US states file lawsuit accusing drugs firms of inflating costs

An assortment of generic pillsA lawsuit alleges that more than 100 generic drugs were included in a price-fixing scheme

More than 40 US states have filed a lawsuit accusing pharmaceutical firms of conspiring to artificially inflate the cost of common medicinal drugs.

The lawsuit alleges that as many as 20 companies have been involved in fixing prices for over 100 drugs, including treatments for diabetes and cancer.

One of the firms accused is Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest producer of generic medicine.

Teva, which has denied any wrongdoing, says it will defend its actions.

The legal action, which follows a five-year investigation, accuses drugs companies of involvement in a scheme to boost prices – in some cases by more than 1,000% – and was filed on Friday by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

“We have hard evidence that shows the generic drug industry perpetrated a multi-billion dollar fraud on the American people,” Mr Tong said.

“We have emails, text messages, telephone records and former company insiders that we believe will prove a multi-year conspiracy to fix prices and divide market share for huge numbers of generic drugs.”

A representative of Teva in the US said that the Israeli company “has not engaged in any conduct that would lead to civil or criminal liability”, Reuters news agency reports.

The other 19 firms implicated in the lawsuit have yet to comment on the allegations.

Fifteen individuals were also named as defendants accused of overseeing the price-fixing scheme on a day-to-day basis.

According to the lawsuit, the drugs companies allegedly conspired to manipulate prices on dozens of medicines between July 2013 and January 2015.

It accuses Teva and others of “embarking on one of the most egregious and damaging price-fixing conspiracies in the history of the United States”.

Mr Tong said the investigation had exposed why the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs was so high in the US.

America’s healthcare system has been at the forefront of US politics for years.

President Donald Trump has frequently promised to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, which was designed to make medical cover affordable for the many Americans who had been priced out of the market.

States have argued that eliminating Obamacare would harm millions of Americans who would struggle to meet the costs of medical care.

Maine House votes to end non-medical exemptions for childhood vaccines

A bill that could end non-medical exemptions for routine childhood vaccines required by schools and certain health care facilities, got one step closer to a reality Tuesday.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill that could end non-medical exemptions for routine childhood vaccines required by schools and certain health care facilities, got one step closer to a reality Tuesday.

The Maine House passed the vaccination bill by 78-59 Tuesday, April 23.

View image on Twitter

Jackie Mundry


The legislature has voted 78-59 to PASS the vaccination bill

The Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee held a work session and heard from the public earlier in March. 

RELATED: Hundreds of Mainers descend upon the State House to testify about vaccine bill

Multiple studies have debunked claims that measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations increase the risk for autism. Maine has one of the nation’s highest rates of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

But opponents argue that Maine parents should remain able to opt-out on religious or philosophical grounds. Meanwhile, a Republican’s bill would leave medical exemptions at the “sole discretion” of anyone authorized to administer vaccines.

RELATED: Pertussis is widespread in Maine

Federal data shows Maine had among the highest rates of non-medical vaccine exemptions in 2017-2018.Oregon and Washington are also considering bills to end non-medical exemptions for childhood vaccines.

LD 798 Vaccine public hearing bill

WHO raises alarm over 300 percent rise in measles cases

Severity of outbreaks could be worse since only about one in 10 actual measles cases is reported, UN body says.

Measles had been officially eliminated in many countries with advanced healthcare systems [File: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters]
Measles had been officially eliminated in many countries with advanced healthcare systems [File: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised alarm over a 300 percent increase in the case of measles globally in the first quarter of 2019 compared with last year.

The statement by the United Nations’ health agency comes as health experts in various parts of the world blame a growing anti-vaccination movement for the rise in outbreaks of the highly contagious but preventable disease.

The WHO said on Monday that the early trends for 2019 likely underestimated the severity of the outbreaks since only about one in 10 actual measles cases was reported.

“Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases,” the WHO said.

Global measles surge: Warning of threat to children

So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to WHO. At this time in 2018, 163 countries had reported 28,124 cases.

“Spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States,” the WHO said.

“The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people,” it added.

New York City’s mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn last week after a measles outbreak emerged in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where some had resisted vaccination on religious grounds.

The WHO said that the most dramatic rise in cases – a 700-percent increase compared with last year – has been reported on the African continent, which has weaker vaccination coverage than other regions.

Anti-vax movement

Measles – an airborne infection causing fever, coughing and rashes that can be deadly in rare cases – had been officially eliminated in many countries with advanced healthcare systems.

But the so-called anti-vax movement – driven by fraudulent claims linking the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, and risk of autism in children – has gained traction.

Repeated studies – the most recent involving more than 650,000 children monitored for more than a decade – have shown that there is no such link.

But according to the WHO, global coverage for the first vaccine dose has been “stalled” at 85 percent, while 67 percent of people have received the second dose.

Calls have mounted in several countries to make measles vaccinations mandatory, including in Germany.

