Amazon has remade retail by adopting Apple founder Steve Jobs’s dictum of showing consumers what they want before they know they want it—and then getting it to them fast. CEO Jeff Bezos is now betting he can use this strategy to disrupt the pharmacy business, which could use the competition. This week Amazon announced it is paying $1 billion for online pharmacy PillPack. The five-year-old startup sorts prescriptions by dose and provides labels and directions for patients with a picture of each pill. This is a godsend for patients with chronic conditions who have difficulty following a regimen. Think of the 85-year-old with high cholesterol, anemia and arthritis. (6/29) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Despite investor enthusiasm for Amazon’s purchase of the online pharmacy PillPack, the giant online retailer needs to do more deals to catch CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Walmart if it’s to compete in the U.S. prescription business. Most Americans get healthcare coverage through health insurance companies that control where the prescription is picked up or how it’s delivered. PillPack is in several health insurance and Medicare Part D drug plan networks, which is important as CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are forming closer ties with health insurers to lock up their customers in insurer networks. (Bruce Japsen, 7/2) If Amazon’s move to disrupt health care is going to make Americans any healthier, the improvement is most likely to take place in the business of getting prescription drugs to patients more reliably. For one thing, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Failure to take prescription drugs kills about 125,000 Americans a year, according to a recent review in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and this form of noncompliance costs the health care system $100 billion to $289 billion a year. PillPack — the online pharmacy service that Amazon.com Inc. bought this week — already simplifies health care for its customers by pre-sorting multiple prescriptions. Amazon could do even more by cutting down on the 20 to 30 percent of prescriptions that are reportedly never filled, easing communications between doctors and patients, and helping the medical community collect useful data on side effects and customer satisfaction. (Faye Flam, 6/29) CNBC: High Drug Prices Caused By US Patent System, Not ‘Foreign Freeloaders’ Forbes: PillPack Aside, Amazon’s Far From Catching CVS And Walgreens The Hill: Pharmacists Can Help Manage Drug Costs If State And Federal Laws Just Let Them The Wall Street Journal: Amazon The Rx Disrupter Dallas Morning News: Doctors Should Know The Cost Of The Drugs They Prescribe, But Most Don’t The Hill: The Trump Plan To Reduce Drug Prices — Are American Patients First? For decades, our government has attempted to address one of the most pressing health care problems in our country — skyrocketing drug prices — to little avail. This week, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar testified before the Senate Finance Committee addressing the challenges of prescription drug affordability for millions of Americans. But there is another high cost of prescription drugs often overlooked: The most expensive drug may be the one not taken, or not taken as recommended by physicians and pharmacists. The good news for patients is that they are not alone when dealing with medication challenges. Pharmacists are in a good position to assist, if state and federal laws would allow. (Lucinda Maine, 6/29) Americans continue to suffer the highest prescription drug costs of anyone in the world. One in four are unable to fill prescriptions due to high prices, according to a recent poll. And even though drug prices tripled over the last decade, analysts predict they will double again in the next ten years. We have a runaway problem on our hands, and while new proposals from Congress and the president seek to improve the drug pricing system, we will fail to reach lasting solutions unless we address a root factor in this national crisis: patents. (Tahir Amin, 6/27) Perspectives: Amazon’s Reliability Could Make Huge Difference In Getting Patients To Actually Take Their Pills Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues. Forbes: Sticker Shock: The Real Cost Of America’s 10 Most Expensive Drugs The high price of pharmaceuticals has become a constant topic of conversation in the U.S. As medical costs rise, consumers face greater financial uncertainty. And day after day, both the White House and Congress make promises that they will lower prescription costs to alleviate constituent concerns, but few changes have backed up their words. That said, time and again we are reminded that despite the rising costs of pharma, the medical industry is exceptionally complex and very rarely do patients see the real price tag of their drugs. And that lack of information – not to mention the number of third-party entities that get involved – creates a confusing and frustrating, and often bloated, price structure. (Nicole Fisher, 6/26) On July 1, more than 30,000 new doctors will begin medical residency and have the honor of serving patients across the spectrum of health care. I am one of them. And I’m concerned that we will contribute to the $750 billion epidemic of excessive health care spending, according to a 2012 Institute of Medicine report, and risk financially hurting our patients if we do not know the cost of what we prescribe. Most patients are in a black box about the specific cost of health care services. A national poll from the West Health Institute and the University of Chicago shows that 4 in 10 Americans skip medical tests or treatment because they are too expensive, and, according to an Ipsos survey, 85 percent of Americans are concerned with the cost of health care. (Hussain Lalani, 6/29) Cancer drug prices continue to increase by 10 to 12 percent every year. Spending on cancer drugs doubled in the past five years, and will double again by 2022. All cancer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2017 were priced above $160,000 per year. Patients are additionally burdened with crushing out-of-pocket prescription expenses. Effective solutions to lower cancer drug prices were outlined in many commentaries, and became part of the 2016 presidential campaign agendas. (Hagop Kantarjian and Vivian Ho, 7/1) Bloomberg: What An Amazon Pharmacy Could Solve, And What It Won’t
Powerful health-care interests worried that a Democratic “blue wave” could give new energy to single-payer health-care legislation have created a new group to take on the issue. The formation of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future is a sign of the health-care industry’s alarm over growing support for a single payer health-care law within the Democratic Party. (Sullivan, 8/10) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Hill: Fearing ‘Blue Wave,’ Drug, Insurance Companies Build Single-Payer Defense Powerful Health Care Players Gear Up To Push Back Against Single-Payer In Case ‘Blue Wave’ Hits Hard Industry players who usually don’t work together are bonding over the potential push for a single-payer system, which has become a litmus test among progressive Democrats.
