Tag Archives: FDA

Queens’ Morning Roundup


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morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Sunny. High 61. Winds NW at 20 to 30 mph. Thursday night: Clear skies. Low 41. NW winds at 15 to 25 mph, decreasing to 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Tone and Color Concert

The Quintet of the Americas, a woodwind group widely known for its expertise in South American music, performs Latin jazz, tango and other genres at Community Mediation Services 89-64 163rd St., Jamaica, 1 p.m. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Red Flag Warning issued in New York City due to brush fire danger

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Thursday in New York City, meaning that a combination of dry fuels and weather conditions support extreme fire danger. Read more: ABC New York

1,000 additional police officers included in City Council budget proposal

The New York City Council unveiled its recommendations for upcoming budget negotiations with Mayor Bill de Blasio. Read more: CBS New York/AP

DOT chief wants Congress to look at federal gas tax

The city’s transportation chief on Wednesday said the federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents a gallon does not cover what the DOT spends on the nations highways — and its a troublesome situation. Read more: New York Post

Bratton on NYPD Twitter backlash: We won’t quit social media

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton admits he was caught off guard after a Twitter request by the NYPD backfired in a very public way, but said Wednesday he has no plans to abandon social media. Read more: CBS New York/AP

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. Read more: AP

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy. High 36. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday Night: Cloudy with heavy snow developing late. Low around 30. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Snow accumulating 3 to 5 inches.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Get The Picture

Alan Richards, a professional audiologist, displays his artistic photo manipulations through May 4. Queens Botanical Garden admission is free until April 1, and the exhibit can be viewed Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 8 am to 4 pm. From April 1 through May 4, Tuesdays to Sundays, the exhibit can be seen from 8 am until 5:30pm. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Woman fatally struck by MTA bus in Jackson Heights

A woman was struck and killed by an MTA bus in Jackson Heights Monday evening. Read more: The Queens Courier 

 NY Senate GOP introduces bill for August primary

Republicans in the state Senate have filed a bill to move primary day to late August, highlighting a lingering disagreement with legislative Democrats. Read more: NBC New York

Medical marijuana study should start within year: NY health commish

New York’s health commissioner told lawmakers on Monday that he expects the state trial of medical marijuana to be up and running within a year. Read more: New York Post 

De Blasio makes debut on “The Daily Show”

Bill de Blasio took part in a New York City political rite of passage Monday, appearing on a late night talk show to tout his record and poke fun at a few gaffes that have provided fodder for comics during his first month as mayor. Read more: NBC New York

FDA launches $600 million anti-teen-smoking campaign

The Food and Drug Administration is using ads that depict yellow teeth and wrinkled skin to show the nation’s at-risk youth the costs associated with cigarette smoking. Read more: AP

 

FDA to take steps to further eliminate trans fats in processed food


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday that “while consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern,” and more needs to be done to help protect Americans from their possible dangers.

“Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year – a critical step in the protection of Americans’ health,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.

According to a preliminary determination by the FDA, partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food.

Though many food manufacturers and retailers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in products they sell, said the FDA, trans fat can still be found in many other products that can be made without it.

If its preliminary determination is finalized, following a 60-day comment period and review, said the FDA, then “PHOs would be considered ‘food additives’ and could not be used in food unless authorized by regulation.”

It would not affect trans fat that naturally occurs in small amounts in certain dairy and meat products, said the FDA.

New York City has already taken its own steps to help eliminate trans fats from its residents’ diets. Mayor Michael Bloomberg applauded the FDA announcement in a statement Thursday.

“Seven years ago we became the first city in the nation to prohibit restaurants from using trans fats. Since then, at least 15 states and localities have followed suit and banned trans fats – and more than ten fast food chains have eliminated trans fats entirely. Today, we’re greatly encouraged that the FDA proposed measures that would virtually eliminate the artery-clogging and unnecessary ingredient from our nation’s food supply,” he said.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The Queens Morning Roundup logo.

