Vermont to Sue FDA Over Drug Reimportation

first_imgGovernor & Attorney General to Sue FDA Over Drug ReimportationMontpelier, Vt. — Governor Jim Douglas and Attorney General WilliamSorrell announced August 10 that Vermont will file suit against the Food andDrug Administration (FDA) in U.S. District Court over the issue ofimporting drugs from Canada. Vermont is the first state in the nation tosue the FDA for blocking a responsible reimportation proposal.Vermont had sought a waiver from the FDA authorizing a legal drugreimportation plan. The goal of the pilot project was to demonstrate howa plan could be safely implemented, and ultimately serve as a model forother states to implement similar programs.Douglas and Sorrell agreed the suit was necessary, saying the federalgovernment’s grounds for denying the waiver request are illegitimate.”Vermont presented a legal and responsible plan to import prescriptiondrugs,” Governor Douglas said. “The claims on which they’ve based thisdenial are, in our view, unsubstantiated and we have no choice but topursue any and all legal remedies available. We intend to file suitshortly against the FDA in federal court.””Vermont’s petition was carefully crafted and reasonable,” said Sorrell.”I am amazed that the FDA rejected it, but am looking forward to gettingthis in front of a federal judge.”In response to the FDA’s rejection letter, Administration SecretaryMichael Smith sent a strongly worded reply voicing the administration’sdispleasure at the decision, and informing the FDA that Vermont would befiling a lawsuit.”Your failure to promptly issue regulations to provide for the safeimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, in accordance with section1121 of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Actof 2003, has compromised the ability of any state to adequately addressthis important issue,” Smith said in the letter. “We are, therefore,forced to consider development of a reimportation program that conforms toour interpretation of the current laws, independent of your agency.”In addition, Governor Douglas said he would dispatch the Commissioner ofHealth, Dr. Paul Jarris; Commissioner of Human Resources, Cindy LaWare;and his Legal Counsel, Susanne Young, to review New Hampshire’s plan andpursue a multi-state strategy to assist individuals who want to purchasedrugs in Canada.Governor Douglas noted that reimportation is not a long-term solution andsaid he would continue to urge Congress to take immediate action to reformthe American pharmaceutical marketplace.”Congress should act immediately to legalize the reimportation of lowercost drugs from Canada, increase competition among brand namemanufacturers, speed the approval of generic drugs, preserve states’ability to pool their purchases and negotiate deep discounts withmanufacturers, protect state pharmaceutical programs that may be impactedby the new Medicare law, and review recent increases in the cost ofpharmaceuticals,” Douglas said. “The ultimate goal, of course, is to getthe best deal possible for Vermonters on their prescription drugs at localpharmacies here at home.”Attorney General Sorrell serves as the President of the NationalAssociation of Attorneys General. At that association’s recent annualmeeting, Sorrell announced his presidential initiative to study andrecommend actions in response to the high cost of prescription drugs inthe United States. In commenting on today’s developments, Sorrell stated:”This action by the FDA underscores that, unless we take aggressiveactions, we are going to continue to pay the highest prescription drugprices in the industrialized world.”last_img read more

Looking back on 2019: A financial institution’s perspective on what’s to come in the new year

