White House Unveils New Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

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The White House announced a new plan for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria on Friday, and media coverage focused on the “aggressive” nature of the proposal and what was portrayed as the high financial cost of implementation. The reporting almost universally included President Obama’s comments during a WebMD interview. While the announcement was covered by the major print sources and wire services, none of the broadcast networks reported on the plan.

The New York Times reported that Obama “urged Congress to double the funding to confront” antibiotic-resistant bacteria to more than $1.2 billion. The main pillars of the plan include “improved surveillance of outbreaks, better diagnostic tests and new research on alternative drugs.” Additionally, the plan calls for “government agencies to bolster systems to track the consumption of antibiotics and to reduce inappropriate use in people and animals.”

The Washington Post “To Your Health” blog reported that the plan comes as “scientists, doctors and other public health officials have increasingly” asserted that “if antibiotic resistance were to continue at the current rate, routine infections could become life-threatening.” The Post also provided some of the specifics of the initiative. Under the plan, the CDC will endeavor “to cut Clostridium difficile infections by 50 percent, reduce carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections acquired during hospitalization by 60 percent and lower Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections by at least 50 percent.” Additionally, hospitals will be “required to put in place programs to improve infection control,” including “hand-washing and the judicious use of prescribing antibiotics for patients.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Photo by dream designs, via freedigitalphotos.net.

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FDA Panel Recommends Updated Labels for Diabetes Drugs to Reflect Cardiovascular Risk

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Bloomberg News reports that the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended that the agency “add data from trials on the heart effects to the labels of” two diabetes drugs: AstraZeneca’s Onglyza (saxagliptin) and Takeda’s Nesina (alogliptin). The panel also voted that “the drugs’ cardiovascular risk is acceptable,” because neither “went above the 30 percent increased risk defined as unacceptable by the trials.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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FDA Proposal Would Allow Drug Companies to Contradict Official Safety Warnings

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The Washington Post reported the FDA “is proposing to allow pharmaceutical companies to contradict official safety warnings in sales presentations to customers.” The proposal, supported by manufacturers, would “allow drugmakers to present customers with information that undermines official warnings as long as it comes from a peer-reviewed journal article.” The Post says the proposal has led to criticism from public-health advocates that it could “possibly endanger patients” and drug companies could “easily mislead customers” by presenting “only a selection of new research.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Fourteen State AGs Call on Congress to Investigate Herbal Supplements Industry

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Reuters reports, in continuing coverage, on the letter sent by the attorneys general (AG) from 14 states to Congress calling for an investigation into the herbal supplements industry. They cite safety and efficacy questions as the basis for their concern.

The Capital New York reports that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman takes issue with the limited role the FDA plays in the industry. Under 1994 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, the agency is “barred from requiring [supplements manufacturers] to submit data to show the efficacy and purity of their product” before marketing. The New Orleans Times-Picayune also reports on the story.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Vietnam Veteran Files Class-Action Suit Against VA Over Delays

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The New York Times reports that Conley Monk Jr., a Vietnam veteran, has filed a class-action suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs “seeking to force the department to expedite a growing backlog of benefits claims appeals, including his own.” Monk, “who has waited years for disability benefits…for claims of post-traumatic stress disorder and exposure to toxic chemicals,” said he “came under fire in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 and was exposed to Agent Orange, an herbicide used in the war.” Monk “applied for disability compensation from the V.A. and was denied.” In 2013, he filed an appeal, and 20 months later “the department has yet to respond.” Monk’s case “is the first class action filed in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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No Mistakes, No Loopholes: Five Crucial Steps to Drafting the Perfect Legal Contract

No Mistakes No Loopholes 5 Crucial Steps to Drafing the Perfect Legal Contract

Although every contract might be different, they all have certain common threads. Those are known as the elements of the contract. To be enforceable, the contract must contain five essential elements.

Offer
There must be a clear and unequivocal offer to do something. An offer can be withdrawn at any time before it’s accepted. An offer might also clearly state when it expires. If it isn’t withdrawn or doesn’t specify a time when it expires, the law deems the offer to be open for a reasonable amount of time. What a reasonable amount of time is depends on the facts of each case.

Acceptance
An acceptance can’t go beyond the scope of an offer. If it contains terms other than those contained in the offer, it’s not an acceptance. It’s treated as a counter-offer, and it can be rejected. Offers and counter-offers can go back and forth for a prolonged period until such time as the parties have reached a meeting of the minds and an agreement. Acceptance might be written, oral, or manifested by conduct such as performance under the contract.

Consideration
Consideration induces a person to enter into a contract. Consideration must have value. It can be expressed value such as the payment of money, or it can be a promise not to do something such as relinquishing a right. Consideration in one country might not be consideration in another country. Foreign attorneys wishing to gain a thorough understanding of American contract law for international practice might want to earn an American law degree. One could earn their USC LL.M. Degree online without having to attend classes in person.

Intention
The parties must have the intention and legal capacity to enter into a valid and binding contract. Black’s Law Dictionary is the most authoritative legal dictionary in the United States. It defines intention as design, resolve or determination with which a person acts.

Capacity
Legal capacity is the requisite mental ability or lucidity to enter into a contract. Without capacity, a person is deemed to have no intent and the alleged contract fails. In most states, a minor under the age of 18 doesn’t have the requisite mental capacity to enter into a contract.

Be sure to date your offer and acceptance. Clearly specify what the rights and duties of the parties are and what the consideration is.

