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AGO News Releases with Topic: Health

Washington serves on settlement team, secures $98K for state Medicaid program

OLYMPIA — Washington state will receive a total of roughly $98,000 as part of a $15 million state-federal settlement with BioScrip, Inc., a pharmacy that provided prescription drugs to Medicaid patients.

This special to the Bellingham Herald was published November 20, 2013.

By Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

You might reasonably assume that the federal government regulates and tests most of the chemicals found in our children’s toys, household products, and other consumer goods to make sure they are safe. They do not. In response, states like Washington stepped up with stronger chemical safety state laws to protect consumers and the environment from the impacts of toxic chemicals.

Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to pay $1.72B to resolve health care fraud allegations against government programs

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a global settlement with New Jersey pharmaceutical manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson (J & J) and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to resolve civil allegations of unlawful marketing practices to promote the sales of their atypical antipsychotic drugs, Risperdal and Invega.

AG alleges association skirted disclosure rules in $7.2 million contribution to No on Initiative 522 campaign

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court alleging that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) violated the state’s campaign disclosure laws. Ferguson alleges the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors. The funds were spent to express opposition to Initiative 522, a measure requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods, seeds and seed products in Washington.

Check arrives before American Indian Day on Sept. 27

Attorney General Bob Ferguson presented a $138,721 grant to the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) to develop its new Chronic Pain Management Project patient registry. The registry will help SIHB health care providers identify and create individualized service plans for patients with chronic pain and other diagnoses.

Washington state has received a $6 million federal grant that will help connect expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families with health, education, and social services.
The Attorney General’s Office today released a formal Attorney General’s Opinion in response to a request by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island.

Ranker asked if a public hospital district violates Initiative 120 if it solely contracts with a health care provider that does not provide reproductive care services such as contraception.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has successfully stopped deceptive marketing by a prescription drug discount card.

The AGO alleged Washington Drug Card falsely advertised their service as ‘Washington's Official Statewide Prescription Assistance Program,’ from March to April 2013. Washington Drug Card is a private company and is not affiliated or endorsed by any state governmental agency.

OLYMPIA-- Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Washington has joined with other states and the federal government in a $22.5 million settlement with Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (“Par”). The states allege Par promoted sales of the drug Megace ES for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and not covered by the State Medicaid programs.
A man charged by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office for Medicaid fraud has been apprehended...Mba was extradited from Texas to Washington state by the Thurston County Sherriff’s Office and arraigned on Dec. 13, 2012 in Thurston County Superior Court. Bail was set at $100,000 and Mba was required to surrender his passports.  Mba operated Pacesetters Medical Equipment.  He is charged with billing Medicaid for incontinent supplies that were not provided to 17 Medicaid recipients, resulting in $106,730.64 in Medicaid payments to Mr. Mba to which he was not entitled.  His trial is scheduled for Feb. 4, 2013.

 SEATTLE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is joining the Federal Trade Commission in warning consumers about a new scam targeting seniors. 

GlaxoSmithKline settles drug marketing and pricing claims

OLYMPIA –
Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced Washington state’s share of the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.

OLYMPIA – Today the US Supreme Court upheld the 2010 Affordable Care Act. In a close decision, with multiple opinions, the Court ruled that the federal requirement to purchase health insurance—specifically a plan dictated by government regulators – does not violate the Constitution.

King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong today issued a ruling in favor of the Attorney General’s Office in Mackey v. McKenna, a case brought by a group who urged the court to force Attorney General Rob McKenna to file amended briefings in the US Supreme Court six weeks after oral arguments and other briefs were filed in the case.

SEATTLE – Reality star Kim Kardashian, fresh from a sweaty workout, decides to dump her personal trainer. “It’s not someone else, it’s something else” said the celebutante in a recent television advertisement. After a gratuitous shot of one of the starlet’s most photographed body parts and a scene of Kardashian glamorously lacing up a pair of Skechers, text on the screen says, “Bye-bye trainer, hello Shape Ups.”

GRAND MOUND, Wash.—A group of young Southeast Asian American students shared their experiences as members of a Seattle film project and walked away with the Grand Prize at the 2012 Spring Youth Forum-- a $3,000 partial scholarship to an upcoming prevention leadership conference.

OLYMPIA — Attorney General McKenna announced today that Washington state has joined with 42 other states and the federal government in reaching an agreement with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (Merck) to settle civil and criminal allegations that Merck marketed Vioxx for unapproved uses.

OLYMPIA – The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear the multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today reiterated his position on the 26-state lawsuit challenging the federal health care reform law passed in 2010.

McKenna says Americans deserve a timely answer on mandate to buy federally approved insurance

OLYMPIA – Today, the 26 states challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case in its upcoming term.

OLYMPIA – In a 9-0 ruling, the Washington State Supreme Court denied the City of Seattle’s request to require Attorney General Rob McKenna to withdraw Washington from the multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law passed in March 2010 and upheld the Attorney General’s authority to defend the public interest.

OLYMPIA – The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta today issued a 2-1 opinion, ruling the federal government may not force individuals to purchase government-approved health insurance in the private marketplace.

SEATTLE – Programs to help Washington homeowners avoid foreclosure and improve the lives of mental health patients and those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases were recently awarded grants by the Attorney General’s Office.

 OLYMPIA — The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta will hear oral arguments tomorrow in the multistate health care lawsuit suit filed last year. The suit now includes 26 plaintiff states, two individuals and the National Federation of Independent Business.