first_img2019 will undoubtedly go down as one of the ugliest political circuses in U.S History. However, 2020 may top it with the upcoming election, ongoing impeachment and anticipated onslaught of negative rhetoric. There was economic and monetary uncertainty, as well as political instability, at home and abroad that expanded throughout the year, yet the markets showed a strong resilience with the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P up for the year.Dow Jones (as of 1/3/2020)NASDAQ (as of 1/3/2020)S&P 500 (as of 1/3/2020)Despite the tumultuous backdrop, the Atlanta Fed anticipates the Q4 GDP will end strong, around 2.27 percent, with consumer spending experiencing the best back-to-back quarters in nearly a half decade, as GDP was steady throughout 2019.In addition to consumer spending, a resolution for trade issues is the catalyst that the economy needs to maintain momentum into the new year.  The effects of the U.S./Canada/Mexico trade deal will begin to take hold in 2020, along with phase one of the U.S. China trade agreement. Economists and the Fed have forecasted continued growth in 2020 by upwards of 2 percent. Rising wages and low unemployment have also provided fuel for consumer spending.There is still concern, however, that the current political environment and global instability could prove to be toxic to the economy. With the pending impeachment and upcoming election, the mainstream media message of perpetual doom and gloom could affect consumer sentiment.In other news, the U.S. again remains the largest global producer of oil in front of both Russia and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the Federal Open Market Committee is projecting a neutral position on interest rates in 2020 after aggressively tightening into mid-2019. The drop in interest rates has led to a rebound in the housing market during the second half of 2019 and contributed to the stock market rally.Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – Rate AdjustmentThe yield curve inverted in June 2019, but has since normalized. Historically, the market looks for inversion between two and ten years as an indicator of a potential recession. The Fed reacted quickly to provide liquidity access to the markets and stimulus, which proved to promote growth.The Fed reversed course in 2019 with three rate cuts totaling 75bps. In addition, the Fed was forced to begin interacting in repo operations in September 2019 to the tune of $100 billion plus in effort to provide liquidity to the overnight markets. The Fed also began a $60 billion per month T-Bill purchasing program that they do not want to call QE (Quantitative Easing). Tepid inflation has left the Fed leeway to ease even with steady economic growth.Whether these actions were beneficial in the long run remains to be seen, but markets clearly benefited from monetary policy in addition to solid economic growth in 2019.Regulatory FactorsFrom a regulatory standpoint, on Dec. 12, 2019, the FDIC proposed new rules for governing brokered deposits. The proposal includes:The definition of deposit brokerExemptions to the definition such as primary purposeApplication process to qualify for exemptionsSome of the main provisions are:Clarification of the term facilitation as it pertains to sharing third party information with financial institutions;Creation of exemption for wholly owned subsidiaries of a financial institution in which deposits are placed with that financial institutions;Broadening of the primary purpose definition to include deposit placement activities that are less than 25% of total assets under management in specific business line;Broadening of the primary purpose to include placement by agent or nominee for purpose of enabling payments by the depositor;Clarifying where non-exemption would exist in circumstances to savings programs; and,Formalizing the process to apply for Primary purpose exemption.Based on the outcome of new FDIC proposal, financial institutions should have access to additional funding sources that were previously deemed brokered.Deposit FactorsThroughout 2019, a major theme among financial institutions was to grow or maintain deposits by staying short in duration. With potential rate cuts, financial institutions looked to stay short by protecting their cost of funds. Depositors became more rate sensitive, setting up a situation of competitive rate shopping.Figure 1 above highlights the changes in deposit types (Time Deposits, Non-interest Deposits, and MMDA Deposits) for community, regional, and money center financial institutions. There are a few major observations from these charts. First, since 2007, all financial institution sizes have increased their balances of MMDA Deposits. However, since 2015, larger financial institutions, like regional and money center institutions, have grown their usage of time deposits from both retail and jumbo clients. Community-sized financial institutions have remained fairly steady in their deposit composition.Switching gears, and looking at wholesale funding vehicles in Figure 2 (Brokered Deposits, Listing Service Deposits, and FHLB Advances, and Fed Funds), we can see some trends on how financial institutions have been funding recent deposit growth. Since 2015, both money center and community-sized financial institutions have grown their usage of brokered deposits. However, more regionally sized financial institutions have grown their usage of FHLB Advances. Also noticeable is how all financial institutions have grown their usage of listing services deposits.Figure 3 above highlights the cost of funds on a quarterly basis for all financial institutions, with the bars highlighting the quarter during which a rate hike occurred. 2019 saw a convergence of cost of funds amongst all financial institution sizes. However, depending on the institutions size, there was a mixed experience from a beta perspective. Money center intuitions saw gradual decreases in their cost of funds, as they price deposits more closely to market based indices. Regional financial institutions remained relatively flat from a year ago, but saw some volatility in their cost of funds in the beginning of the year. Notably, community financial institutions continued to see their cost of funds rise as their deposit pricing models tend to lag the market.ConclusionFrom a financial institution perspective, the Fed policy change to a more accommodative approach, though with multiple rate cuts and liquidity injection, put the economy on stabile footing to promote growth. In addition, the resolution of trade issues should promote additional corporate investing, along with strong consumer spending, and has the potential to fuel strong loan growth.  Lastly, with the introduction of redefining brokered deposits, financial institutions have the potential to open up a variety of funding sources that were previously considered brokered deposits to help promote funding loan growth. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,James Lutter D. James (Jim) Lutter is the Senior Vice President of Trading and Operations at PMA Financial Network and PMA Securities where he oversees PMA Funding, a service of both companies … Web: pmafunding.com Details Co-author: Todd A. Terrazaslast_img read more

