The president’s chief spokesman said the speech will focus on how the overhaul is helping keep health-insurance rates low and resulting in rebates to some Americans. The Washington Post: Going On The Offensive, Obama To Tout Affordable Care Act ThursdayPresident Obama will tout a key financial benefit of the Affordable Care Act in a White House speech Thursday, highlighting a provision that requires health insurers to devote at least 80 percent of their spending on medical care and health care quality improvement or give rebates to consumers (Eilperin, 7/18).Kaiser Health News: White House Says Health Law Will Restrain Insurance Prices In 2014Ratcheting up the campaign to sell the health law, President Barack Obama was expected to deliver a speech Thursday touting how millions of individuals are already benefiting from its insurance rebates, while others who buy coverage in new online marketplaces in California, New York and Oregon will pay lower-than-projected premiums (Galewitz and Appleby, 7/18). The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: President Plans Speech Thursday To Tout ‘Obamacare’President Barack Obama on Thursday will tout the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to a skeptical public during a speech at the White House as part of an effort to build support for the health law in the face of continued Republican efforts to block it. Mr. Obama’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said the speech will focus on how the health law, commonly called “Obamacare,” is helping keeping health-insurance rates low and resulting in rebates to some Americans. The speech is set to start at 11:25 a.m. (Favole, 7/17).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama To Talk Up $500 Million In Rebates Under Health Care Law After House Votes For DelaysEager to counter Republicans intent on repealing his health care law, President Barack Obama will argue that it’s working and hold up as proof half a billion dollars in rebates insurance companies are sending to some 8.5 million consumers as a result. At the White House on Thursday, Obama will argue that his Affordable Care Act is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of consumers. The rebates average about $100, spokesman Jay Carney said (7/17).USA Today: Obama To Tout Americans Already Benefiting Of Health LawWith his administration facing deadlines to establish health care exchanges in all 50 states by Oct. 1 and GOP lawmakers continuing to call for a repeal of the law, the president is looking to trumpet the law by highlighting one of the most tangible ways Americans are benefiting from it even as his administration struggles to fully implement it (Madhani, 7/18).Politico: Obama To Tout Tangible Health Law BenefitsAfter two weeks of sustained GOP assaults on his health care law, President Barack Obama tries to turn the page Thursday with a speech promoting Obamacare provisions the White House says are already saving people money (Millman, 7/18).The Hill: President to Tout ObamaCare Savings In Thursday AddressPresident Obama will promote his signature health care law to the public on Thursday, focusing on a provision the White House says has saved consumers billions of dollars. The appearance will be Obama’s third public address this year solely on the Affordable Care Act (Baker, 7/18).Reuters: Obama Steps In To Push Health Plan As Critical Date Draws NearAmid delays and a barrage of political criticism of his signature health care law, President Barack Obama will play pitchman for the plan on Thursday as a critical enrollment date draws near. Obama is due give a speech at the White House highlighting how the plan has already benefited the public by lowering insurance costs and will do so in the future, senior administration officials said (Felsenthal, 7/18).McClatchy: The Checks Are In The Mail: Obama To Announce Health Insurance Rebates For 8.5 Million AmericansThe Obama administration is pushing back against the Affordable Care Act naysayers. One day after House Republicans passed legislation to delay enforcement of the health care law’s individual mandate, President Obama will take to the airwaves to announce that checks are in the mail for 8.5 million Americans who’ll split more than $504 million in rebates from their health insurance company, thanks to a provision of the health law that penalizes insurers for wasteful spending. Families on the receiving end of those rebates will get checks averaging $100 (Pugh, 7/18). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Obama’s Thursday Speech To Tout Health Law Benefits
Medicare wants to narrow the discrepancy on what it spends on some health services in different parts of the country. In the meantime, UnitedHealthcare is dropping hundreds of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plans and the Government Accountability Office says Medicare doesn’t know how well its contractors’ anti-fraud efforts are working.Kaiser Health News: Medicare Seeks To Curb Spending On Post-Hospital CareAfter years of trying to clamp down on hospital spending, the federal government wants to get control over what Medicare spends on nursing homes, home health services and other medical care typically provided to patients after they have left the hospital. Researchers have discovered huge discrepancies in how much is spent on these services in different areas around the country. In Connecticut, Medicare beneficiaries are more than twice as likely to end up in a nursing home as they are in Arizona. Medicare spends $8,800 on each Louisiana patient getting home health care, $5,000 more than it spends on the average New Jersey senior. In Chicago, one out of four Medicare beneficiaries receives additional services after leaving the hospital — three times the rate in Phoenix (Rau, 12/1).Kaiser Health News: UnitedHealthcare Dropping Hundreds Of Doctors From Medicare Advantage PlansThe company is the largest Medicare Advantage insurer in the country, with nearly 3 million members. More than 14 million older or disabled Americans are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, an alternative to traditional Medicare that offers medical and usually drug coverage but members have to use the plan’s network of providers (Jaffe, 12/1).Medpage Today: GAO: Medicare Lacks Info On Fraud ResponseThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) doesn’t know how quickly its anti-fraud contractors respond to abuse, or how well they protect Medicare integrity, a government report found. CMS doesn’t know the time between when its Zone Program Integrity Contractors (ZPICs) identify a suspect provider and when they take action to prevent potentially fraudulent Medicare payments, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The contractors reported more than $250 million in savings to Medicare in 2012, with more than 130 investigations being accepted by law enforcement for potential prosecution, the GAO said in a report released Monday (Pittman, 11/29). Medicare Looks To Narrow Discrepancy On What It Spends In Different Parts Of U.S. