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up to date on recent events across the nation and around the world
Fake Procrit batches found in
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that it
has discovered three counterfeit, possibly contaminated lots of the drug
Procrit, also known as epoetin alfa.
The drug is used in people with severe anemia to stimulate the
production of red blood cells in the human body — and studies are underway to
test its effectiveness against CFIDS.
The FDA’s criminal investigative unit found the illegally
manufactured drug lots in Florida.
Some of the drugs may be contaminated with bacteria, and the FDA reports that
they pose a “significant potential hazard to consumers.” In addition, some of
the counterfeit drug contains no active ingredients.
The company that produces Procrit, Ortho Biotech Products, has
issued a warning letter to more than 180,000 health care providers who may
prescribe the drug to patients.
Additional details concerning the counterfeit product are
available on Ortho’s website at
http://www.procrit.com/counterfeit/letter.html. Patients who use Procrit
are advised to check with their doctors about their drug supply.
Insurer fined $1 million for claims practices
The state of
fined UnumProvident, the nation’s largest long-term disability (LTD) insurer, $1
million for unfair denial of insurance claims.
“They were systematically looking for any shred of data or
excuse to deny a policy,” state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine told USA
Today. “They are going to be required to maintain a certain level of
The company has been under fire nationwide for more than two
years over its claims practices. Two other states,
Florida, also are investigating
UnumProvident, and at least two class-action lawsuits have been filed against
has placed Unum-Provident on two years probation in the state. Oxendine says the
company must change its practice of allowing lesser-trained claims processors to
overrule health care professionals, and must do a better job of informing
policyholders of their rights to appeal.
UnumProvident has accepted the terms of the
and said it will work to become a “more service-oriented company.” The firm has
more than 25 million policyholders in the United
CFIDS costs in
mainly from lost income
British researchers say that each adult with
CFIDS costs the nation more than $1,800 per
month in lost wages and medical expenses. The figure was derived after a
three-month study done by King’s College in
London. The researchers report that
lost salary accounts for more than 90 percent of the monthly total. The study
was published in the February issue of Psychological