Latin America hits 70,000 pandemic deaths, daily record in Mexico

first_imgThe daily totals bring Mexico’s overall official count to 129,184 infections and 15,357 deaths.The World Health Organization has determined that Latin America is the new hotspot for the pandemic, which began around the beginning of the year in China and quickly spread to Europe and beyond.Governments across the globe acknowledge that the real number of infected people is significantly higher than the official counts.Latin American fatalities attributed to the highly-contagious Covid-19 respiratory illness caused by the virus stand at 70,972, while total infections are at 1.45 million.The outbreak has also spread rapidly in Peru, Chile and Columbia. Latin America’s coronavirus crisis reached a grim new milestone on Wednesday with total deaths exceeding 70,000, according to a Reuters count, as Mexico hit a daily record for confirmed infections.Brazil, with the largest economy in the region, remains Latin America’s most affected country as total fatalities are just shy of 40,000, the world’s third highest death toll after the United States and Britain.In the region’s second biggest country Mexico, a new daily record of 4,883 confirmed cases was reported by the health ministry, along with 708 additional fatalities. Topics :last_img read more

Lakers win the first battle for Los Angeles

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error What rivalry, indeed? Those banners were on the wall, but that wasn’t what the Lakers used to mesmerize the Clippers.It was a huge dose of energy off the bench, an onslaught of relatively unknowns, that turned a close, hard-fought battle into a rout as the unheralded Lakers opened the season with a 116-103 victory over the Clippers on Tuesday night at Staples Center.“They’ve been doing it,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said of his reserves, who piled up 76 points. “They showed it in preseason. They’ve been good. They turned the gas on.“Our guys had one of those nights where we did it. The only thing I told them is we have a chance to win 82 games.” Jordan Farmar had 16 points and six assists, Jodie Meeks had 13 points, Jordan Hill 12 and Chris Kaman 10 as the Lakers bench mob outscored the starters by 36 points. The Lakers scored 41 points in the fourth quarter.“It’s disappointing but it shows we have room for growth, obviously,” Clippers reserve guard Jamal Crawford said. “You tip your hat to them. They played a solid game, but for us it showed we have room for growth and work to do.”“(Rivers) has been there before, he has that credibility and he’s seen it all, so I think the next time he says something like that, we’ll take heed.”Blake Griffin scored 19 points and DeAndre Jordan had 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for the Clippers. Chris Paul had 15 points and 11 assists and J.J. Redick had 13 points, but was scoreless in the second half.Pau Gasol had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who were the home team in the first of four regular-season meetings.The Clippers swept the four matchups last season on the way to their first Pacific Division title.The Clippers started fast with the shooting for Redick, who scored 12 of his 13 first-half points in the first quarter. In the second quarter, they turned to Griffin, who scored 13 points in the period.Gasol had 13 points and nine rebounds and led the Lakers with three assists in the first half, which included a couple of dust-ups.The first came when when former Lakers instigator Matt Barnes fouled Shawne Williams hard as he drove to the hoop. Barnes was hit with a flagrant foul on the play.Clippers center Jordan, who scored 10 points in the first half, picked up a flagrant foul of his own when he fouled Young hard around the basket later in the second quarter.Young, playing the guard spot that Bryant will reclaim, missed all three of his shots in the first quarter, then picked up eight points in the second period.The Clippers started fast in the third quarter and jumped out to a 63-55 lead, prompting D’Antoni to call a timeout. The Lakers responded and took a 66-65 lead on a 3-pointer by Steve Blake with 6:57 left in the third.Rivers answered with a timeout of his own.D’Antoni started Shawne Williams at forward instead of Kaman, who has been battling an illness. But that may be the way the Lakers play it, since D’Antoni wants to spread the floor, let Gasol work underneath while surrounded by a shooting cast.“Chemistry means a lot and they’re good guys and very coachable,” D’Antoni said. “They want to win and are doing everything right. When you do that, they have a chance.“You don’t need one guys to be a star every night.”The concern for the Clippers had to be their bench, which averaged 41 points per game last season but the Lakers reserves outscored them, 28-10, in the first half.center_img It was a moment of vindication for the Lakers, who took the court not knowing when Kobe Bryant would be able to join them as his Achilles’ tendon tear continues to heal.But when you have the likes of Xavier Henry — yes, that one — lead a bench show that resembled what the Clippers did last season.Five Lakers came off the bench to score in double figures, with Henry scoring a career-high 22, with 14 coming in the second half.The Lakers’ reserves scored the team’s final 48 points as they erased a 79-75 deficit after three quarters.“I thought this was going to be a brutally tough game. I kept saying it all week,” said Doc Rivers, who made his debut as Clippers coach. “That team heard for four or five months how good we are. I told our guys tonight we’re fighting human nature. That team is coming after you with everything they have. I don’t know if you can match that, and at the end of the day we did not.”last_img read more