0 Comments U.S. government shutdown likely to stretch into 2019 amid border wall standoff Trump threatens to close the U.S.-Mexico border until standoff is resolved Comment The U.S. data report a US$17.1 billion goods deficit with Canada in 2017, and a US$71 billion goods deficit with Mexico. Both countries, however, reported substantially larger U.S. goods surpluses in the same relationship. In 2017, Canada reported a US$97.7 billion surplus, and Mexico a US$132.4 billion surplus.Senators have been told they’ll vote only once there’s a deal backed by Democrats and by Trump, who is demanding US$5 billion for a wall at the southern border, his central campaign promise. Democrats call such spending wasteful and ineffective. The standoff produced a fresh round of finger-pointing late on Thursday afternoon.White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement outlining Trump’s demands that didn’t include the word “wall.” She said later there was no significance to that omission.“The president has made clear that any bill to fund the government must adequately fund border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs, criminals, MS-13 gang members, child smugglers and human traffickers into our communities— and protect the American people,” she said. “The president does not want the government to remain shut down, but he will not sign a proposal that does not first prioritize our county’s safety and security.”The White House is flexible on the composition of the border wall Trump has demanded, one official said, noting that the president has used a variety of terms to describe it in recent days including slats, fence and barrier.Sanders complained that Democrats haven’t responded to a compromise offer conveyed by Vice President Mike Pence late last week, and that the opposition party “decided to go home” while Trump stayed in Washington over Christmas to negotiate.Underscoring the pressure Trump is facing from some in his own party, Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas said Friday on Fox News that the shutdown should continue “until Hell freezes over” if needed to secure funding for the barrier.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected the offer from Pence, said his spokesman, Justin Goodman. The New York Democrat told Pence that Democrats won’t consider any offer without a public endorsement by Trump because the president has changed his position so often, said Goodman, who added the two sides remain far apart.Three OptionsHouse Democrats answered in kind.“Democrats have offered Republicans three options to reopen government that all include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security — but not the president’s immoral, ineffective and expensive wall,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, who’s expected to become speaker of the House when Democrats take control of the chamber next week.Earlier in the day, Trump said that most federal employees who aren’t receiving paychecks because of the government shutdown are Democrats.“Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, prompting outrage from some in Congress. The president provided no evidence to support the claim, which he made only days after characterizing federal employees as supporters of the wall and the partial shutdown.Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the chamber’s intelligence committee, called Trump’s tweet “outrageous,” adding on Twitter on Thursday that “federal employees don’t go to work wearing red or blue jerseys.”The president, who returned to Washington early Thursday from a trip to visit U.S. troops in Iraq, tweeted about the standoff later, accusing Democrats of “OBSTRUCTION of the desperately needed Wall.”Volatility returned to U.S. markets, with stocks bouncing back from the lows of the day after flirting with a bear market amid higher interest rates and the political turmoil in Washington. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average turned green in a late jump after trading negative for most of the day.Federal workers will begin to lose money starting with Friday’s paycheque, according to National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon. That cheque will reflect work through last Saturday, the day the shutdown began. That means Saturday shift workers, including many in Customs and Border Protection, won’t see pay for that day in their cheques.All workers in the nine departments and dozens of agencies with funding lapses will miss their Jan. 11 paycheck if the shutdown continues, he said in an interview.“I’ve had members come to me saying they are returning holiday and Christmas presents they bought because they are worried about paying rent,” Reardon said. He said he was disappointed that Congress wasn’t in session working to reopen the government.During the shutdown, Reardon said, “parks are being left open to illegal activity and vandalism, industrial complaints are going unanswered, the SEC isn’t investigating securities fraud and the IRS will have trouble implementing the largest legislative overhaul of the tax code in a generation.”The Office of Personnel Management released form letters that furloughed workers could use to negotiate with creditors.GOP Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, who presided over his chamber’s brief session, said regarding government workers, “We respect them and we hope we can get this solved as quickly as possible.”In addition, thousands of U.S. home sales are being held up because the shutdown has halted the issuance of new flood insurance policies. The Federal Emergency Management Administration stopped issuing new policies under the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA, which oversees disaster response, is part of the Department of Homeland Security.House members have been told they’ll get 24 hours’ notice if they need to travel back to Washington to vote on any deal.Jim McGovern, the incoming Democratic chairman of the House Rules Committee, said if there isn’t a resolution by Jan. 3 when the new Congress is sworn in, the Democratic majority will vote on a stopgap spending measure to reopen the government agencies. He said Democratic leaders are discussing whether funding would last until Feb. 8 like the Senate-passed bill, for the full fiscal year through September, or until some other date.Republicans say they’re still waiting for Democrats to respond to an offer from the White House last Saturday. The administration said it would accept US$2.1 billion for border barriers along with a US$400 million flexible fund for immigration priorities. Democrats dismissed the offer as hollow because Trump has said publicly he still wants US$5 billion for a wall.New Year’s RecessCongress is scheduled to return on Monday although no votes are scheduled, and lawmakers will be in recess on New Year’s Day. The current Congress ends at noon Jan. 3, when new members elected in November’s midterm election will take their oaths.“I don’t see a scenario where the government opens back up before a new Congress is sworn in,” Representative Ryan Costello, a retiring Pennsylvania Republican, said on MSNBC Thursday. House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows sought to blame the shutdown on Schumer in a tweet Thursday urging the New York Democrat to accept US$5 billion for a wall.“The House passed it. The WH wants it. The Senate majority wants it. The one blocking an open government and a secure border: Chuck Schumer,” Republican Meadows tweeted.–With assistance from Alyza Sebenius.Bloomberg.com Bloomberg News Email Twitter Facebook Related Stories U.S. government shutdown will have cost America $1.2 billion by tomorrow U.S. government out past the weekend with no House vote Friday December 28, 20189:18 AM EST Filed under News Economy More Trump renews attacks on Federal Reserve, calls it the U.S. economy’s ‘only problem’ Donald Trump threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday as a week-long partial government shutdown appeared likely to stretch into 2019 because of an impasse over funding for the president’s proposed border wall.