lancet estimates that more than 1.1 million children around the world have lost at least one parent or custodial grandparent, while more than 1.5 million children lost at least one primary or secondary caregiver because of COVID-19. Losing a parent or other caregiver can have severe consequences for children, increasing their "risks of experiencing mental health problems; physical, emotional and sexual violence; and family poverty," researchers said.
A group of state attorneys general announced a $26 billion opioid epidemic settlement deal with Johnson & Johnson and drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. To receive the full settlement amount, the deal needs to be supported by at least 48 states, 97% of the jurisdictions that have yet to sue and 98% of litigating local governments.
The US Department of Labor reported on Thursday that initial unemployment claims for the week ending July 17 totaled 419,000, up from 368,000 the week before. Continuing claims decreased by 29,000 to 3.24 million.
The FDA is delaying approval for Pfizer's Xeljanz to treat ankylosing spondylitis and abrocitinib to treat atopic dermatitis, based on concerns about cardiovascular risks in a Xeljanz safety study, according to Pfizer officials. The FDA did not say when a decision would be announced.
Johnson & Johnson may be considering using a "divisive merger" law in Texas to create a second entity that would contain the company's liabilities from lawsuits involving talc products, according to sources. The new company could then file for bankruptcy, which may lower payouts from some cases that do not reach a settlement.