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast with rain. High of 57. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Wednesday night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 43. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Eric March: Cityscapes of Long Island City and Astoria

In Cityscapes of Long Island City and Astoria, an exhibit of paintings and drawings at the Greater Astoria Historical Society through November 17, Long Island City-based artist Eric March examines his local neighborhood to find the epic and the intimate in a new series of cityscapes of western Queens, from soaring bridges over the East River to private moments in a storefront. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Lhota, de Blasio have heated second debate

Mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio once again battled in their second debate of the general election Tuesday night. Read more: The Queens Courier

Worker hurt during TV show filming in Queens: FDNY

An electrician working on the set of a television show being filmed in Queens had minor injuries when a lift he was on caught fire, the FDNY says. Read more: NBC New York

Manhattan food cart vendor charged in plot to torture Egyptian businessman

A Manhattan food cart vendor plotted to torture a prominent member of the city’s Egyptian-American business community but was pinched after the man he hired to do the gruesome work ratted him out, police sources said Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

Government shutdown causes IRS tax season delay

Here’s more fallout from the government’s partial shutdown: Early tax filers will have to wait an extra week or two to get tax refunds next year. Read more: AP

FDA: Over 3,600 pets sickened, 580 dead after eating jerky treats

More than 3,600 pets have gotten sick, and 580 have died, from jerky treats that were largely imported from China, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday. Read more: CBS New York

Survey: NY, NJ among sexiest accents in North America

Are the New Jersey and New York accents sexy? Yes, if you believe a survey released by a dating website called Cupid.com. Read more: Fox New York

Op-Ed: Low-cost drugs, ill-gotten gains


| oped@queenscourier.com

PETER PITTS

Some major American healthcare providers are padding their bottom lines by exploiting a federal program meant to help low-income patients. This behavior is netting them billions in ill-gotten gains. And it could be preventing many vulnerable Americans from accessing the low-cost drugs they need to treat and prevent illness.

This abuse needs to be stopped.

In 1992, Congress created a program — known as “340B” — to help caregivers serving disproportionately large numbers of low-income beneficiaries and uninsured patients. Under 340B, drug manufacturers are required to sell their products at a discount to such institutions. The discounted prescriptions are dispensed either through the caregiver’s in-house pharmacy or through a contractual arrangement with an outside pharmacy.

The program has a noble cause. And many of the medications discounted through 340B do in fact go to clinics, hospitals and medical facilities providing care almost exclusively to uninsured and poor patients.

However, some 340B participants are exploiting the program.

It only requires caregivers to meet certain minimal thresholds for the number of medically underserved people they treat. For many hospitals, these eligibility standards are easily reached, and some are benefiting from the program’s deep drug discounts while still serving a relatively affluent clientele.

Moreover, participating caregivers are not actually required to pass drug savings along to their patients. The huge discounts they’re getting from pharmaceutical manufacturers don’t necessarily translate to lower pill prices for uninsured and low-income patients.

Given what we have recently learned about some hospital administrators inflating charges for a broad variety of basic services, there’s good reason to believe many sell those discounted drugs at full price to insured patients and then pocket the difference. Indeed, a report by the Raleigh News Observer last year found hospitals that “routinely mark up prices on cancer drugs two to 10 times or more over cost. In some cases, the mark up is far higher.”

Meanwhile, the vulnerable patient populations 340B was intended to help are often still stuck struggling to gain access to affordable pharmaceuticals.

In large part because some healthcare providers are abusing the 340B system, the size and cost of the program are ballooning out of control. The Berkeley Research Group estimates the total the total value of all the medicines sold through the program will more than double from $8 billion in 2010 to $19 in 2016.

Such a surge in expenses might very well be worth if it 340B was largely helping needy patients. But it is not clear that this is actually happening. Although 340B was created to help low-income patients obtain the medicines they need, it has turned into a revenue generator for many hospitals.

Caregivers are now allowed to qualify for the program’s deep drug discounts without passing along those savings to patients in need. Administrators are getting rich off a well-intentioned public program. Too many uninsured and poor patients still don’t have access to discounted drugs. 340B needs to be fixed.