“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Trump said on Twitter.Trump’s latest ultimatum comes a day after House Republicans said they didn’t plan any votes this week and as the president sought to shift blame to Democrats for a stalemate over funding for a wall that a majority of Americans don’t support, according to polls. It echoed a threat he made in November, when he said he’d close the border “for a long time” if Mexican authorities couldn’t quell attempts by large groups of migrants to cross into the U.S.U.S. government out past the weekend with no House vote FridayU.S. government shutdown will have cost America $1.2 billion by tomorrowU.S. government shutdown enters third day with no urgency to reopen after everyone leaves townThere was no sign of any progress toward a plan to fund nine government departments that closed after funding ran out Dec. 21. The Senate and House held brief sessions Thursday afternoon, and neither chamber took any votes.Details of any potential closing of the 1,954-mile (3,145 kilometre) border with Mexico aren’t yet clear. Mexico is America’s third-largest trading partner in goods with US$557.6 billion in two-way trade during 2017, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Trade in services accounted for another US$58 billion.Trump said in another tweet that the U.S. “looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a ‘profit making operation.”’A sign announcing the closure of the National Archives due to a partial government shutdown is displayed in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. Share this storyU.S. government shutdown likely to stretch into 2019 amid border wall standoff Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Join the conversation → Reddit
Video description:A socket, a battery weighing almost half a tonne and 200 kilos of dry ice every day in the box at the race track. These are some of the features that have emerged with the rise of electric racecars, and the new models have completely changed the way racing teams do their work. CUPRA engineer Xavier Serra, mechanic Jordi Martí and race driver Jordi Gené explain the keys of this transformation during a day of testing with the e-Racer: – Learning how to drive all over again: With 30 years of experience, CUPRA driver and ambassador Jordi Gené admits that getting behind the wheel of an electric racecar “implies learning from scratch”. “The driving style is completely different and now you have to use other parameters in order to know t what speed you’re driving, how to negotiate a corner or the right time to apply the brake”, he adds. For example, this vehicle’s greater weight and different sound change the references received by a driver while driving. As it is able to reach 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, Gené assures that the “the feeling of acceleration of the e-Racer is much more forceful, and the adrenaline rush is even bigger”. -200 kg of dry ice every day: During one of the laps, an indicator displays a warning that the driver has to return to boxes to cool the battery. Cooling it down with dry ice is one of the jobs of the mechanic. Furthermore, the engineers also have new strategies on their hands: “It’s not just about being the fastest; now we have another factor to consider: energy management. We must learn how to monitor the temperature and the range”, explains team leader Xavier Serra. In this sense, positioning the 450 kilo battery “was one of the biggest challenges we had to face” when developing this model. The team had to distribute the volume of the battery underneath the car in order to maintain its balance and functionality. -A new ritual: “After working for more than 20 years in this profession I never would have thought I could charge up a racecar with a plug”, says CUPRA mechanic Jordi Martí while he gets the e-Racer ready to exit the box again. Even the tools he uses are different. Now he has a set of specially designed instruments to withstand high voltage, such as gloves made with insulating material that can resist up to 1,000 volts. -The future of motorsport: “The arrival of the electric vehicle to racing signals the beginning of a new era”, concludes Xavier Serra. Being a part of the team that has developed and is testing the first wholly electric racing touring car in the world “is like being a part of a historic moment”, says the mechanic. “It’s a very interesting professional challenge”, adds Gené. The tests carried out on different tracks confirm the competitiveness of the CUPRA e-Racer, which is expected to make its debut in the ETCR category in 2020. This is a positive move towards cleaner, more efficient Racing, where technology and connectivity play a key role.Source: YouTube via DPCcars Blame the battery.When the electric version of the International Touring Car Championship, the e-TCR, sees its first green flag, there’s a very good chance the Seat Cupra e-Racer will be part of the field of contenders. This 670-horsepower monster hatchback has some pretty eye-opening cooling requirements, though. As you can see in the video above, it sublimates 440 pounds of dry ice — frozen CO2 — a day as it continues its development program.More CUPRA e-Racer action SEAT Confirms E TCR Racing Series Intention With CUPRA e-Racer Watch As 670-HP, Rear-Wheel-Drive Cupra E-Racer Hits The Track Cupra e-Racer – A Proper Electric Racing Car In Geneva Source: Electric Vehicle News According to the write up in this video’s description (complete text below), the car doesn’t use the cold stuff to put a chill on its Rimac-supplied electric motors. Nope. Apparently, it’s the 990-lb battery that needs the extra help to keep its cool. It takes only 20 minutes of track time for it to light up a heat-warning indicator on the dash, at which point it rolls into the pits and gets hooked up to its cooldown machine: a simple box with a tray for dry ice which blows a blast of chilled air through ducting over the battery pack.It appears as though they also take advantage of this downtime to put more charge in the battery — an activity that creates even more heat and takes about 50 minutes to accomplish. It’s just one of the ways racing electric is different from the internal combustion paradigm. Check out the video above for more changes. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 8, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News
Sumitomo Electric’s new V-groove superjunction transistors, which it developed through a joint research project with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) use silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors, and the company claims they offer the lowest on-state resistance yet achieved in an SiC transistor.Sumitomo has already developed V-groove MOSFETs that use a particular plane orientation (0-33-8) for the channel that turns the flow of electrons on and off, forming an oxide film interface with low defects and achieving a low on-state resistance. According to Sumitomo, the low-defect performance of the VMOSFETs significantly stabilizes the threshold voltage fluctuation that has prevented the practical use of SiC transistors.Sumitomo has adopted a superjunction structure to reduce on-state resistance. The superjunction structure has been commercialized for silicon transistors, but has remained in a principle verification stage for SiC transistors, due to problems in manufacturing methods. In a recent study, Sumitomo overcame the problems by repeating epitaxial growth and ion implantation to form a narrow-pitch pillar structure, and achieved the SiC superjunction structure for the VMOSFETs. The new transistors have achieved a low on-state resistance of 1,170 V / 0.63 mΩ∙cm2. Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Source: Sumitomo Electric
Technically the MSRP is the same, but effectively the new Bolt EV is offered for more than $10,000 cheaperSource: Electric Vehicle News
The 52 kWh battery can be leased or included in the purchase for €8,090Source: Electric Vehicle News
