The Health News USA April 3 2018

  • The owner of a Florida pharmacy was sentenced to 13 years in prison for a health care kickback scheme. U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida on Friday said 53-year-old Larry Howard was sentenced on Friday and ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution and surrender 2 properties he purchased with the earnings. Also convicted were 52-year-old Nicole Bramwell and 57-year-old Raymond Stone, who received the kickbacks from Howard.
  • A California judge had ruled that coffee sold in the state should carry a cancer warning. Like many foods that are cooked, coffee-roasting creates a chemical byproduct called acrylamide that is a carcinogen. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, a small nonprofit, took the coffee industry to court under a California law that requires warnings where chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects are present. The law only applies to California, but the state is such a massive market that tailoring packaging with warnings specifically to stores in the state could be a tall order.
  • Emergency rooms in Illinois are noticing a spike in synthetic pot users suffering from “severe bleeding,” and state health officials are warning the public to remain vigilant. The Illinois Department of Health issued a statement announcing that at least 6 people in northeastern Illinois had been hospitalized after using the man-made substance — also known as “fake weed,” “K2” or “spice.”

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/article207612499.html

The owner of a Florida pharmacy was sentenced to thirteen years in prison for a health care kickback scheme. U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida on Friday said fifty three-year-old Larry Howard was sentenced on Friday and ordered to pay four point three million dollars in restitution and surrender two properties he purchased with the earnings.

Federal prosecutors say Howard owned Orlando-area Fertility Pharmacy, and that he was involved in a kickback scheme with two others meant to funnel patients to doctors pre-selected by Howard. The doctors would prescribe expensive pain medications and scar creams that cost up to seventeen thousand per bottle. The medications were billed to TRICARE, which paid the pharmacy. Also convicted were fifty two-year-old Nicole Bramwell and fifty seven-year-old Raymond Stone, who received the kickbacks from Howard.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/coffee-cancer-warnings-migrate-california-border-54133734?cid=clicksource_26_4_article%20roll_articleroll_hed

A California judge had ruled that coffee sold in the state should carry a cancer warning. Like many foods that are cooked, coffee-roasting creates a chemical byproduct called acrylamide that is a carcinogen. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, a small nonprofit, took the coffee industry to court under a California law that requires warnings where chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects are present.

Coffee companies, led by Starbucks Corporation, acknowledge the presence of the chemical, but said it’s found in trace levels that are harmless. They argue any risks are outweighed by other health benefits from drinking the beverage. While scientists have gone back and forth for years on benefits or risks from coffee, concerns have eased recently and some studies have found health benefits and even lower risks of getting certain cancer types. But a Los Angeles Superior Court judge said Big Coffee had failed to prove their case.
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Coffee companies have said it’s not feasible to remove acrylamide without ruining coffee’s flavor. In addition to posting warnings, coffee companies could face some civil penalties of up two thousand five hundred dollars for each person in California exposed daily over eight years.
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After the lawsuit was brought, many coffee shops began posting warnings that specifically say California has determined acrylamide is among chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
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The law only applies to California, but the state is such a massive market that tailoring packaging with warnings specifically to stores in the state could be a tall order.
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Supporters of the law would argue broader awareness is not such a bad thing.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/03/30/synthetic-pot-cases-spike-in-illinois-officials-warn-users-may-experience-bleeding-from-eyes-and-ears.html

Emergency rooms in Illinois are noticing a spike in synthetic pot users suffering from “severe bleeding,” and state health officials are warning the public to remain vigilant. The Illinois Department of Health issued a statement announcing that at least six people in northeastern Illinois had been hospitalized after using the man-made substance — also known as “fake weed,” “K two” or “spice.” The health department reported that the number of cases have climbed to thirty two. There are now cases in at least eight Chicago-area communities including Cook County, Dupage County, Kane County, McLean County, Peoria County, Tazewell County and Will County. But officials believe that number will grow, as it’s possible contaminated products have been sold across the state.
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Synthetic pot is made up of hundreds of different chemicals — and their effect on the human body is unpredictable.
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IDPH explained that synthetic cannabinoid products are unsafe. It is difficult to know what’s in them or what your reaction to them will be. IDPH warns that the drug’s impact can be life-threatening. Users have reported a wide range of symptoms, from bleeding gums and bloody noses to blood in the urine. Women who are menstruating have also experienced a higher than average flow. Bleeding from the eyes and ears is also possible after use.

Health officials urge those who have purchased synthetic cannabinoid products within the past month — whether it was from a convenience store or a dealer — to not use the product. IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold told the Chicago newspaper that the product is banned for sale across the state, but some manufacturers alter the “molecular makeup of the products” to “get around” the law.

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