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Public News Service: OR Lawmakers Tackle Rising Prescription Drug Prices CNBC: Teva Stock Drops After Conspiracy Allegations On Hiking Drug Prices Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is facing pressure to sign bills that would create a state board to monitor drug prices and to increase the state’s requirements for using renewable energy. … Health advocacy groups have been pressing Hogan to approve a bill that would create a state Prescription Drug Affordability Board. They were buoyed by comments Hogan made at a political event in New Hampshire last month when he was asked about high drug prices. (Wood, 5/14) The Atlantic: Everything Trump Has And Hasn’t Done About Drug Prices Insurers are struggling over how to handle major drug policy changes the Trump administration has proposed as the filing deadline for 2020 Medicare Advantage bids approaches. The financial stakes are huge: Medicare spends more than $100 billion per year on prescription drugs. (Demko, 5/10) Politico Pro: Medicare Plans Fret Over Looming Drug Policy Changes A coalition of the drug industry’s fiercest foes is accusing the world’s top drug makers of hiding behind research and development “as an excuse for price-gouging American patients.” And they’re pointing to a new study that finds drug makers spent about 22% of their revenues on research and development in 2017 to prove their point. The new study, first shared with STAT, was commissioned by the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, a coalition that includes pharmacy middlemen, hospitals, and insurers and that advocates for drug pricing reforms. It was based largely on analysis of 2017 Security and Exchange Commission filings for the 10 largest U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies that generate more than half their revenue from prescription drugs. (Florko, 5/14) Stat: AbbVie Settles Humira Patent Litigation, Keeping U.S. ‘Monopoly Prices’ The Philadelphia Inquirer: J&J’s New Esketamine Drug For Depression, Spravato, Not Worth The Money Or The Risk, Watchdog Says Pharma’s Go-To Defense Of High ‘Research And Development’ Costs Undercut By New Study News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing. WBUR: $2 Million Drug? Treatment For Rare Genetic Disease Is Expected To Break Price Record Donald Trump’s promise of sweeping health-care reform has not come to pass. While the president campaigned heavily on assurances to “repeal and replace Obamacare” on “day one” with an unspecified plan for every American to have affordable health care, his claims have now been diluted to a focus on “drug prices.” One of his first comments on the release of the Mueller report was that it was a distraction from the need to “get back to infrastructure, get back to cutting taxes, get back to lowering prescription drug prices.” (Hamblin, 5/10) Vox: The House’s Big Bill To Lower Drug Prices And Shore Up Obamacare, Explained Stat: New Ventures Strike Deals With Drug Makers To Combat Shortages The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Faces Pressure On Bills About Drug Prices And Renewable Energy Oregon lawmakers are looking at ways to address the spiking costs of prescription drugs. Two bills in the Legislature could bring down prices, which would be a relief to older Oregonians. According to a U.S. Senate report from last year, the prices for some commonly prescribed, name-brand drugs are increasing at 10 times the rate of inflation. Geneva Craig, a registered nurse at Asante Health Systems in Medford and an AARP Oregon executive council member, said she wants the state to act soon because of the effects she’s seen from unaffordable drugs. (5/15) U.S. traded shares of Teva Pharmaceutical plunged more than 16% on Monday after 44 states sued the company, alleging it orchestrated a sweeping scheme with 19 other drugmakers to inflate prices. Shares of drugmakers Mylan, which was also named in the lawsuit, were trading 10% lower in afternoon trading. The states, led Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, claim 20 drug companies, including Teva USA, “systematically” divided up the market for generic drugs to avoid competing with one another, according to a 500-page lawsuit filed late Friday in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut. (Lovelace, 5/13) A group of Minnesota diabetics made an eleventh-hour plea on Monday for lawmakers to address the rising costs of insulin. During a news conference at the state Capitol, the women urged lawmakers to unite behind a proposal that would give diabetics an emergency supply of insulin if they cannot afford it. The “Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act” provision is wrapped into the House and Senate health and human services bills, but the versions are slightly different. Those who have high-deductible insurance plans could get an emergency refill under the House bill, but not the Senate version. And the House bill would provide an emergency supply of 90 days, as opposed to the Senate proposal of 30 days. (Faircloth, 5/13) CQ: House Health Care Bill Puts Generic Drug Industry In Bind Six Minnesota diabetes activists, who have dubbed themselves the “Caravan to Canada,” approached the U.S. border crossing last Sunday with a mixture of apprehension and defiance. Their three vehicles were carrying insulin, carefully packed in coolers, that they had bought the day before at a Canadian pharmacy just three blocks away. Together, they had spent $1,265 for insulin supplies that in the United States would cost an estimated $12,400 — a savings of $11,000. (Howatt, 5/12) Now, a new treatment called Zolgensma (pronounced zohl-JEN-smah), which replaces the gene that’s defective in spinal muscular atrophy, is expected to break that price record this month. The FDA is expected to approve Zolgensma sometime in May, and the biopharma company Novartis is then expected to announce the price.Novartis executives have made clear it will be in the seven figures. (Goldberg, 5/10) Stat: A New Study Sparks A War Of Words Over Pharma’s Commitment To Research President Donald Trump is misstating the facts when it comes to prescription drug prices. Speaking Monday at a White House dinner, he cited a remarkable drop in prescription drug prices. But a government index that had registered some declines is now showing an increase again. Some experts say more increases are likely. (Alonso-Zaldivar and Yen, 5/14) The Associated Press Fact Check: Trump Cites Drug-Price Drop That Isn’t The Star Tribune: High Cost Of Meds Is Driving Minnesotans Across The Border According to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), Spravato may be overpriced for the benefits it delivers. Each treatment costs $590 to $885.And that price doesn’t cover the doctor’s time. (Wood, 5/13) Underscoring concerns about ongoing drug shortages, two different ventures representing hundreds of hospitals across the U.S. are announcing separate deals on Wednesday in which manufacturers have agreed to provide medicines that are in short supply. In the first