This article is from Rachelle Wilber, a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. Rachelle graduated from San Diego State’s School of Journalism and Media Studies with her Bachelor’s degree. She loves writing and can find an interest in almost all things. She believes in a healthy lifestyle which has become a key to happiness for her. You can find her shopping or on the beach.

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What Can You Do If You Have Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?

What Can You Do If You Have Been Denied Social Security Disability Insurance

Dealing with a disability can be very challenging. Not only are there the health issues, but going from a productive laborer to unemployed is emotionally taxing. In this situation, many people apply for Social Security Disability benefits. If the initial application is rejected, there are options to continue the fight to gain benefits.

Get Authoritative Medical Documentation

It is very difficult to win a disability ruling without at least some medical evidence. Contact all doctors and medical professionals who have been involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the disabling condition. When it comes to medical evidence, there is no such thing as too much.

Speak With An Attorney Regarding An Appeal

If there is any confusion about whether a specific condition is reasonable grounds for an appeal, an attorney will know. Because Social Security disability is not an automatic right, it’s important to get the help of an attorney to get the benefits you deserve.

Look Into Some Type Of Short Term Or Emergency Assistance

The appeals process can be quite lengthy, sometimes taking well over a year before a case is heard by a judge. This can create financial hardships while waiting for a hearing. Contacting local charities, relatives, or even liquidating some investments may be necessary to help provide income during the waiting period.

Show Any Worsened Symptoms

If an appeal has been rejected, it can be disheartening, but it does not mean that benefits will never be received. If symptoms have become significantly worse since the denied appeal, gather the recent medical evidence and begin working on a second appeal.

Seek Out Interim Health Insurance

Most times losing a job also means losing any health insurance that the employer may have offered. Unfortunately, debilitating conditions will often require many doctor or hospital visits. For the most part, winning a Social Security Disability appeal will not retroactively cover medical bills. If COBRA is available, use it. Otherwise, look into state or local programs for assistance with medical coverage.

Be Patient

The wait can be frustrating, and there is sometimes the temptation to try to return to work despite a disability. This is very dangerous and could lead to serious medical problems. Try to be patient, and let the appeals process run its course.

According to the experts at Bachus & Schanker Law, there is an opportunity for appeal if you have been denied a Social Security claim. While it might require patience and effort, working for a disability appeal is worthwhile. If successful, it will mean fewer worries about the financial needs of the future.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. 

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Indian Pharmaceutical Firm Recalls Cholesterol Medicine After Failing Impurities Testing

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Fierce Pharma Manufacturing reports India’s Micro Labs has issued a recall for nearly 55,000 bottles of generic Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) after it failed “impurities testing.” The affected plant, which is in Goa, western India, is separate from the company’s plant in Bangalore that was banned by the FDA for various quality compliance issues. The company “has recalled 6 lots of simvastatin tablets in different dosages, according to the most recent FDA Enforcement Report.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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White Collar Crimes You Might Not Even Know You’re Guilty Of

White Collar Crimes You Might Not Even Know You're Guilty Of

When most people think of white collar crimes, they think of Wall Street, or corporate executives making illegal stock transactions or reporting erroneous earnings. While this is certainly correct in many instances, there are other forms of white collar crimes average people take part in all the time. Although most of us do not realize it, some of these infringements could land you in hot water. And, if this happens, you might even need to hire a criminal defense attorney in Minnesota. Here are a few areas to look at.

Insurance

Car insurance fraud can be as benign as living in one area and using the address of another. Insurance rates are based on the driver’s actual legal residence. An example of this is when a college student graduates and moves out of their parents’ home. Instead of updating the address, they continue to use their parent’s information. The rate might be higher at the new address, but because it is not disclosed no one knows.

Car repairs are another place some people participate in white collar crime. For example, you have a long-term relationship with a body shop. You need repairs and the owner offers to include your deductible in the actual cost by inflating that amount. This seems harmless enough. One of the businesses you frequent doing you a favor. However, this is another example of insurance fraud. This also happens with other forms of insurance including homeowners.

Taxes

According to Keyser Defense lawyers, tax evasion is one that most people engage in unknowingly. For example, you make small amounts of income in dividend interest or from a stock trade, and do not report it. Since this is earned income, it must be reported. If not, then this is considered tax evasion. There are other fudges that we take part in when it comes to taxes such as the actual amount we donate to charity. This is a white collar crime to avoid, because you never know when you might be audited.

Embezzlement

At some point in our life we have family or friends that work at restaurants. We may have a meal sometimes, and our family member gives us a free item. In addition, every time a friendly waiter or waitress gives us a free item, the same white collar crime occurs. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. If this was your business, think about how much money you are losing because your employees are giving away inventory. Most people don’t realize that employers entrust employees to be responsible stewards. In essence, the employee is an agent for a business and has fiduciary obligations. One of those includes protecting all assets.

This may come as a surprise to most, but these white collar crimes are not harmless. In fact, they cost untold monetary losses to a variety of interests. The other part to remember is when this happens; everyone pays higher prices in the end.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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FDA Cracking Down on Anti-Aging Products Making Medical Claims

prod_1162757_xlUSA Today reported that anti-aging products purporting to “change the skin’s structure or function – by stimulating the production of skin-firming collagen” – are receiving heightened scrutiny from the FDA. Linda Katz, Director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, said in an email, “The number and type of claims that we are seeing has been increasing over the past five to 10 years, with the growth in the market of anti-aging products.” The agency put out a recent consumer update reminding people “that products sold as cosmetics – a category that includes make-up and all non-prescription wrinkle creams – are not reviewed for effectiveness by the FDA and so cannot make the kind of claims allowed for approved drugs.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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