About Town

first_imgRUMSONThe Rumson Country Day School will hold its 44th annual rummage sale, A Whale of a Sale, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, and from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at the school, located at Bellevue Avenue and Ridge Road.Each year, parents and many of the students, faculty, administration, staff, alumni, and friends work together to collect, sort, and display a huge assortment of items in the school’s Blake Gymnasium. The job is such a large undertaking that collection of the items for sale often begins months in advance.The rummage sale is one of the most important fundraisers at The Rumson Country Day School, as all proceeds of the sale are devoted to the financial aid program, providing financial assistance to many children who attend the school. The best selection and bargains will be found on Saturday, April 20. Those attending on Sunday, April 21, will be able pay one price and fit all they can into a bag provided by the school.During the week prior to the sale, the gymnasium becomes a beehive of activity as trip after trip is made to stock the gym with donated items. The donations are carefully sorted to cull the best items for the special boutique sections of women’s and children’s clothing and accessories. In addition, the silent auction area is stocked with furniture, antiques, china, crystal and collectibles.Not to be missed is the wide assortment of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing at incredible bargain prices. Particularly popular is the sporting goods section where the selection often includes golf clubs, ski and hockey equipment, and exercise apparatus.Like any good rummage sale, there is also a huge selection of home furnishings, kitchenware, general home goods, bric-a-brac and toys. There will also be a large book section where attendees can stock up on current novels, cookbooks, children’s books, how-to books and more. The Community Foundation of New Jersey has announced that The Jonathan Maslow Scholarship, which it administers on behalf of members of the Red Bank Regional High School (RBRHS) Class of 1966, is accepting applications for the fall 2013 term.The Jonathan Maslow Scholarship is open to all RBRHS juniors and seniors who plan to continue their education at an accredited 2 or 4-year college immediately following their graduation.Scholarships will be awarded to students exhibiting exceptionally high levels of written proficiency, creativity, and originality, as well as an interest in local or national environmental causes, journalism or creative writing.The scholarship award is $5,000.Maslow, a 1966 graduate of RBRHS, was an accomplished author, journalist, documentary filmmaker, naturalist and environmentalist.  At the time of his death in 2008 he was an editor and columnist for the Herald News in Paterson. His accomplishments as a journalist and his commitment to his community are reflected in the many awards bestowed on him, including The New Jersey Press Association for Responsible Journalism and the Joseph M. Sklenar Editorial Award.Never one to shy away from a challenge, Maslow covered civil strife in Central America, helped save a library in the City of Passaic, fought vigorously to help clean up the Passaic River and championed efforts to make politicians accountable for their actions.Any student wishing to obtain an application may do so at www.cfnj.org.The deadline for applications is April 13.For more information or with questions, please contact Faith Krueger at the Community Foundation of New Jersey at 973-267-5533. MIDDLETOWNThe Art Society of Monmouth County will feature a demonstration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, by professional photographer Michael Dellert at the Middletown Public Library, New Monmouth Road.Dellert will discuss and show his professional photography techniques and answer any questions. He’s a graduate of Penn State School of Fine Arts.Admission is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. WEST LONG BRANCHMonmouth University’s Jewish Cultural Studies Program presents the Honorable Daniel Kurtzer from 7:45 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in Wilson Hall Auditorium.Kurtzer served as U.S. ambassador to Israel from 2001-2005 and as U.S. ambassador to Egypt from 1997-2001. Currently