deal, CivicaRx, which is a generic drug company formed by several large hospital systems and three philanthropies, has reached an agreement for Xellia Pharmaceuticals to manufacture antibiotics, including vancomycin and daptomycin. (Silverman, 5/15) Pioneer Press: MN Diabetics Make Plea For Emergency Insulin Supply Bill This was supposed to be a good week for the makers of low-cost generic drugs, as a bill that is one of their top priorities gets a House floor vote. Instead, the industry finds itself clouded by allegations of price fixing and its signature bill is being packaged with two measures they oppose. The bill (HR 987) that the House will take up Thursday combines three drug pricing measures with bills to strengthen the individual health insurance market. (Siddons, 5/15) Anyone holding out hope that a lower-cost version of the Humira rheumatoid arthritis treatment might soon become available in the U.S. can forget about it. That’s because AbbVie (ABBV) has settled patent litigation with Boehringer Ingelheim, which will be allowed to sell a biosimilar version of the medicine as part of the deal — but not until July 2023. Boehringer had been the sole holdout among several large drug makers that previously reached such agreements, which also preclude them from marketing versions of Humira for another four years. (Silverman, 5/14) The biggest health care bill of the year is coming to the House floor this week. House Democrats have packaged together a bunch of proposals to lower prescription drug costs and to reverse the Trump administration’s maneuvers to undermine the Affordable Care Act, and they are bringing them to the floor for a vote this week as one bill. (Scott, 5/13)
33 photos Watch Tesla Model 3 Hit The Dyno Just 1-Hour After Delivery It’s time to put the Mountain Pass Performance modified Tesla Model 3 to the test everyone’s been waiting for.If you read InsideEVs, you’re probably well aware that we’ve been following and covering EV-oriented performance tuner Mountain Pass Performance and owner Sasha Anis for some time. He’s been working diligently on modifying a Tesla Model 3 Long Range (single-motor, rear-wheel drive). Can it keep up with a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3 Performance?More Mountain Pass Performance Tesla Model 3 Coverage: Source: Electric Vehicle News How much do all the mods help? It’s interesting to see exactly how this Model 3 Long Range fares. Details about the specific upgrades are listed in the video description below.What do you think? Did it turn out as you expected? Let us know in the comment section below.Video Description via Sasha Anis on YouTube:Performance Model 3 Track Review – Is It Faster Than Our MPP Modified Model 3?Enjoy this entertaining video of our modified Model 3 against a 3-day old Performance Model 3. We even swapped drivers to make it a fair fight. Enjoy, and don’t be afraid to take that Tesla of yours to the track!What have we done to allow our Model 3 to keep up with a Performance Model 3? Here is the full mod list:Mountain Pass Performance Sports CoiloversMountain Pass Performance Rear Camber + Toe ArmsMountain Pass Performance 365mm Front Big Brake UpgradeMountain Pass Performance Stainless Braided Brake LinesMountain Pass Performance VSC + TC DefeatFerrodo DS2500 front brake padsAdvan RGIII 19×10 +35 WheelsBridgestone RE71R 275/35/19 TiresThis my friends, is The Future.TESLA MODEL 3 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 18, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Watch This Tweaked Tesla Model 3 Drift TESLA MODEL 3 PERFORMANCE Let’s Check Out A Tesla Model 3 Modified By Mountain Pass Performance 10 photos
When you hear about Razor scooters, you probably think back to the scooter craze of the early 2000’s. Those little metal scooters were everywhere in my neighborhood, and nary a child on the street refrained from begging their parents for one.Well now Razor is back, and this time they have something for parents too: the new Razor E-Prime electric scooter. more…The post Electrek Review: Razor E-Prime electric scooter offers affordable thrills appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine A new study has found that electric buses have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than diesel counterparts, once all health-related costs are factored in.The study, which was performed by Transport & Environment (T&E), a European NGO that campaigns for cleaner transportation, found that electric buses make up about 9 percent of new bus purchases in European cities.The two types of buses are basically even when it comes to TCO to cities when health costs related to air and noise pollution are considered. However, when climate-related health costs are factored in, electric buses come out ahead.“Electric buses are the superior choice in every respect now. They have no tailpipe emissions, they’re quiet, comfortable and economical,” said T&E Analyst Lucien Mathieu. “If mayors and regions are serious about tackling the air quality and climate crises, the only rational decision is to buy electric buses from now on.”The study cites findings by the European Economic Area, which says ozone is at dangerous levels for between 95 to 98 percent of the population. Also, levels of nitrogen oxide – which originates mostly from diesel engines – were responsible for the early demise of an estimated 79,000 individuals throughout 41 European countries in 2015.The solution isn’t as simple as buying more electric buses, however, as there are two main barriers preventing the establishment of an all-electric fleet. First, the study said, electric buses have higher upfront costs and second, there’s not enough policy support to stimulate supply and demand to bring the cost down.The average cost for an electric bus is around $750,000, versus $435,000 cost for a legacy diesel bus. Sources: Transport & Environment, Forbes
On Friday, March 15, thousands of protests are planned across the globe with young people skipping school to protest against environmental inaction by their governments. This event is being organized by Fridays for Future globally and by US Youth Climate Strike in the US.While the Global Climate Strike’s main day of protest is this Friday, March 15th, many protests are scheduled to continue occurring weekly or monthly (you can find them color-coded by frequency on this map). Global youth intend to broadcast their exhortation to climate action to the people in charge of our planet’s future, until governments act in a suitably strong manner to fix this urgent problem. more…The post Youth will strike worldwide for climate action on Friday appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Source: Charge Forward In today’s EGEB:A solar patent dispute jeopardizes U.S. industry growth.The Tennessee Valley Authority is working on a long-range plan for more solar and less coal.The countries with the most CO2 emissions each year since 1850.India eyes energy from the ocean. more…The post EGEB: Solar patent dispute, TVA’s solar plan, CO2 emissions since 1850, and more appeared first on Electrek.
