Drugmaker AbbVie will pay $24 million to California, whistleblower to settle fraud lawsuit
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced that the Department of Insurance reached a $24 million settlement with pharmaceutical giant AbbVie that will require it to change its marketing practices for its immunology drug Humira.Once a blockbuster sales driver for the company, Humira faced stiff competition from similar drugs on the international market. In the second quarter of 2020, foreign sales of the drug dropped by nearly 20 percent, and U.S. sales did not increase enough to cover that steep drop. Humira is used to treat symptoms of arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative col...
The Sacramento Bee
Kamala Harris settled with a top aide who lost her job, and both sides agreed to keep quiet, records show
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Under then-Attorney General Kamala Harris’ direction, the California Department of Justice paid a nearly $35,000 settlement to Harris’ former chief deputy attorney general after a dispute related to her termination in 2011, documents show.A copy of the settlement agreement provided to The Sacramento Bee by the California Department of Justice says the department paid former Harris aide Terri Carbaugh $34,900.The agreement came less than a year after Harris, now a U.S. senator and widely considered to be a favorite for the vice presidential nomination, assumed office as Cal...
The Sacramento Bee
Washington state officials slam Navy's changes to military testing program that would harm more orcas
SEATTLE — A Navy military testing program that appeared headed to routine approval has hit a wall of opposition from Washington’s governor, attorney general and state agencies because of potential harm to endangered orcas in Washington waters.The program is being assessed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has determined impacts from the Navy’s proposed testing to be “negligible” and is drafting a final rule for implementation of the program.The Navy is working with its regulators to make changes in the program — though what those may be is far from clear.Planned mil...
The Seattle Times
'License to live:' Florida quietly changed driver's license requirements for immigrants
MIAMI — Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants who have been able to drive legally in Florida may be unable to get driver’s licenses again, after the state quietly changed its identification requirements for obtaining licenses.In May the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles tightened its document requirements that outline what some immigrants must provide in order to get their driver licenses. It’s the most striking change of at least six that have been made in the past six months, making it almost impossible for people who are in the deportation process to legally dri...
Coronavirus fraudsters keep prosecutors busy
A Hollywood film producer allegedly tried to use $1.7 million from the federal coronavirus business relief fund to pay personal credit card bills. Two New England men allegedly applied for more than half a million in refundable loans through the program by claiming to have dozens of employees at four businesses. They had none.Many fraudsters have submitted false state unemployment claims. In Washington state, the unemployment system temporarily crashed under the weight of hundreds of millions of dollars in payments for fake claims.These are just a few examples of what prosecutors say are tens ...
FAA begins re-certification flights on Boeing 737 Max
SEATTLE — A few minutes before 10 a.m. Monday, a Boeing 737 Max took off from Boeing Field with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot at the controls, the start of three days of re-certification test flights that mark a major step toward returning the aircraft to passenger service.Though substantial additional work to gain FAA approval remains once these flights are completed, clearance for the Max to return to service in the U.S. — assuming no further unexpected holdups — could come around mid-September.The plane flew east and landed one hour and 20 minutes later at Moses Lake. It is ...
The Seattle Times
Agents intercept counterfeit tablets valued at more than $460,000
MINNEAPOLIS — Border patrol agents in International Falls, Minn., seized a shipment of counterfeit touch-screen tablets worth more than $460,000.Agents keyed in on a rail car June 12 and selected it for examination after reviewing shipping documents. They found 1,152 of the tablets inside, said Jason Givens, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).“CBP is focused on identifying and intercepting counterfeit merchandise and products,” said Anthony Jackson, International Falls port director. “The enforcement of trade laws at U.S. ports of entry remains a high priority for us.”The...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
What's known about the FBI and NASCAR investigation of noose in Bubba Wallace's garage
TALLADEGA, Ala. — The FBI is now reviewing a case in which a noose was found in the car garage of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace — the only Black driver in the sport’s top series — on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.Law enforcement officials said they are reviewing the situation to determine whether the act violates federal law while NASCAR conducts its own investigation.“The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama, FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division are reviewing the situation surrounding the noose that was found in Bubba Wallace’s garage to determine w...
The Charlotte Observer
European regulators plan longer investigation of FCA, PSA Group merger plans
Regulators in Europe plan to take a longer look at the proposed merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the maker of Peugeot, raising concerns about the potential negative impact on competition.European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in remarks posted on the commission’s website Wednesday, pointed specifically at the commercial van sector as an area of competitive concern should FCA and PSA Group become one.“We will carefully assess whether the proposed transaction would negatively affect competition in these markets and ensure that a healthy competitive landscape rema...
Detroit Free Press
Illumina launches first COVID-19 test based on next-generation gene sequencing
SAN DIEGO — Illumina has won regulatory approval for the first COVID-19 based on next- generation gene sequencing, which could help track mutations of the virus while delivering high-volume results.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an Emergency Use Authorization on Tuesday for Ilumina’s coronavirus test. It can deliver results in 24 hours from nasal or throat swabs.Called COVIDSeq, Illumina’s high volume test includes 98 DNA or RNA markers that target the full SARS-CoV-2 genome. The test is currently available on a limited basis but will become more broadly available this summer.A...
The San Diego Union-Tribune