Australia earlier this month launched a major education campaign to encourage residents to get vaccinated.

Turning the tide against measles will require “effective public-facing communication and engagement on the critical importance of vaccination, and the dangers of the diseases they prevent”, the WHO said.

Vaccines: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Published on Jun 25, 2017
The benefits of vaccines far outweigh the minuscule risks, but some parents still question their safety. John Oliver discusses why some people may still feel uncertainty about childhood vaccinations.

Maine’s Weaponized Draconian LD798 Vaccination Bill – Susan Price

God have mercy upon the people of Maine and shame on you Governor Janet Mills for your alleged part in the act of Eugenics, watch that glass ceiling doesn’t cut you as it shatters through the loss of lives regarding these biological weapons against humanity, containing the blood of pigs, aborted fetal cells, metals and other toxic suicidal tonics you want to poke into the blood streams of innocent children.

In Summary, the current law allows exemptions from immunization requirements based on religious or philosophical beliefs for students in elementary and secondary schools and health care facilities. This new draconian vaccination bill would remove these exemptions.

The bill also directs the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to remove any immunization exemptions based on religious or philosophical beliefs from their rules and requires the Department of Education to adopt rules allowing a student who is covered by an individualized education plan and has elected a philosophical or religious exemption from immunization requirements to continue to attend school under the existing exemption as long as an appropriate medical professional provides a statement that the medical professional has provided information on the risks and benefits associated with the choice to immunize.”

LD798 An Act To Protect Maine Children and Students from Preventable Diseases by Repealing Certain Exemptions from the Laws Governing Immunization Requirements

The tax paying citizens in this state are in an uproar and rightfully so, shared conversations at local schools with parents and their concerns, leaves them feeling helpless and hopeless, many calling their representatives, one parent mentioned a phone call put in to Representative Tucker from Brunswick Maine, Rep Tucker stated that those in protest of this new bill have no credibility and that these people were examples of “Anti Vax Zealots”.

Mainers want to know why legislators will jeopardize American children through toxic and deadly inoculations just to attend schools yet that don’t enforce the same laws to illegals who many come here infested with various types of diseases.

Those of you who voted these representatives in have jeopardized your families and your communities legacy’s for these people are not representing you, they have a hidden agenda and depopulation is on the docket to be sure, Agenda 21/30.

There’s also Maine Senator, Dr. Linda Sanborn who introduced a bill that will jail your doctor or midwife for not injecting vitamin K and administering eye drops into new born babies eyes.

Mainer’s will no longer have the right to decline this issue and alternatives are not an option, not even if you have a C-section, that’s right, doctors will be forced with choosing informed consent for their patients or jail time and fines for themselves. LD443 will effectively bring the police state to the birthing space.

Does this mean the state of Maine has overstepped and removed parental rights and who does this affect?

This includes ALL Maine schools, Preschools through college, nursing schools, etc. “School” means any public or private, post-secondary school in the state, including, but not limited to colleges, universities, community colleges and schools for health professions.”

Children with IEPs currently will be allowed to finish through 12th grade by getting a physician sign off after they harass and tell Mainers what bad parents they are for putting their children and everyone at risk.

New IEP children will be denied entry to school, violating FAPE. If the Governor declares an emergency, there will be no religious or philosophical exemptions.

Gov. Janet Mills calls for a more diverse community in Maine but if you are a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or Catholic don’t bother coming here because legislatively the document 798 a vaccine mandate would not allow your children to go to school and if they do and they are not vaccinated than you run the chance of them being taken away from you.

Mainers want to know why legislators will jeopardize American children through toxic and deadly inoculations just to attend schools yet they don’t enforce the same laws to illegals who many come here infested with various types of diseases. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and let’s not forget about the Amish, and other sects, will be forced to inject WI38, MRC-5, RA237 and other morally objectionable material into their own bodies and that of their children.

We have witnessed and it is documented that many children have regressed after being vaccinated, due to mitochondrial disease, metabolic and immune challenges and many who have mitochondrial diseases. This “human-diploid fibroblast cell cultures” what does this consist of?

The vaccines contained in these ingredients are:

Adenovirus, DTap-IPV/Hib (Pentacel) Hep A (Havrix), Hep B (Engrix-B), Hep B (Engrix-B), Hep A/Hep B Twinrix), MMR(MMR-II) MMRV (ProQuad), Rabies (Imovax) Varicella (Varivax) Zoster (Shingles-Zostavax)

MRC-5 (Medical Research Council -5): “The MRC-5 cell line was developed in September 1966 from lung tissue taken from a 14 week fetus aborted for psychiatric reason from a 27 years old physically healthy woman. The cell morphology is fibroblast-like. The karyotype is 46, XY; normal diploid male. Cumulative population doubling to senescence is 42-48. G6PD isoenzyme is type B.”
Source: Coriell Institute for Medical Research