Share on Facebook First published on Mon 17 Nov 2008 19.03 EST Mon 17 Nov 2008 19.03 EST Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Shares00 Share via Email This article is more than 10 years old Share on Twitter Toshack puts his faith in youth This article is more than 10 years old Share via Email Friendlies news Wales Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook @SachinNakrani Sachin Nakrani Wales will be relying heavily on raw talent in tomorrow’s friendly in Denmark. John Toshack, the manager, flew to Copenhagen yesterday with the youngest squad in the country’s history, which included seven teenagers and 12 players still eligible for the Under-21s.Toshack’s hand has partly been forced after injury ruled out five senior players, but the Wales assistant manager, Dean Saunders, still believes that by selecting a squad with an average age of 21 the manager has shown his willingness to give his prospective stars a chance to shine.”John has done brilliantly for all of them,” said Saunders. “It has taken a bit of time but there is some extremely good young talent around which bodes well for the future and our chance of qualifying for a major tournament finals in five or six years.”What has particularly pleased Saunders is that, having been given their debuts by Toshack, some of Wales’ young players such as Aaron Ramsey and Chris Gunter have gone on to secure moves to Premier League clubs. “It was not so long ago that we had just two or three players in the Premier League,” said Saunders. ” But now we have got a lot more playing against the best players in the world and that can only be a good thing.”While Wales are drooling over their crop of future stars, Northern Ireland have stepped up the process of finding their own. The manager, Nigel Worthington, has asked to be kept informed on a regular basis about the country’s Under-21, -19 and -17 teams and has promised to watch them in action much more often. The senior side face Hungary in a friendly in Belfast tomorrow night. Wales Topics Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Reuse this content
Learn More & Register This previous post highlighted a whistleblower’s attempt (referred to as John Doe) to force the SEC to speed its award decision making process in connection with the $519 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement against Teva Pharmaceutical in late 2016. (See here for the prior post).Recently, the SEC filed this response brief stating that the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower (OWB) is reviewing Doe’s application, but a preliminary determination has not yet been issued. Using words such as complex, rigorous, time consuming and labor intensive, the SEC argues that making a determination on Doe’s claim is not a simple task particularly given that the SEC “must balance its desire to process award claims within a reasonable period with the need to devote resources to other important Commission responsibilities.”In pertinent part, the response brief states:“Doe argues that the Commission has unduly delayed adjudicating his whistleblower award application and asks for an order directing the Commission to issue a preliminary determination regarding his claim within 60 days and a final order within six months. Doe’s Petition is predicated primarily upon his assertion that adjudicating his claim is a “simple task” that requires little more than “a conversation” between SEC claim reviewers and investigative staff and review of a “confined record entirely within the agency’s knowledge.” Doe claims there is “no reason to believe that [his] claim for a whistleblower award is substantially more complex” than “simple cases with one whistleblower” that the SEC resolved more quickly.Doe greatly misapprehends the work, effort, and time involved in reviewing whistleblower claims, including his. Doe overlooks the substantial complexities involved in adjudicating claims regarding the Teva matter because, among other things, there are six claimants in this matter (not only Doe as he apparently presumes) and the case involves parallel SEC and DOJ cases, requiring information gathering from the DOJ and other authorities. And Doe ignores that the SEC is processing a voluminous number of other whistleblower applications that require the attention of the Commission in addition to his claim.”Regarding the other whistleblower claims in connection with the Teva FCPA matter, the SEC states:“Doe suggests that he is the only claimant for NoCA 2017-5 and that the Commission need only assess the information he provided regarding the Teva investigations to reach a determination on his application. Doe is incorrect. There are six claimants whose claims must be assessed to determine their absolute and relative entitlements, if any, to an award.Doe’s claims. Doe submitted 700+ pages in support of his application, and asserts that the “record establishes that the SEC and DOJ acted on Petitioner’s tip and used the information supplied to successfully resolve their enforcement actions against Teva.” Teva paid nearly $520 million to resolve FCPA claims relating to improper payments in Russia, Ukraine, and Mexico, while Doe’s tips focused on payments in Argentina that were not encompassed in the Commission’s settlement with Teva. Doe also apparently presumes that the SEC staff to whom he spoke in 2011 “eventually transferred the case to the SEC’s Miami office,” which handled the Teva investigation. But Doe is not privy to SEC internal actions, other tips that the Commission may have received or the degree to which those tips may have led to the Commission’s investigation and/or prosecution of Teva. Finally, the fact that a whistleblower provides useful assistance at some point during the course of an investigation does not necessarily mean that he provided “original information” that “led to the successful enforcement” action, and therefore may be eligible for an award.Other ClaimantsThere are five other claimants who believe that they are entitled to whistleblower awards because of the testimony and documents they provided to the SEC, DOJ, and/or other authorities. While the merits of any claimant’s application are beyond the scope of the Petition, the bases for their claims are very briefly described to provide a sense of the competing claims that OWB reviewers must evaluate.Claimant 2 Claimant 2 contends that he or she provided the information that led the SEC to open its investigation. (This claim directly contradicts Doe’s claim and the relative merits of Claimant 2’s assertions must be assessed.) Claimant 2 claims that he or she met repeatedly with the SEC and DOJ to provide testimony and documents that were central to the charges against Teva. Claimant 2’s counsel, like Doe’s counsel, filed a detailed whistleblower application with extensive documentation purportedly buttressing his or her entitlement to an award.Claimants 3 and 4 Claimants 3 and 4 submitted a joint application. They claim that they provided multiple tips to the SEC, DOJ, and local authorities concerning improper payments in Romania. They claim that the information and documents they provided led to law enforcement inquiries and press reports about these payments. They contend that the inquiry in Romania, at least in part, led to Teva’s willingness to pay such a large monetary sanction. Their counsel, like Doe’s counsel, filed a detailed whistleblower application with extensive documentation purportedly buttressing their entitlement to an award.Claimant 5 Claimant 5 alleges that he or she provided extensive information and documents showing misconduct by Teva, including misconduct in Argentina. Therefore, to the extent information concerning misconduct in Argentina is relevant to the ultimate recovery, the Commission must weigh the contributions of Doe and Claimant 5. Claimant 5 claims that he or she met with SEC and DOJ investigators on multiple occasions and his or her application includes detailed documentation of the assistance he or she purportedly provided to the authorities.Claimant 6 Claimant 6 contends that he or she reported various improper sales practices to the SEC, including information about Argentina, requiring an analysis of competing claims of at least three claimants (Doe and Claimants 5 and 6). Claimant 6 contends that he or she met with, and provided documents to, the SEC and DOJ to assist in their investigations. Claimant 6’s award application highlights the various documents that he or she purportedly provided to authorities in support of their investigations.”Regardless of the merits of Doe’s claim (or that of the other claimants) the SEC’s response brief makes for an interesting read regarding the process of assessing of a whistleblower claim. FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.