Peter J. Pitts, a former FDA Associate Commissioner, is President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with rain showers, then thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 79. Winds from the SW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%. Monday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. Fog overnight. Low of 68. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Big Apple Circus 

The Big Apple Circus comes to Queens at Cunningham Park  in Fresh Meadows from Sunday, May 19 – Sunday, June 16. Experience the nostalgic thrills of bygone big tops and get a first-hand view of beauties, daredevils and clowns from another era. Performers from around the world create joyful memories under the artistic direction of Guillaume Dufresnoy. More than 40 performances will take place. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly rejects calls for more oversight after successful lawsuits against NYPD

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly blasted critics calling for the NYPD to monitor successful lawsuits against cops in the wake of a Daily News investigation. Read more: New York Daily News

Sen Schumer calls on airlines to reverse flight change fee increases

Senator Charles Schumer doesn’t want to see airline fees go sky-high. Read more: CBS New York

Gillibrand announces legislation to ease student loan burdens

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has proposed new legislation to ease the burden for students who have taken out loans to pay for their education. Read more: AP/CBS New York

Amtrak service remains suspended between NYC and New Haven

Amtrak announced Sunday night that service remains suspended between New York and New Haven, with limited Amtrak service available between Boston and New Haven. Read more: Fox New York

FDA could make tanning beds have labels discouraging teen use

The Food and Drug Administration is looking to deter young people from using tanning beds, with new rules that would reclassify sunlamp products from low risk devices to moderate risk. Read more: NY1

Senate committee moves toward vote on immigration

The Senate Judiciary Committee is aiming this week to pass a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, setting up a high-stakes debate on the Senate floor. Read more: AP

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 63. Breezy. Winds from the ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Clear. Low of 50. Winds from the ESE at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the NE after midnight.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Jamaica Meets Spain

At 8 p.m., the cultures of Jamaica and Spain will come together at Flushing Town Hall. Tribal Legacy and Flamenco Latino share the stage with dance lessons and a musical jam. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Former Liu campaign associates found guilty in straw donor fraud case

Jenny Hou, City Comptroller John Liu’s former campaign treasurer, and Oliver Pan, a former Liu campaign fundraiser, were found guilty in Manhattan Thursday in a case involving their organizing straw donor schemes. Read more: NY1

Man allegedly runs down friend in Long Island parking lot

A Queens man is facing charges after police say he intentionally hit another man with his car following an altercation on Long Island. Read more: ABC New York

New York cracks down on gas price gouging after Hurricane Sandy

Twenty-five gas stations have settled price-gouging claims made against them immediately after Superstorm Sandy hit New York, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday. Read more: ABC New York/AP 

Rockaway streets innundated with second wave of sand

Rockaway residents are discovering that their beloved boardwalk was more than an amenity for beach-goers — it was also a vital barrier against the relentless forces of nature. Read more: New York Daily News

Boston Marathon suspect’s remains claimed

A funeral home has claimed the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a gunbattle with police after an intense manhunt. Read more: AP

FDA: Ingredient in antibacterial soap, other products may be dangerous

It’s a chemical that’s been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby’s basinet. Read more: AP/CBS New York

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Friday: Overcast with a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 48. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%. Friday night: Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain after midnight. Fog overnight. Low of 43. Winds from the SSE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the East after midnight. Chance of rain 80%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Homesick Hound Dogs

The Queens Kickshaw in Astoria presents the Homesick Hound Dogs — an altcountry/Americana band that couldn’t have happened anywhere besides New York City. With high-energy original songs about love, whiskey and other things that make life awkward and wonderful, the group strives to make the listener feel at home no matter how far home is, most importantly they will make you feel at home in your dancing shoes. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Donations for Sandy victims may not be going entirely to victims and recovery, says watchdog

Victims of Superstorm Sandy may not be receiving all the donations that have poured in for them, according to a disaster aid watchdog group. Read more: New York Daily News

Obama names Queens native Jack Lew as treasury secretary

Queens is coming to the cabinet. President Obama officially nominated his chief of staff, Queens native Jacob “Jack” Lew, for secretary of the treasury Thursday. Read more: Queens Courier

Mechanical error may have been cause of ferry crash

The day after a ferry ride left dozens of passengers in stretchers, the National Transportation Safety Board is slowly finding answers. Read more: NY1

New York City examining DNA errors in rape cases

The New York City medical examiner is reviewing hundreds of rape cases for DNA evidence errors. ABC New York

New York in midst of flu epidemic as emergency room and drug store visits rise

A ferocious flu “epidemic” has New Yorkers rushing to doctors, hospitals and drug stores — with emergency-room visits up 150 percent over last year, city health officials said yesterday. Read more: New York Post

FDA requires lower doses for sleep medications

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring makers of Ambien and similar sleeping pills to lower the dosage of their drugs, based on studies suggesting patients face a higher risk of injury due to morning drowsiness. Read more: ABC News