WI-38 (Wistar Institute-38): “The WI-38 cell line was developed in July 1962 from lung tissue taken from a therapeutically aborted fetus of about 3 months gestational age. Cells released by trypsin digestion of the lung tissue were used for the primary culture. The cell morphology is fibroblast-like. The karyotype is 45,XX normal diploid female. A maximum lifespan of 50 population doublings for this culture was obtained at the Repository. A thymidine labelling index of 86% was obtained after recovery. G6PD is isoenzyme type B. This culture of WI-38 is an expansion from passage 9 frozen cells obtained from the submitter.”
Source: Coriell Institute for Medical Researc

Phone number for Governor Janet Mills (207-287-3531) 
Stop this Communist Take Over and ask her to refuse this bill document 798.

For Further Insight:

Maine: State Legislature could crack down on childhood vaccinations, making it illegal for families to opt-out

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A new bill aims to remove exemptions, based on religious or philosophical beliefs, from immunization requirements for students of all ages, as well as employees of nursery schools and health care facilities.

PORTLAND, Maine — As Maine law stands now, families can refuse certain immunizations, based on religious or philosophical beliefs — but one Maine lawmaker is looking to change that.

(not gonna name the “one Maine Lawmaker?”)

The bill, LD 798, would remove those exemptions for students of all ages, as well as employees of nursery schools and health care facilities.

According to the bill’s summary, those who are currently not immunized but are covered by an individualized education plan would be grandfathered, as long as they have written proof from a medical professional that “the medical professional has provided information on the risks and benefits associated with the choice to immunize.”

No public hearing or work session has been scheduled for the bill.

This story will be updated.

Maine: From rags to riches, a Lewiston mother’s story

In three years, Laura Catevenis went from living on $367 a month in welfare benefits to building a multi-million dollar company that serves young Mainers with developmental disabilities.

LEWISTON, Maine — In 2015, Laura Catevenis hit rock bottom.

She was a single mom, battling bi-polar disorder and living off of just $367 dollars a month in state welfare benefits. It’s still hard for her to believe that three years later she is running a company projected to see a gross revenue of $3.5 million.

“We had Mainecare services, we had food stamps, I used WIC.” Catevenis said.

This wasn’t the life the then 24-year-old envisioned for herself. She says it took hitting rock bottom for her to find the strength to move forward, not just for her, but for her daughter.

“You have to be their everything,” Catevenis said. “So it was very important for me to be able to provide for her.”

It wasn’t a matter of what she wanted to do, but how she could achieve it. Catevenis knew she wanted to help children with developmental disabilities. In fact, when she was 19 she created a business plan to do it, but she chickened out.

“I wasn’t ready to be my own boss,” Catevenis said. “I wasn’t even 21 yet, I wanted to live my life.”

After having her daughter she knew it was time. So she turned to Maine’s ASPIRE program for help. She described it as a service that helps those who qualify go to work, go back to school or open a business.

She remembers going to the department’s office and asking them for help. She says she was wearing sweatpants, a spit up covered sweatshirt, her greasy hair was tied up in a bun, her daughter on her hip.

“They looked at me like I was crazy,” Catevenis said. “But I said, look — I’m going to open a million dollar business in six months, will you just give me a chance?”

After some push-back, Catevenis says the weary worker agreed and connected her with New Ventures Maine. Which is an organization that “creates an empowering environment for Maine people to define and achieve their career, financial, and small business goals”.

“They helped me write my business plan, get my cash field projection written up,” Catevenis said. “I could tell they saw something in me and they always believed in me no matter what.”

Soon after that, Black Bear Support Services was formed. An LLC that partners with Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services to connect adolescents with developmental disabilities with a direct support professional.

In the last three years alone, the organization has grown from one to 65 employees and Catevenis estimates they have a clientele of at least 200.

She expects to have at least 200 employees by the end of the year and is working towards providing services to adults with special needs.

“I couldn’t have done it by myself,” Catevenis said. “I’m so lucky to have my Auntie Rhonda.”

Rhonda Allen has been by Laura’s side every step of the way, through the good and the bad.

“I watched her dig herself from the depth, from as low as you can go,” Allen said tearing up. “But she did it.”

The two are now business partners. They both bring a relaxed yet professional approach to running the LLC.

“The more fun we have, the more I give them, the more I show my appreciation, the more they are going to work and do a good job.” Catevenis said.

For them, it’s all about working together to bring the best possible care to Maine families facing their own battles.

“She’s happy and her eyes shine and you just have to listen,” Allen said. “Because underneath all that laughter and business mode, she’s just a little girl who wants to help the world.”

Though Laura’s story is nothing short of remarkable, she truly believes if she can find her second chance and rise from the ashes — anyone can.

“Don’t stop believing,” Catevenis said. “Make your goals and dreams so big that even you don’t even believe them and just keep pushing for them.”