Source: Charge Forward Electra is back with a new electric bicycle, and this one is based on the classic cafe racer design. The new Café Moto Go electric bicycle has an impressive list of components and specs, including a Gates Carbon Drive and continuously variable transmission. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post New belt-drive 28 mph electric bicycle from Electra offers cafe racer styling appeared first on Electrek.
Source: Charge Forward Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker will deliver a car without a steering wheel within 2 years – an important change in Tesla’s self-driving strategy. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LVEtRE51hUThe post Tesla unveils car design without a steering wheel, coming within 2 years, says Elon Musk appeared first on Electrek.
A half-year ahead of the launch of series-production, the Zwickau plant produced more than 200 pre-production ID.3 electric cars.Source: Electric Vehicle News
Collingwood the centurion turns tide for sloppy England Share on Twitter First published on Fri 1 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT England v South Africa 2008 Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Facebook Share on Facebook England cricket team Share via Email Paul Collingwood acknowledges the crowd’s applause as he leaves the pitch at the end of day three. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Sunshine embraced the ground in the afternoon, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood counter-punching brilliantly with a fifth-wicket stand of 115 to haul England from the depths of despair to a position from which they have a realistic chance of beating South Africa and levelling the series.Pietersen made 94, an innings of real intensity that became more furious as it progressed until finally he combusted with his own excitement. Collingwood, in all probability batting for his Test match life, made an unbeaten 101, his fifth Test hundred and first for more than a year.It was also, by 57 runs, his highest score of a dismal season – a courageous innings in its conception and execution. Collingwood may not be one of the game’s great players but no one can doubt his character or appetite for a scrap.By the close England had reached 297 for six in their second innings, a lead of 214 and enough already to put the jitters up a South Africa side who have struggled to cast off the tag of chokers over the years. They will not have been heartened when midway through the afternoon their much derided left-arm spinner Paul Harris pitched a single delivery on the line of Pietersen’s off stump and turned it sharply past the outside edge.If Monty Panesar has the resource and above all the personality to realise that, in the final analysis, success may rest in his outsize hands, and the other England bowlers can bring discipline to their ranks, England could win this one and set up next week’s final Test at The Oval. It would be a fitting climax to the series.Earlier England had required a further 16 overs to finish South Africa’s first innings on 314, a lead of 83, and their redoubtable wicketkeeper Mark Boucher had made 40. There were no more wickets for Andrew Flintoff, whose magnificent charge on Thursday evening had given England their first glimmer of hope, but Ryan Sidebottom collected the early wicket of Ashwell Prince and that of Andre Nel to finish with three for 81 while Jimmy Anderson added two wickets of his own with the second new ball to end with three for 72. Such is the apparent condition of Sidebottom’s back, however, that he will be fortunate to make the cut for The Oval, leaving the way clear for the recall of Steve Harmison. It could be a fiery finale. Share on Messenger England v South Africa 2008 Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian match reports Share on Twitter Shares00 South Africa cricket team Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Fri 1 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT Collingwood joined Pietersen with the England innings in disarray at 104 for four, wickets squandered as if batsmen had no inkling there is a credit crunch. It began with Alastair Cook, who was fortunate to survive a leg-before shout off his first ball from Andre Nel – it would take a heart of stone not to have laughed at the bowler’s subsequent histrionics – but in trying to hit a long-hop from Makhaya Ntini to Solihull, he top-edged a catch to be well caught by Boucher.Michael Vaughan then produced a half-hour cameo that promised riches with a sequence of vintage strokes but then he blew it all in one go, with Hashim Amla taking an exceptional low catch at extra cover. And when Andrew Strauss was caught at second slip England were 70 for three, still 13 adrift and in danger of defeat inside three days, a situation compounded when Ian Bell swashed at a loosener from Ntini and like Cook, succumbed to a top edge and Boucher’s gloves.These, though, are the situations on which Pietersen and Collingwood, differing personalities, thrive. Pietersen might have had misgivings in seeing the Durham batsman emerging from the pavilion as this season he has been a wicket-in-waiting for whomsoever was fortunate enough to have a ball in his hand at the time.Ninety-two runs in seven completed innings and a top score of 44 not out is no credential for Test cricket. From the first, though, Collingwood appeared to be moving into the ball nicely, neat off his legs, flicking and clipping. He pulled witheringly to square-leg to get off the mark and throughout he cut and carved ferociously when fed the stroke by bowlers intent on avoiding straying on to his legs.Having lost Pietersen, however, he might have felt that his contribution would come to be seen as a just-enough innings in a losing cause. But he found an ally in Tim Ambrose, another man batting for his life, and how they did so.It took some guts for Collingwood to reach his hundred as he did, dancing down the pitch to Harris and clubbing him over long-on for six to an emotional reception. Perhaps he just wanted it out of the way.Pietersen was magnificent, the adrenalin-charged demise, caught at long-on as he too tried to reach three figures with a six, forgiven in the wake of the fight-back that preceded it. Towards the end of his three-hour stay, as the crowd demanded more and more, he obliged by twice switching hands and belting Harris for four to what had become the leg-side boundary. For keeping the spinner going and subsequently claiming Pietersen’s wicket and that of Flintoff four balls later, Graeme Smith can claim much credit. It was brave, thoughtful leadership. Topics Share on WhatsApp Mike Selvey at Edgbaston Paul Collingwood Cricket Collingwood the centurion turns tide for England Share via Email Reuse this content