Jun 22 2018Philosophers have pondered the nature of consciousness for thousands of years. In the 21st century, the debate over how the brain gives rise to our everyday experience continues to puzzle scientists. To help, researchers in the University of Michigan Medical School Center for Consciousness Science are working to identify areas of the brain that help us wake up, a basic building block of everyday consciousness.In the search for what controls our overall level of consciousness, researchers have traditionally focused on structures in the lower part of the brain. These structures include the brainstem (which regulates vital functions like breathing, blood pressure and heartbeat); the hypothalamus (which is involved in sleep and controlling bodily functions); and the thalamus (which relays information from the senses). George Mashour, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and director of the center, decided to look at different areas of the cortex, the upper part of the brain, for its ability to control the level of consciousness.Recent research in nonhuman primates provides evidence that the prefrontal cortex has a switchboard-like relationship with other areas of the brain, helping to ignite awareness of visual information.”There has been a debate that has recently intensified as to whether or not the prefrontal cortex -; versus areas farther back -; plays a role in generating conscious experience. We thought that we’d target some of these different areas in the front and back of the brain to see which ones had the ability to control the level of consciousness,” he says.The key to ignition?Because anesthesia is used to temporarily eliminate conscious experience during medical procedures, it provides the perfect opportunity to test hypotheses about consciousness.Mashour and lead-author Dinesh Pal, Ph.D., also of the Department of Anesthesiology, anesthetized rats with a common anesthetic used in humans. “We wanted to see what had the causal power to take an unconscious brain receiving ongoing anesthesia and wake it up,” says Pal. To test this, they targeted two neurotransmitters that are associated with wakefulness: acetylcholine and norepinephrine.Related StoriesUnpleasant experiences could be countered with a good night’s REM sleepAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNovel bed system with VR brainwave-control for sleep blissThe team exposed the anesthetized rats’ prefrontal and parietal cortex to drugs that ramped up the effect of the neurotransmitters and measured their brain activity and behavior. When exposed to an acetylcholine-receptor activator, their brain waves, normally slow during sleep and anesthesia, sped up. But rats were able to start behaving as though they were awake only with prefrontal cortex stimulation, all while continuing to receive the same level of anesthesia that is used clinically for surgery in humans. These findings were published in the journal Current Biology.Mashour says their new study “suggests that the prefrontal cortex also has the potential to play a role in coordinating the level of consciousness, possibly through the cholinergic system.”Clinically, these results could be explored for applications in people with disorders of consciousness, such as coma or vegetative states. “Let’s say you have a patient in a coma: Could the prefrontal cortex be a site that is modulated to help coordinate events to help improve level of consciousness?” Mashour asks. The implications of this possibility are significant because of the relative accessibility of the prefrontal cortex.”It’s very difficult and dangerous to directly intervene at the level of arousal centers in the brainstem because of its location, small size and nearby vital functions. Maybe the prefrontal cortex is an accessible gateway to some of those other arousal systems that could be leveraged in a clinical setting outside of anesthesia,” he says. Source:https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/waking-up-hard-to-do-reversing-deep-unconsciousness
Jul 13 2018A startup created by Purdue University professors is developing a sensor that can detect dangerous mosquito-borne tropical diseases faster and at a lower cost than current methods, giving health officials time to take action before the viruses are transmitted to humans.SMK Diagnostics has created biosensor technology to identify and monitor diseases such as Zika, which set off a global health crisis in 2015 and 2016, and dengue, which causes about 22,000 deaths a year worldwide, mostly among children. Dengue and Zika are from the same family of virus known as flavivirus.”The sensor provides early detection so you can intervene earlier,” said Lia Stanciu, associate head and professor of Materials Engineering at Purdue and one of the founders of SMK Diagnostics. “If local agencies know there’s a danger, they can intervene early to try to make sure it doesn’t get transmitted to people.”SMK Diagnostics was started by Stanciu, Ernesto Marinero, a professor or materials engineering and electrical and computer engineering at Purdue, and Richard Kuhn, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Science at Purdue. Kuhn was the first scientist to determine the structure of the Zika virus by cryo-electron microscopy.Related StoriesWar against mosquitoes saves lives and money in Sri LankaNitrogen-rich diet reduces mosquitoes’ ability to transmit ZikaFDA approves first vaccine for prevention of dengue disease in endemic regionsThe technology uses an electrode coated with a material that has a high surface area that immobilizes specific biological molecules able to bind to the RNA of the virus. When the DNA or RNA of a virus infected mosquito binds to the surface, it changes the surface resistance on the electrode. The sensor can determine if the virus is present.”Only the virus will bind to the surface, no other molecules. It is a recognition, like a key and lock,” Stanciu said.The sensor can differentiate between specific flaviviruses and works in less than an hour. Other technology to detect these diseases in mosquitoes are time-consuming, taking a week or longer to discover what the virus may be.Stanciu hopes to use the technology to place sensors where disease-carrying mosquitoes populate.”That way local agencies know there is a danger so they can take action to eradicate the virus before it spreads to people,” she said.The sensor detects viruses. It doesn’t work on bacteria-based diseases, such as malaria.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Zika can cause severe birth defects in babies whose mothers were infected during pregnancy and warns pregnant women from traveling to areas at risk for Zika. The CDC says more than one-third of the world’s population live in areas at risk for dengue, with up to 400 million people a year infected.The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization helped secure a patent for the technology for SMK Diagnostics, which started with the help of the Purdue Foundry.SMK Diagnostics is looking for funding to build a prototype and move the technology forward.Source: https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2018/Q3/purdue-researchers-developing-device-that-detects-mosquito-borne-diseases,-giving-health-officials-time-to-take-action.html
Jul 20 2018Wrinkled skin and hair loss are hallmarks of aging. What if they could be reversed?Keshav Singh, Ph.D., and colleagues have done just that, in a mouse model developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When a mutation leading to mitochondrial dysfunction is induced, the mouse develops wrinkled skin and extensive, visible hair loss in a matter of weeks. When the mitochondrial function is restored by turning off the gene responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction, the mouse returns to smooth skin and thick fur, indistinguishable from a healthy mouse of the same age.”To our knowledge, this observation is unprecedented,” said Singh, a professor of genetics in the UAB School of Medicine.Importantly, the mutation that does this is in a nuclear gene affecting mitochondrial function, the tiny organelles known as the powerhouses of the cells. Numerous mitochondria in cells produce 90 percent of the chemical energy cells need to survive.In humans, a decline in mitochondrial function is seen during aging, and mitochondrial dysfunction can drive age-related diseases. A depletion of the DNA in mitochondria is also implicated in human mitochondrial diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, age-associated neurological disorders and cancer.”This mouse model,” Singh said, “should provide an unprecedented opportunity for the development of preventive and therapeutic drug development strategies to augment the mitochondrial functions for the treatment of aging-associated skin and hair pathology and other human diseases in which mitochondrial dysfunction