OLYMPIA – Today, 11th Circuit Chief Judge Joel Fredrick Dubina agreed to proceed with an expedited schedule for hearing the health care reform challenge that is before that court.  A three-judge panel will hear oral arguments on Wednesday, June 8, at 9:30 a.m. in Atlanta.

Senior US Judge Roger Vinson today in Florida clarified that his January 31 ruling—which declared the federal health care reform act unconstitutional—did in fact order the federal government to cease implementation of the Act. He added he would grant a stay of that decision if the federal government filed a notice of appeal within seven days and agreed to seek expedited review.

It began with one patient exhibiting unusual symptoms in 2006. Doctors were puzzled. When dozens of similar cases began to appear, they got worried. But it wasn't until they found the common factor that the mystery was resolved — counterfeit cough syrup containing diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.  

Individual mandate unconstitutional

OLYMPIA — A Florida judge today ruled that Congress exceeded its Constitutional authority in approving a new health care mandate requiring all US citizens to have or purchase health insurance or face a fine. The ruling overturns the entire law.

The number of states represented in a multi-state challenge to provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could climb to 26. States today filed a motion requesting to add six additional states to the case: Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Maine.

Judge Roger Vinson of the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola today heard oral arguments in the multistate lawsuit challenging provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

OLYMPIA — Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement today regarding the decision of a federal judge in Virginia that a portion of the federal health care law is unconstitutional.

By Rob McKenna and Dan Dixon, Special to The Seattle Times

Investigators have linked alcoholic “energy” drinks to the alcohol poisoning that hospitalized nine college students after a party in Roslyn, Wash., on Oct. 9. The investigation also concluded that no students were given drugs or alcohol without their knowledge and that no sexual assault occurred.

OLYMPIA — A multi-state lawsuit challenging portions of the federal health care reform legislation will move forward, a Florida Judge ruled today.

The DOJ today argued its motion to dismiss a multi-state lawsuit, brought by 20 states including Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and Attorney General Rob McKenna, two individuals and the National Federation of Independent Business. The argument centered on whether the states and other plaintiffs even had a right to bring the case.

 McKenna will hold short telephonic media availability

OLYMPIA — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will make its second argument before a US District Court judge this week as it continues to fend off constitutional challenges to the nation’s new health care law.

OLYMPIA – Elected officials from 20 states challenging portions of the federal health care bill today filed a response to the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss their lawsuit, on the heels of a decision earlier this week by a Virginia judge to reject the federal government’s motion to dismiss that state’s health care lawsuit.

Health care is an intensely personal issue, whether you have excellent health insurance coverage or whether you risk surviving without it. Predictably, the complex new federal health care reform stirs strong passions from both those who support the measure and those who oppose it — regardless of whether they've read the 2,400 page measure.

Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement that Gov. Gregoire and three other governors have requested to file a “friend of the court” brief in support of newly adopted federal health care mandates.

 OLYMPIA – The U.S. Department of Justice today filed its motion to dismiss the constitutional challenge to the federal health care act brought by Washington and 19 states, the National Federation of Independent Business, and persons affected by the individual mandate.

 Seven states, National Federation of Independent Businesses added as plaintiffs

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today joined Florida and 18 other states in filing an amended complaint in the lawsuit challenging the federal health care reform act.   The amended complaint now features a total of 20 state plaintiffs and two individual plaintiffs. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has also joined the lawsuit on behalf of its members nationwide.

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Rob McKenna today issued the following statement about joining a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the recently-approved federal health care measure, once it is signed into law.

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster that he is researching the constitutionality of a portion of the U.S. Senate’s health care bill. AG McMaster says he is organizing a group of state attorneys general to examine the legality of the special arrangement in the Senate’s health care proposal which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying additional Medicaid costs mandated by the bill.

OLYMPIA – They have names like “Joose” and “Max Fury.”  According to state attorneys general, these super-caffeinated alcoholic concoctions may not be safe. And worse, they’re being marketed to young people.

OLYMPIA—Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his Medicaid Fraud Unit participated in a settlement agreement that has generated a substantial payout from four drug companies accused of gaming a government health care program.

Their stories are devastating: A Bothell couple whose 17-year-old son lost his life to a toxic combination of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, a Mukilteo parent whose high-schooler’s fatal addiction started when he smoked OxyContin, and a Seattle physician whose 24-year-old son died from an overdose of Oxycodone and cocaine.

Attorney General McKenna today joined with other states and the federal government to announce a $2.3 billion settlement with Pfizer Inc. to settle civil and criminal allegations that Pfizer and its subsidiaries paid kickbacks and engaged in off-labeling marketing campaigns that improperly promoted numerous drugs that Pfizer manufactures.
Attorney General McKenna today joined 42 other state Attorneys General in announcing a $33 million dollar agreement with Pfizer Inc. related to the drug company’s alleged improper marketing of the antipsychotic drug, Geodon.

Heath Ledger was on top of the world. In 2007, having been nominated for an Oscar for his role in the critically-acclaimed film Brokeback Mountain, the Australian actor had his pick of challenging, rewarding roles. Ledger had already appeared in many popular films, including Ten Things I Hate about You (filmed in part in the state of Washington). And having just turned in a buzz-worthy appearance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, Ledger's star was about to rise even higher.

A troubling trend is affecting teens in Washington and around the country -- a trend that most parents do not even know about. More and more young people are abusing prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicines in surprising numbers, not realizing that seeking that next "high" could bring them and their families to a new low.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with Eagle Healthcare, resolving allegations that the company failed to provide timely refunds to former residents and families of deceased patients. The Bothell-based company operates long-term care facilities throughout Washington.
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