Elevate Your Research Elevate Your FCPA Research There are several subject matter tags in this post. However, only subscribers to FCPA Professor’s premium search feature can see and use them in research. Efficient and cost-effective FCPA research is just a click away. Guilty plea, Petrobras civil settlement, Alstom is done reporting, scrutiny alert, SEC FCPA enforcement, from the docket, checking in up north, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.Guilty PleaAs highlighted in this prior post, in January 2017 the DOJ announced an FCPA and related enforcement action against four individuals for their roles in a scheme to pay $2.5 million in bribes to facilitate the $800 million sale of a commercial building in Vietnam (the so-called Landmark 72) to a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.Today, the DOJ announced: “Joo Hyun Bahn, aka Dennis Bahn, 39, of Tenafly, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and one count of violating the FCPA. U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York accepted the guilty plea. Sentencing is scheduled for June 29 …”.In the release, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan stated:“Bribery and corruption undermine fair competition and the rule of law. The fact that Joo Hyun Bahn’s intended scheme was thwarted by the greed and deception of one of his codefendants does not change the fact that he sought to steer an $800 million real estate deal by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. The Department is committed to prosecuting those like Bahn who seek to corruptly tilt the playing field to their advantage.”U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman (SDNY) stated:“As he has now admitted, Joo Hyun Bahn schemed to bribe a foreign official to close an $800 million real estate deal for a skyscraper in Vietnam — a deal that would have earned him a multimillion-dollar commission and much needed capital for his client, Keangnam Enterprises. As Bahn’s conviction demonstrates, federal law enforcement stands ready to root out commercial bribery wherever it is found.”Petrobras Civil SettlementLike many companies under FCPA or related scrutiny, Petrobras was named as a defendant in several shareholder lawsuits alleging securities fraud when its share price dropped in the aftermath of its scrutiny.Earlier this week, Petrobras announced “that it has signed an agreement in principle to settle the securities class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”).”As stated in the release:“The agreement, which is subject to approval by the court, is intended to resolve all pending and prospective claims by purchasers of Petrobras securities in the United States and by purchasers of Petrobras securities that are listed for trading in the United States. It eliminates the risk of an adverse judgment which, as Petrobras has previously reported, could have a material adverse effect on the company and its financial situation, and puts an end to the uncertainties, burdens and costs of protracted litigation.Under the proposed settlement, Petrobras has agreed to pay US$ 2.95 billion to resolve claims in two installments of US$983 million and a last installment of US$984 million. The first installment will be paid within 10 days of preliminary approval of the settlement by the court. The second installment will be paid within 10 days of final approval of the settlement. The third installment will be paid by the later of (i) six months after final approval, or (ii) January 15, 2019. The total settlement amount will be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2017.The agreement does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing or misconduct by Petrobras. In the agreement, Petrobras expressly denies liability. This reflects its status as a victim of the acts uncovered by Operation Car Wash, as recognized by Brazilian authorities including the Brazilian Supreme Court. As a victim of the scheme, Petrobras has already recovered R$1.475 billion in restitution in Brazil and will continue to pursue all available legal remedies from culpable companies and individuals.The agreement is in the company’s best interest and that of its shareholders, given the risks of a verdict advised by a jury, particularities of US procedure and securities laws, as well its assessment of the status of the class action and the nature of such litigation in the United States, where only approximately 0.3% of securities-related class actions proceed to trial.The agreement will now be submitted to the district court in the SDNY for review. If preliminary approval is granted, the court will notify the members of the class of the terms of the proposed settlement. After considering any objections and a hearing on the fairness of the proposed settlement, the court will decide whether to grant final approval.As a result of the agreement, the parties will ask the United States Supreme Court to defer consideration of Petrobras’s petition for a writ of certiorari, which was scheduled for January 5, 2018, pending final approval of the proposed settlement.”Alstom is Done ReportingAs highlighted in this previous post, in December 2014 Alstom and related entities resolved a $772 million DOJ FCPA enforcement action concerning alleged conduct in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Bahamas, and Taiwan. As part of the resolution, Alstom agreed to report to the DOJ (at no less than 12 month intervals for a three-year term) regarding remediation and implementation of the compliance program and internal controls, policies, and procedures.Earlier this week Alsom announced:“Alstom announces that the three year period of self-reporting obligations that the Group agreed to as part of the Plea Agreement of 22 December 2014 has come to a successful completion. This achievement is the result of the company’s efforts during the period and a close cooperation with the US Department of Justice. The company remains committed to the highest level of integrity in its activities and will continue the development of its compliance program.