plays a significant role.”The mutation in the mouse model is induced when the antibiotic doxycycline is added to the food or drinking water. This causes depletion of mitochondrial DNA because the enzyme to replicate the DNA becomes inactive.In four weeks, the mice showed gray hair, reduced hair density, hair loss, slowed movements and lethargy, changes that are reminiscent of natural aging. Wrinkled skin was seen four to eight weeks after induction of the mutation, and females had more severe skin wrinkles than males.Dramatically, this hair loss and wrinkled skin could be reversed by turning off the mutation. The photos below show the hair loss and wrinkled skin after two months of doxycycline induction, and the same mouse a month later after doxycycline was stopped, allowing restoration of the depleted mitochondrial DNA.Related StoriesHair loss could soon be a thing of the past, say researchersResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairScientists discover how resistance to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil arisesLittle change was seen in other organs when the mutation was induced, suggesting an important role for mitochondria in skin compared to other tissues.The wrinkled skin showed changes similar to those seen in both intrinsic and extrinsic aging -; intrinsic aging is the natural process of aging, and extrinsic aging is the effect of external factors that influence aging, such as skin wrinkles that develop from excess sun or long-term smoking.Among the details, the skin of induced-mutation mice showed increased numbers of skin cells, abnormal thickening of the outer layer, dysfunctional hair follicles and increased inflammation that appeared to contribute to skin pathology. These are similar to extrinsic aging of the skin in humans. The mice with depleted mitochondrial DNA also showed changed expression of four aging-associated markers in cells, similar to intrinsic aging.The skin also showed disruption in the balance between matrix metalloproteinase enzymes and their tissue-specific inhibitor -; a balance of these two is necessary to maintain the collagen fibers in the skin that prevent wrinkling.The mitochondria of induced-mutation mice had reduced mitochondrial DNA content, altered mitochondrial gene expression, and instability of the large complexes in mitochondria that are involved in oxidative phosphorylation.Reversal of the mutation restored mitochondrial function, as well as the skin and hair pathology. This showed that mitochondria are reversible regulators of skin aging and loss of hair, an observation that Singh calls “surprising.””It suggests that epigenetic mechanisms underlying mitochondria-to-nucleus cross-talk must play an important role in the restoration of normal skin and hair phenotype,” Singh said, who has a secondary UAB appointment as professor of pathology. “Further experiments are required to determine whether phenotypic changes in other organs can also be reversed to wildtype level by restoration of mitrochondrial DNA.” Source:https://www.uab.edu/news/research/item/9607-scientists-reverse-aging-associated-skin-wrinkles-and-hair-loss-in-a-mouse-model
Source:http://www.seattlechildrens.org/ Aug 16 2018Seattle Children’s today announced the opening of its newest regional clinic, Seattle Children’s North Clinic, which will provide convenient access to pediatric specialty care services for families in north King, Snohomish, Whatcom and Skagit counties. The 37,000-square-foot clinic is located on Providence Regional Medical Center Everett’s Colby Campus at 1815 13th St.The new clinic will provide services in more than 18 pediatric specialties, including audiology, otolaryngology, cardiology, rehabilitation and sports therapy, among others. It will also include an urgent care clinic, offering same-day appointments, including holidays, an imaging center, Child Wellness Clinic, and playroom for patients and siblings.”We’re committed to meeting the needs of families in the north by providing world-class care closer to home,” said David Stolte, director of North Sound Regional Clinics. “Families will no longer have to choose between getting pediatric-focused care and convenience. We’ll be located where patients and families need us, in their community.”Seattle Children’s North replaces both Seattle Children’s Everett and Mill Creek clinics, which closed as of Aug. 10, adding ten new pediatric services to the North Sound area. In addition to Seattle Children’s North, Seattle Children’s has specialty regional clinics in Bellevue, Federal Way, Olympia, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee.Kara Chitwood said Seattle Children’s will always hold a special place in her heart. When her son, Bretton, broke his ankle in nine places in 2016 he was rushed to Seattle Children’s Mill Creek Clinic from their home in Lynden, Washington. He needed to be closely monitored after his initial visit, and so the family found themselves traveling to the clinic nearly every week for appointments.”We’ve always had wonderful experiences at Seattle Children’s,” said Chitwood. “We wouldn’t go anywhere else.”Chitwood credits the expert care they received at the clinic for saving her son’s life. After returning to play hockey after his ankle healed, Bretton experienced lingering pain. Chitwood called their provider at the clinic who ordered imaging for the next day. Later that week, the family found out Bretton had osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer.Related StoriesPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenDaily intake for phosphates in infants, children can exceed health guidance values”He could have had a very different outcome if we wouldn’t have caught it so early,” said Chitwood.Bretton recently graduated high school and is preparing for college in the fall.”As parents, we want to make sure our children receive the best care,” said Chitwood. “Knowing how well Seattle Children’s ranks both regionally and nationally, it’s where we’ll continue to go. I could take my children somewhere else, or I could go to Seattle Children’s North Clinic where I know we’ll get better care and faster.”Jennifer Campbell’s 6-year-old daughter, Hannah, has been a patient at Seattle Children’s since birth. Only 12 hours after being born, Hannah was transferred to Seattle Children’s with a rapid heartbeat and diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), a rapid heartbeat that can be common in newborns, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle. After a couple weeks, Hannah was sent home for the first time, but her condition worsened. Her heart doubled in size and was failing. She need needed a heart transplant and quickly. Doctors weren’t sure she’d make it to transplant, but on Sept. 23, 2012, they got the call. At only 4 months old, Hannah received a new heart.”Seattle Children’s saved our daughter’s life,” said Campbell.Today, Hannah is 6 years old and thriving. Campbell said she is excited for Seattle Children’s North to open. The clinic is only a 10-minute drive from their home.Hannah needs to get her blood drawn nearly every month, and so the lab at the clinic will be much more convenient for the family, rather than having to drive to Seattle Children’s main campus.”We’re going to be at the clinic a lot,” said Campbell. “From fevers to blood draws, it will be nice to have a place we’re familiar with and trust so close to home. Seattle Children’s really is like an extension of our family.”
Spacecraft reveal aurora near Jupiter’s south pole NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM By Sid PerkinsOct. 30, 2017 , 12:00 PM Our solar system’s largest planet is big enough for massive light shows—one at each pole, new research reveals. Scientists already knew that Jupiter sported an aurora in its northern hemisphere—one that is permanent, large enough to swallow Earth, and hundreds of times brighter than the ephemeral glows our planet hosts at each pole. Now, a new analysis of data gleaned by Earth-orbiting x-ray telescopes in 2007 and 2016 reveals that the gas giant hosts a second aurora on its southern end. Earth’s magnetic field isn’t strong enough to generate an aurora at x-ray wavelengths. Unlike Earth’s auroras, Jupiter’s are not in sync, researchers report today in Nature Astronomy. Whereas the newly discovered southern hot spot (seen at infrared wavelengths by instruments on the Juno probe now orbiting Jupiter) pulses once every 9 to 11 minutes, the northern x-ray hot spot has, in the past, been observed pulsing at rates of once every 12 minutes, once every 26 minutes, and once every 40 to 45 minutes. Researchers aren’t quite sure why Jupiter’s auroras aren’t synchronized: Among some possibilities, the researchers say, the disparity could stem from the immense size or strength of the planet’s magnetic field, or may simply result from unexpected processes that help generate the auroras.