a professor of Middle Eastern Policy Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, Kurtzer will discuss the current situation in Middle East.The event is free of charge and open to the public.Organized by the Jewish Cultural Studies Program and the Office for Global Initiatives, the event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Monmouth County.For more information please contact 732-571-4474.Monmouth University appreciates the generosity of a group of Hollywood Golf Club members who enable multiyear support for the Monmouth University Jewish Cultural Studies Program. Middletown Lions ‘Roar for the Shore’ with DonationMembers of the Middletown Lions Club recently presented a check for $2,000 to officials for the township’s disaster relief fund. The money was the proceeds from the organization’s annual pancake breatfast, held just before Super Bowl Sunday last month.Middletown Lions Club President Larry Caminiti, left, presents a check to Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, center, and Committeeman Tony Fiore for the Middletown Disaster Relief Fund. The money was raised through the Lions’ annual pancake breakfast.The Lions, appropriately, decided to ‘roar for the shore’ and support the Middletown Disaster Relief Fund, a charitable organization started by former mayor and current Township Committeeman Tony Fiore to assist Middletown residents impacted by Super Storm Sandy. Event Chair Lion John Giordano said the Middletown Lions Club has a long-standing tradition of responding to the immediate and urgent needs of the community.“In light of the destruction caused by the storm, the club did not question that the funds from the breakfast should be dedicated to helping our friends and neighbors in Middletown this year,” Giordano said. “We want to do whatever we can to help residents restore their lives and their homes.”The check was presented to Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger for the disaster fund during the township committee’s Feb. 19 meeting.“The Middletown Lions Club is always there for the community,” Scharfenberger said.Information on the Middletown Disaster Relief Fund is available at www.middletownnj.org and mwww.middletownrelief.com or by calling the mayor’s office at 732-615-2024.The Middletown Lions Club, chartered in 1946 through Lions International, is a volunteer service organization consisting of men and women who help the community through charitable service projects and fundraising initiatives and programs. The club meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. For more information, visit the website at www.mlions.org.center_img * * * * *A few years ago a group of dedicated volunteers began getting together to tend to the rose beds at Riverside Gardens Park on Front Street.The rose beds had suffered from years of neglect and volunteers spent hours cutting back the roses, removing dead wood, weeding, and digging out invasive vines. Scouts, high school students and community members have worked at the gardens dozens of times throughout the growing season.All this hard work pays off and the roses flower beautifully every spring and summer for months on end.The friends of Riverside Gardens will meet at the park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9, for the first time this year. All members of the community are invited to join in helping to maintain and improve this valuable public treasure. Participants are asked to wear warm clothes and work gloves. Bottled water will be provided.The rain date is March 16. For more information, contact Bob Hespe at hespeb@aol.com. RED BANKAs part of its Community Haiti Response Initiative, Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank is sponsoring an Adopt-A-Family Program to feed families in the community of La’Cajou, Haiti.A donation of $250 means the sponsor can provide a 50-pound bag of rice and fuel every three months for a year to a family in need in Haiti.The church’s Haiti Response Initiative has partnered with Aslan Ministries, Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention and the Seacoast Missionary Baptist Association to facilitate the program.Sponsorship registration forms and additional information is available by calling 732-747-2343. Scholarship Opportunity Available for RBR Studentslast_img read more