“It is with great satisfaction that we announce that Alstom has successfully concluded its three year period of self-reporting to the DOJ. This result is just another step in the development of our ethics and compliance culture and we take this opportunity to renew our commitment to uphold our high standards of integrity in all of our activities”, declares Pierrick Le Goff, General Counsel at Alstom.Alstom remains fully committed to the principles of ethical business. Alstom has in place a strong compliance program, which ensures the strict respect of laws and regulations in force in all countries in which the Group operates, with prevention of corruption measures as a top priority. Alstom rules address and set clear guidelines for dealings with public authorities and customers and other areas of corruption risk. Alstom constantly seeks to improve its compliance program and implement best in class compliance rules and processes. Alstom was among the first companies in the World to obtain the AFAQ ISO 37001 certification awarded by AFNOR Certification following an audit carried out between March and May 2017, confirming its commitment to fight corruption.”Scrutiny AlertCiena Corp., Maryland-based technology company, recently disclosed:“During fiscal 2017, one of Ciena’s third-party vendors raised allegations about certain questionable payments to one or more individuals employed by a customer in a country in the ASEAN region. Ciena promptly initiated an internal investigation into the matter, with the assistance of outside counsel, which investigation corroborated direct and indirect payments to one such individual and sought to determine whether the payments may have violated applicable laws and regulations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). In September 2017, Ciena voluntarily contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to advise them of the relevant events and the findings of Ciena’s internal investigation. With the direct oversight of the Board, Ciena continues to cooperate fully with the SEC and DOJ in their review of the investigation.Ciena’s operations in the relevant country have constituted less than 1.5% of consolidated revenues as reported by Ciena in each fiscal year since 2012. Ciena does not currently anticipate that this matter will have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition or results of operations. However, as discussions with the SEC and DOJ are ongoing, the ultimate outcome of this matter cannot be predicted at this time. As of the filing of this Report, no provision with respect to this matter has been made in Ciena’s consolidated financial statements. Any determination that Ciena’s operations or activities are not in compliance with the FCPA or other applicable laws or regulations could result in the imposition of fines, civil and criminal penalties, and equitable remedies, including disgorgement or injunctive relief.”SEC FCPA EnforcementThe SEC has rather limited jurisdiction when it comes to enforcing the FCPA. Generally speaking, the SEC only has jurisdiction against so-called issuers (publicly-traded companies and entities with reporting obligations to the SEC) and associated persons.It is interesting to note that while SEC FCPA enforcement has generally trended upward over the last decade, the number of issuers subject to SEC jurisdiction has dramatically shrinked. As highlighted in this article: “In 1996, more than 7,400 companies were listed on U.S. stock exchanges. Today, that figure is less than half, according to the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.”From the DocketRemember that individual FCPA enforcement action in which the DOJ used the Argentina prong of the 2008 Siemens enforcement action to criminally charge “eight former executives and agents of Siemens AG and its subsidiaries have been charged for allegedly engaging in a decade-long scheme to bribe senior Argentine government officials to secure, implement and enforce a $1 billion contract with the Argentine government to produce national identity cards”?Perhaps not, it occurred in December 2011 after all (see here for the prior post).In any event, as highlighted here (Eberhard Reichert, a 78-year-old German national) who was arrested in Croatia in September 2016 and agreed to be extradited to New York recently pleaded not guilty.Checking in Up NorthThe Globe and Mail goes in depth on Bombardier:“Bombardier Inc., one of Canada’s global champions of industry – and a major recipient of taxpayer assistance – won hundreds of millions of dollars worth of international contracts after making controversial side payments known as “success fees” to agents in foreign countries, a year-long, round-the-world investigation by The Globe and Mail has found.The investigation was sparked by the allegations of a former employee of Bombardier‘s rail unit, who told The Globe that he personally took part in the preparation of bids for foreign contracts that involved success-fee payments in South Africa, South Korea and Malaysia while working as part of the company’s bid-preparation team in the early 2000s.”As highlighted here,“A Calgary man who was accused of conspiring to bribe officials in the Thai military no longer faces charges. The international corruption case made headlines last November when Canadian General Aircraft president Larry Kushniruk, 69, was charged with conspiracy to bribe foreign public officials.“He’s relieved to have it behind him, he is happy to have his name back,” said Kushniruk’s lawyer, Gavin Wolch, after receiving a letter from federal prosecutor Kent Brown directing a stay of proceedings. “He was innocent.”At the time the charge was laid, RCMP alleged Kushniruk conspired to bribe officials in the Thai military to secure the sale of a commercial passenger jet from Thai Airways, the country’s national airline. It is alleged Kushnirik brokered the proposed sale through his company, which deals in commercial airline sales and parts. Investigators were tipped off in 2013, when the FBI flagged irregularities in the sale, prompting an investigation by the RCMP’s federal serious and organized crime unit.”For the Reading StackThe most recent edition of the always informative FCPA Update from Debevoise & Plimpton is here.