7. June 7, 2019 Susie Lauterborn and her husband, Doug Hand, took a trip to the Grand Bahia Principe in January 2018. Within a day of arriving, she said she began experiencing severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, fatigue, chills, and cold sweats https://t.co/CpTMsqZlZz pic.twitter.com/ZzU3jtLBBC— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 7, 2019 Three more people who stayed at the Bahia Principe hotel revealed that they too fell ill during their stay. Susie Lauterborn, 38, and her husband, Doug Hand, 40, said they quickly became ill during their stay at the hotel in January 2008 experiencing severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, fatigue, chills, and cold sweats. The pair claimed the food “tasted off to the point where I was like, ‘I’m not even going to drink a glass of wine because it just tastes off.’ I can’t even explain — we ate pasta one night, and it was so bad I couldn’t finish it. It tasted acidic, like battery acid.”Myroslav Sparavalo, a 58-year-old in New York that he was lucky to survive his stay at the now disgraced resort just a month ago. Sparvalo said he began to feel unwell after dinner. He told Buzzfeed that after eating he began to experience a hypertensive crisis, or a severely high increase in blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke. Surveillance video shows the moment MLB star David Ortiz was shot in the back at a Dominican Republic bar last night. Officials say he’s in stable condition after undergoing surgery DETAILS: https://t.co/qwaiwdxhTS pic.twitter.com/jH0bZ1Kg43— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) June 10, 2019While Dominican roads are notorious for its deadly car crashes, something else has been going on there causing the demise of a number of American tourists, most of whom were Black.Aside from the Ortiz shooting, there have already been at least six deaths reported and at least one reported attempted murder of Americans visiting the Dominican Republic just six months into the year. Three of the deaths happened a resort in La Romana on the country’s southeastern coast. The other three took place in Punta Cana, a resort town located on the country’s east coast that is known for its partying scene popular with Spring Breakers.The tragic trend has reportedly prompted the FBI to investigate, according to Fox News, which reported that the federal law enforcement agency began its involvement last week.Since the first recent deaths of Americans in the Dominican Republic were reported, several tourists have come out to talk about their own horrifying experiences there, which range from becoming violently ill to being allegedly kidnapped and beaten by a hotel employee. 11. June 11, 2019 Dominican authorities asked for FBI assistance for further toxicology analysis on the recent Bahia Principe, La Romana cases. Their FBI colleagues say those results may take up to 30 days. They request patience while the investigations run their course.https://t.co/yTGoMv6Grk— Laurie Kelly (@LaurieKellyMD) June 12, 2019 The U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic issues a statement saying it was aware of the recent deaths and sicknesses to American citizens.“The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo is actively working with the Government of the Dominican Republic and the private sector at the highest levels to ensure that U.S. citizens are safe and feel safe while in the Dominican Republic,” a brief statement said in part. 3. May 25, 2019 BREAKING: The brother in law of 41 y/o Miranda Schaup-Werner says she died 5 days before Nathaniel Holmes & Cynthia Day died at the SAME Dominican Republic resort, Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romona. He claims Schaup-Werner had a drink in the room’s mini bar. #MirandaSchaupWerner— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) June 4, 2019 Miranda Schaup-Werner checked into a Bahia Principe hotel with her husband, the same day as a Black Maryland couple. Reports said that Schaup-Werner had a drink from the mini bar and suddenly became violently ill. She then collapsed on the floor and died in her hotel room. The National Police Investigations Unit concluded she died of a heart attack. Deaths & illness:Miranda Schaupp-Werner, PA – deadEdward Holmes & Cynthia Day – deadAwilda Montes, NY – violently ill Robert Bell Wallace, CA – deadDavid Harrison, MD – deadYvette Monique Sport, PA – deadTerrence Richmond – deadKaylynn Knull, Tom Schwander CO – ill— JC Cox (@jcox713) June 9, 2019The U.S. State Department placed a travel advisory on the Dominican Republic in April because of violence. “The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale,” the State Department wrote on its website.While violence in the Dominican Republic was well-documented, perhaps it was the mysterious deaths of three tourists in five days at the same Grand Bahia Principe resort in La Romana this year alone and reported sicknesses from other guests there that seemed most alarming. They all were found dead in their rooms and have been attributed to something other than natural causes.Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts consequently went on damage control and issued a brief statement denying any culpability and making reference to “false statements” associated with what it called “two unfortunate events.” The statement also threatened legal action, though it was not clear who could be targeted with a lawsuit.Scroll down to follow our complete timeline of disaster for Americans in the Dominican Republic. 13. June 17, 2019 It was really heartbreaking speaking to the family of Joseph Allen just a day after he was found dead. The 8th confirmed American tourist death in the Dominican Republic in the last year. Here’s what Joseph’s sister Jamie had to say: https://t.co/X5irvKaFzB— Steph Wash (@WashNews) June 17, 2019 It goes public that a man named Joseph Allen, 55, of New Jersey, was found dead in his hotel room at Terra Linda in Sosua in the Dominican Republic on June 13. He is the eight tourist to die in the country since last year. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Americas, which has three hotels in DR, CEO Elie Maalouf told FOX that there is nothing to fear in DR and everything is “well regulated and safe.” 4. May 29, 2019 Tammy Lawrence-Daley suffered a broken nose, fractured eye socket, nerve damage throughout her head and her entire mouth had to be sewn back together. https://t.co/Duo2sn6boE— News 8 – WROC-TV (@News_8) June 6, 2019 Tammy Lawrence-Daley posted a disturbing account of her assault allegedly at the hands of an employee at a Punta Cana resort in January. Lawrence-Daley claimed that as he was walking alone to get a snack in the evening, she was kidnapped and beaten for hours. She said that the assailant thought he killed her, but she managed to get away. She was taken to the hospital were she suffered severe injuries like nerve damage and a broken orbital. The Majestic Elegance Resort is now claiming there are inconsistencies in Lawrence-Daley’s story and said she demanded $2.2 million or she was going to go public with her story. 5. May 30, 2019 Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, were found in a room at the Playa Nueva Romana in the Dominican Republic https://t.co/8X4OoLd8z6— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) June 1, 2019 Maryland couple Cynthia Ann Day, 49, and Nathaniel Edward Holmes, 63, were found dead in their Bahia Principe hotel room the day they were scheduled to catch a flight back to the United States. Day and Holmes had been there five days before they died, and told family and friends that they were having a good time.An autopsy later revealed that the pair died from respiratory failure and pulmonary edema caused by excess fluid in their lungs. It is still a mystery as to what caused their condition. 12. June 13, 2019 Sorry ppl, but there’s a serial killer working in the #DominicanRepublic. After two recent visits there, I’m done with the DR. God help them and their #tourism business— Kevin (@DebtNationUSA) June 13, 2019 After so many sudden deaths of American tourists and the FBI joining the investigation, people on social media begin to wonder if there is serial killer in in the Dominican Republic. Many people vow to not return to the island. 