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The Friends of Leavenworth say the Hearing Examiner has rejected their request for reconsideration of his decision regarding the approval of the proposed adventure park. The group says they have until June 27th to file a challenge to that decision in Chelan County Superior Court and will meet this week to determine whether or not they want to pursue a legal avenue. It is believed that to do so would cost the group around $15-25,000 to appeal the decision.
According to a clinical study in Annals of Internal Medicine, approximately two-thirds of the potentially cancerous polyps that are missed in standard colonoscopies are located behind folds in the wall of the colon. The Third Eye Panoramic device, which is attached to the tip of a PENTAX Medical colonoscope, adds two side-viewing cameras, creating a panoramic video image (approximately 330°) that enables endoscopists to see behind the folds. The device uses technology that has been shown in clinical studies to help physicians find up to 23-25 percent more pre-cancerous polyps than a standard colonoscope alone.Related StoriesPENTAX Medical announces distribution agreement with CapsoVision for CapsoCam Plus capsule endoscopy productsKey innovations awards recognize PENTAX Medical for new product developmentsPENTAX Medical to support distribution of SMART’s G-EYE technology across the EMEA market”The Third Eye Panoramic device uses advanced optics, imaging, and software analysis to better enable diagnosis and early detection of colon cancer with current PENTAX Medical scopes without compromising the high-definition image quality and superior handling characteristics that endoscopists have come to expect from us,” said David Woods, President and CEO, PENTAX Medical, Americas. “We continue to innovate and bring new solutions to the market that improve clinical outcomes, enhance the patient and provider experience, and reduce overall costs. This is the latest example of our commitment to enabling our customers to meet their Triple Aim objectives.”According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women, and that people should be screened for the disease with a colonoscopy once every 10 years, beginning at age 50. Colon cancer is expected to cause about 50,630 deaths in 2018.”We are very pleased to be partnering with PENTAX Medical to bring our industry-leading and lifesaving solutions to the broader U.S. market,” said Tony DiTonno, Chairman of Avantis Medical Systems, Inc. “We evaluated many options for distribution in the U.S., and PENTAX Medical was our overwhelmingly positive first choice.”Source: https://www.pentaxmedical.com/ Jun 6 2018Provides ‘Panoramic’ View to Detect Potentially Cancerous Polyps Standard Colonoscopes May Not SeePENTAX Medical Company, a healthcare industry leader in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, announced it has entered into an agreement with California-based, Avantis Medical Systems, Inc. to distribute through its U.S. salesforce, the Avantis Third Eye® Panoramic™ device, a wide-angle visualization tool that significantly expands the view obtained from traditional colonoscopes during screenings for colon cancer.
Jul 10 2018Last month alone, 23 percent of Americans took two or more prescription drugs, according to one CDC estimate, and 39 percent over age 65 take five or more, a number that’s increased three-fold in the last several decades. And if that isn’t surprising enough, try this one: in many cases, doctors have no idea what side effects might arise from adding another drug to a patient’s personal pharmacy.The problem is that with so many drugs currently on the U.S. pharmaceutical market, “it’s practically impossible to test a new drug in combination with all other drugs, because just for one drug that would be five thousand new experiments,” said Marinka Zitnik, a postdoctoral fellow in computer science. With some new drug combinations, she said, “truly we don’t know what will happen.”But computer science may be able to help. In a paper presented July 10th at the 2018 meeting of the International Society for Computational Biology in Chicago. Zitnik and colleagues Monica Agrawal, a master’s student, and Jure Leskovec, an associate professor of computer science, lay out an artificial intelligence system for predicting, not simply tracking, potential side effects from drug combinations. That system, called Decagon, could help doctors make better decisions about which drugs to describe and help researchers find better combinations of drugs to treat complex diseases.Too many combinationsOnce available to doctors in a more user-friendly form, Decagon’s predictions would be an improvement over what’s available now, which essentially comes down to chance – a patient takes one drug, starts taking another and then develops a headache or worse. There are about 1000 different known side effects and 5,000 drugs on the market, making for nearly 125 billion possible side effects between all possible pairs of drugs. Most of these have never been prescribed together, let alone systematically studied.But, Zitnik, Agrawal and Leskovec realized they could get around that problem by studying how drugs affect the underlying cellular machinery in our body. They composed a massive network describing how the more than 19,000 proteins in our bodies interact with each other and how different drugs affect these proteins. Using more than 4 million known associations between drugs and side effects, the team then designed a method to identify patterns in how side effects arise based on how drugs target different proteins.Related StoriesArtificial intelligence better than humans in diagnosing pigmented skin lesionsIntegrating AI to analyze imaging data allows early recognition of heart diseaseUsing artificial intelligence to personalize the dose of radiation therapy for cancer patientsTo do that, the team turned to deep learning, a kind of artificial intelligence modeled after the brain. In essence, deep learning looks at complex data and extracts from them abstract, sometimes counterintuitive patterns in the data. In this case, the researchers designed their system to infer patterns about drug interaction side effects and predict previously unseen consequences from taking two drugs together.Predicting complicationsJust because Decagon found a pattern doesn’t necessarily make it real, so the group looked to see if its predictions came true, and in many cases, they did. For example, there was no indication in the team’s data that the combination of atorvastatin, a cholesterol drug, and amlopidine, a blood pressure medication, could lead to muscle inflammation, yet Decagon predicted that it would, and it was right. Although it did not appear in the original data, a case report from 2017 suggested the drug combination had led to a dangerous kind of muscle inflammation.That example was born out in other cases as well. When they searched the medical literature for evidence of ten side effects predicted by Decagon but not in their original data, the team found that five out of the ten have recently been confirmed, lending further credence to Decagon’s predictions.”It was surprising that protein interaction networks reveal so much about drug side effects,” said Leskovec, who is a member of Stanford Bio-X, Stanford Neurosciences Institute and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.Right now, Decagon only considers side effects associated with pairs of drugs, and in the future the team hopes to extend their results to include more complex regimens, Leskovec said. They also hope to create a more user-friendly tool to give doctors guidance on whether it’s a good idea to prescribe a particular drug to a particular patient and to help researchers developing drug regimens for complex diseases with fewer side effects.”Today, drug side effects are discovered essentially by accident,” Leskovec said, “and our approach has the potential to lead to more effective and safer healthcare.”Source: https://www.stanford.edu
Aug 16 2018In a spectacular new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered a method of diagnosing a broad range of cancers at their early stages by utilizing a particular malaria protein, which sticks to cancer cells in blood samples. The researchers hope that this method can be used in cancer screenings in the near future.Each year, cancer kills approximately nine million people worldwide, and early diagnosis is crucial to efficient treatment and survival. Now, researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have come up with a new method of diagnosing cancer in its early stages in humans by way of a malaria protein – VAR2CSA – which sticks to cancer cells. All the scientists need to determine whether or not a person has cancer is a blood sample.”We have developed a method where we take a blood sample and with great sensitivity and specificity, we’re able to retrieve the individual cancer cells from the blood. We catch the cancer cells in greater numbers than existing methods, which offers the opportunity to detect cancer earlier and thus improve outcome. You can use this method to diagnose broadly, as it’s not dependent on cancer type. We have already detected various types of cancer cells in blood samples. And if there is a cancer cell in your blood, you have a tumor somewhere in your body,” says Professor Ali Salanti from the Department of Immunology and Microbiology and joint author of the study, which has just been published in the scientific journal, Nature Communications.Today, there are several ways of detecting cancer cells in blood. Most of them are based on a particular marker, which is found on the surface of tumor cells. However, not all tumor cells display this marker, which renders these methods unable to detect tumor cells spread to other organs such liver, lung and bones, as opposed to the method based on the malaria protein.A few years ago, Ali Salanti and his fellow researchers discovered a new method of treating cancer with the protein VAR2CSA, which is produced by malaria parasites. And these discoveries have formed the basis of the research group’s new method of diagnosis. Among other things, they have shown that the malaria protein sticks to a specific sugar molecule, which is found in more than 95 percent of all types of cancer cells. In other words, this new method of diagnosis can be used to detect practically all types of cancer.Circulating tumor cellsA cancerous tumor consists of several different cancer cells, some of which spread by wandering through the tissue and into the blood. These cancer cells in the blood are called circulating tumor cells, and they can develop into metastases, which cause up to 90 percent of all cancer-related deaths. If cancer originating in the lungs spreads to the brain, it is called brain metastasis.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerIt is the circulating tumor cells that the researchers are able to retrieve from a blood sample by using the malaria protein. During the development of this new method, the researchers took ten cancer cells and added them to five milliliters of blood, and subsequently, they were able to retrieve nine out of ten cancer cells from the blood sample.”We count the number of cancer cells and based on that we’re able to make a prognosis. You can, for example, decide to change a given treatment if the number of circulating tumor cells does not change during the treatment the patient is currently undergoing. This method also enables us to retrieve live cancer cells, which we can then grow and use for testing treatments in order to determine which type of treatment the patient responds to,” says Postdoc Mette Ørskov Agerbæk, Department of Immunology and Microbiology and joint author of the study.Future screening programThe researchers have already come a long way in following up on their results in terms of a large clinical study where many more patients with cancer of the pancreas have been tested using this method. “We found strikingly high numbers of circulating tumor cells in every single patient with pancreatic cancer, but none in the control group,” says Professor Christopher Heeschen, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW, Sydney, Australia, and joint author of the study.The researchers envision being able to use the method to screen people at high risk of developing cancer in the future. However, they also expect that this method can be used as a biomarker indicating whether a patient with mostly vague symptoms indeed has cancer or not. This will enable doctors to determine the stage the disease is at.”Today, it’s difficult to determine which stage cancer is at. Our method has enabled us to detect cancer at stages one, two, three and four. Based on the number of circulating tumor cells we find in someone’s blood, we’ll be able to determine whether it’s a relatively aggressive cancer or not so then to adjust the treatment accordingly,” explains Professor Ali Salanti who adds that a much larger clinical study is needed before firm correlations to tumor staging can be made. Source:https://healthsciences.ku.dk/news/2018/08/scientists-discover-new-method-of-diagnosing-cancer-with-malaria-protein/