2. March 26, 2019 New Yorkers Portia Ravenelle and Orlando Moore went on vacation at the Grand Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic. U.S. Customs say the couple never boarded flight back to Newark on March 26. Their rental car was never returned and their cell phones go straight to voicemail. pic.twitter.com/OULE45WBws— Paul Sacca (@Paul_Sacca) April 8, 2019 New York couple Orlando Moore, 43, and Portia Ravenelle, 51, were scheduled to catch a flight back to the United States from Sumana, but they never made it to the airport. Their bodies were identified two weeks later. It was determined that the pair died after their car plunged off a cliff as they made their way to the airport. Ravenelle was found unconscious on the side of the road and later died at a local hospital. Moore’s body was found at sea. According to the World Health Organization, the Dominican Republic ranked fifth in road deaths per capita in 2016. 8. June 7, 2019 In regards to the information that has been spread by various media outlets and social media, we would like to express: https://t.co/fT2Qj8jR7K En respuesta a las informaciones que están siendo publicadas por diversos medios de comunicación y redes sociales, manifestamos: pic.twitter.com/BjjJd9mJdd— BahiaPrincipe (@BahiaPrincipe) June 7, 2019 Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts released a statement seeming to distance itself from the deaths that have happened on its Dominican property.“As a result of the misinformation that has been published, which we wholeheartedly disagreewith, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts has suffered great damage to its image and reputation,” the statement said in part. 6. June 5, 2019 #USA Kaylynn Knull and Tom Schwander of Colorado shared an image from their trip to the Bahia Principe Hotel in La Romana in a post on Instagram on Wednesday, imploring vacationers to be careful as they travel. pic.twitter.com/vJnY7mYHTK— CaribbeanNewsNetwork (@caribbeannewsuk) June 6, 2019 Colorado couple Kaylynn Knull and her Tom Schwander talked to the media about their trip to the Grand Bahia Principe resort last year. Knull claimed their room smelled like someone “dumped paint everywhere,” which she said lead to excessive drooling and watering of their eyes. She said after switching rooms, she became gravely ill experiencing severe cramps that felt like “a chainsaw going through my gut.” A Colorado doctor determined they had been poisoned by organophosphate, which are chemicals found in insecticide. They warned tourists not to stay in that hotel. 9. June 9, 2019 Six years ago, David Ortiz’s spirit and resolve helped us all begin to heal from the Boston Marathon bombing. Today, I want to join many others in wishing him a speedy recovery of his own. Get well soon, Papi. pic.twitter.com/9orpBgnVI5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 10, 2019 Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was shot in the back BY a motorcyclist who approached him at a club in Santo Domingo. Reports say the bullet entered his back and exited his stomach. Ortiz was in stable condition after undergoing surgery. He was transported back to Boston Monday evening to continue his recovery. 10. April 14, 2019 JUST IN: US State Dept confirms a 4th American tourist death in the Dominican Republic. He has been identified as Robert Bell Wallace, a native of the Bay Area https://t.co/b4FVoGiGoD pic.twitter.com/EDtuPxad2V— KRON4 News (@kron4news) June 10, 2019 “Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, became ill almost immediately after he had a scotch from the room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana, his niece, Chloe Arnold,” Fox News reported. He died April 14, three days after he and his wife arrived at the Dominican Republic. 1. June 2018 @MaureenUmehFox5 Good Morning, I just heard your news segment on the CA man that also died in the DR. There was another under the same circumstances last June. Check out 51-year-old Yvette Monique Sport of PA, at the Bahia Principe hotel in Punta Cana, DR. — Lisette Brooks (@MissL_Thang) June 10, 2019 One year ago this month, a Black woman died in Punta Cana at a Baha Principe resort hotel. Reports say that Yvette Monique Sport, 51, took a drink from a mini bar in the hotel and went to sleep but never woke up. Sport’s family said it has been waiting a year for toxicology reports. The hotel that Sport died in is owned by the same company the owns the hotel where at least three other people would die almost one year later. Source: Heather Paul / GettyUPDATED: 8:30 a.m. EDT, June 18 —More American tourists are dying in the Dominican Republic. A man named Joseph Allen, 55, of Avenel, New Jersey, was found dead in his hotel room at Terra Linda in Sosua in the Dominican Republic on June 13. He is the eight tourist to die in the country since last year but hotels insist there is nothing to fear.InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Americas CEO Elie Maalouf told FOX that there is nothing to fear, “We have three hotels in the Dominican Republic. They are operating safely, have had no incidents… While this is an unfortunate set of incidents, travelers can be assured that the hotel industry, travel industry is well regulated [and] safe.”UPDATED: 3:10 p.m. EDT, June 14 —At least eight American tourists have died in the Dominican Republic after the death of a woman this week, according to new reports. Leyla Cox was found dead in her resort in Punta Cana on the island nation’s east coast. The 53-year-old New Yorker was among the new names of people who have either died or become violently ill in the popular vacation destination this year, NBC News reported.Cox’s death came shortly before it was reported that an Ohio man died in a separate Punt Cana resort in January. While it wasn’t immediately clear how Cox died, Jerry Curran’s death was attributed to pulmonary edema, which was the diagnosis of multiple other people who have recently been found dead at their Dominican resorts.In what appeared to be an unrelated incident, “on Tuesday 40-year-old Surely Miller vanished from a beach in the coastal town of Cabarete in Puerto Plata province,” the New York Daily News reported on Friday. “She was apparently dragged out to sea in a rip tide.”Prior to the most recent death disclosures, the attention surrounding recent multiple deaths of American tourists in the Dominican Republic was at a fever pitch as survivors of the dead were waiting for toxicology reports to determine how exactly they died. The results could take up to 30 days, according to ABC News.The developments finally prompted the U.S. ambassador on the island nation to acknowledge what has been happening.“The safety of U.S. citizens that live in, work in, and visit the Dominican Republic remains our highest priority,” Robin Bernstein, the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, said in a statement. “These incidents are tragic and we offer our deepest condolences to those personally impacted.”While the embassy asked “everyone to be patient while these investigations run their course,” the families of Edward Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day, a Black couple engaged to be married who were found dead in their hotel room late last month, plan to have their own toxicology tests and autopsies conducted independently of Dominican authorities.The deadly Dominican episodes coupled with illnesses and other random violence could have some people rethinking their plans to travel to the popular vacation destination. The New York Post reported that nearly 70 tourists in the Dominican Republic said they got violently sick on their trips since March. There were only 10 for all of 2018.While suspicious deaths are nothing new around the world, it was nearly impossible to ignore the seemingly nonstop news pouring out of the Dominican Republic, and most, if not all of it, has been bad, to put it mildly.SEE ALSO: What The Hell Is Happening In The Dominican Republic?That included the public ambush shooting of Major League Baseball legend David Ortiz, who survived multiple gunshot wounds in the Caribbean country’s capital of Santo Domingo on Sunday. With the shooting, the Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer more popularly known as Big Papi became the latest victim of the island nation’s recent spate of bad news that has disproportionately affected Americans. Ortiz, a Dominican native, became an American citizen in 2008.