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N E W S B R I E F S

$300 Million National Settlement with Drug Manufacturers Reached; Maryland to Receive $2 Million
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. is among 48 plaintiffs that have reached settlements, in principle, with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Bayer Corporation for violating the federal Medicaid drug rebate statute. The defendants were alleged to have failed to report “best price” information and failed to pay sufficient rebates to the state Medicaid programs in connection with their private labeling of certain drugs for health maintenance organizations.

In addition to the settlement, amounting to a total of $87,600,922 in damages and penalties to the federal government and the states, GSK will enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. GSK will be required to certify its “best price” methodology, adding new responsibility for the manufacturer and enhancing future state enforcement.

Bayer has agreed to pay $242,126,570 in damages and penalties to the federal and state governments for purposefully misreporting its “best price” and underpaying its Medicaid rebates for Cipro and Adalat CC.

These combined settlements represent the largest national Medicaid fraud settlements ever.

Source: Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

Pride of Baltimore II Plans Trade Mission to Cuba
The Maryland tallship Pride of Baltimore II will embark on a trade mission to Cuba May 24-28. The trip, organized by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, will focus on the possible export of goods from Maryland agricultural and food businesses to Cuba. The ship will host several meetings and receptions with the Cuban trade delegation during the mission. The mission is federally-licensed and looks to increase agricultural trade between Maryland and Cuba. Such trade is an authorized exemption from the U.S.-imposed trade embargo.
New Report Shows the Flaws of Public Schools in Diagnosing Dyslexic Children
According to a report by Kalman R. Hettleman of The Abell Foundation, 20 percent of children in Baltimore City public schools and other urban districts can be called ‘invisible dyslexics’ because of the failure of public school systems to diagnose the condition early.

Discrimination against low-IQ and low-income children, Hettleman believes, has allowed dyslexic children to slip through the cracks, resulting in late diagnoses or no diagnoses at all.

The full report, titled “The Invisible Dyslexics: How Public School Systems in Baltimore and Elsewhere Discriminate Against Poor Children in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Early Reading Difficulties,” is available for download at abell.org.

New Report Focuses on Shrinking U.S. Cities and Strategies for Their Renewal
According to a report from the Community Development Partnership Network (CDPN), the prosperity of U.S. cities in the 1990s could not prevent the marginal growth and loss of residents experienced in cities with populations of 100,000 or more, which included Baltimore.

The report, supported in part by the Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative (BNC), gave nine suggestions to revitalize these “weak market cities” including partnership approaches and sophisticated market analysis.

“Our work over the last decade shows us that Baltimore’s successful programs to combat further population loss and shore up its stagnant economy need to be grounded in creative, market-oriented policies that involve new, more collaborative coalitions,” says BNC director Ann Sherrill.

The major problems of weaker market cities are low home value and equity, a diminishing tax base, which causes services to become scarcer, and a higher likelihood of people being poor and lacking social programs.

To combat these hindrances, home ownership could help cities build wealth. However, Kim Burnett, executive director of CDPN notes, “Yet in places like Baltimore, owning a home is not always an asset-building strategy. To help people in these cities accumulate wealth, we must start promoting policies and programs that build markets, stabilize housing values and provide access to jobs and other opportunities.”

Baltimore serves as a prime example of a city that has taken a step in the right direction with the Baltimore Regional Partnership, which supports home improvements in older urban and suburban areas, preserves land and encourages a regional workforce and efficient public transportation. This, in addition to a handful of other pilot initiatives, is part of Baltimore’s coalition-minded strategy to rebuild communities in the city and attract more residents.

Local Observatory Welcomes Stargazers
Located just minutes from Baltimore in Glen Rock, PA, The Spoutwood Farm Center Observatory holds “Evenings of Wonder Under the Stars” one Friday a month through November 28. Sessions begin at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine, and end at 10 p.m. and include breathtaking telescopic views of the moon, planets, stars and galaxies. Groups are encouraged to reserve places in advance by calling 717-235-6610 or 410-889-5996. Visit the observatory’s website at spoutwood.com for more information.
Pratt Library to Hold Free Fundraising Workshops
The Enoch Pratt Free Library will hold free fundraising workshops for nonprofit and community groups from May 5—June 23. Classes are taught by industry professionals.

Mon., May 5, 9:30 a.m.—4 p.m., Central Library, Poe Room—“Program Development”

Tues., May 13, 10:15 a.m.—12 p.m., Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium—“Grantseeking Basics: An Orientation to the Funding Research Process”

Wed., May 28, 6—7:30 p.m., Central Library, Poe Room—“Nonprofit Networking Night”

Tues., June 10, 9:30 a.m.—4 p.m., Central Library, Poe Room—“Proposal Writing”

Wed., June 18, 9:30 a.m.—12 p.m., Central Library, Poe Room—“How to Find Baltimore Neighborhood Information”

Mon., June 23, 6—7:30 p.m., Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium—“Introduction to Fundraising Resources at the Pratt Library”

Registration is required. Call 410-396-1413 or email ssh@epfl.net

University of Md. Medical Center To Open New Surgical Facility in May
The University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore will open the country’s newest, most technologically-advanced surgical facility in May. Housed in the Center’s new Weinberg Building, the 52,000-square-foot facility will feature 19 operating rooms, two minor procedure rooms, a 28-bed post-anesthesia care unit, a same-day surgery center, and a surgical prep center for pre-operative assessments. The most advanced video and communications equipment will enhance patient safety and operational efficiency in the facility.


Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on May 10, 2003.
  
MAY 2003
LOCAL NEWS
5.10NEWS BRIEFS
5.7CALENDAR
5.13Maryland’s Economy Could Profit From Renewable Energy
5.13Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Residents Collaborate with City Government to Plan for the Future of Small Towns in the City
5.13Pro-Mass Transit Activists Plan Protests of MTA Rate Increases
5.13Fordham University Study of Baltimore Schools Shows Worst-Qualified Teachers More Likely in Poor and Minority Schools
5.13Volunteers Conduct City’s First Comprehensive Baltimore Homeless Census
5.7A Call for "Affirmative Access" in Library Service
5.7Ask the Plant and Pest Professor
5.8Preakness ’03; Plus, the NFL Drafts a New Round of Millionaires
4.19The City's Neighborhoods Have Become the Poor Stepchildren
4.5The State of Giving in Maryland 2002
4.4 City to Celebrate 175th Anniversary of Railroading
LETTERS
5.13 Letters
ART & ENTERTAINMENT
5.13Quotes: Quotes from Women
5.13Book: Joe DiMaggio Gets Lawyered-Up
5.13Book: Leo Bretholz’s Memoir Tells of Being Liberated Twice
NEWS MEDIA CRITIQUE
5.13SARS: More Panic than Peril?
4.14Who's Paying for those Embedded Journalists?
4.4Fla. Court Rules It’s Legal for Press to Lie
SPEAKING OUT
5.19EDITORIAL: Beware the Governor's Executive Order
5.19EDITORIAL: Governor Does the Right Thing
5.20Mothers' Day Proclamation
5.13What's Wrong with Looting? It's the American Way!
5.13The Magic Onion
5.13CEO's at Defense Contractors Earn 45% More
5.13Licensed to Kill
5.13Leave Bill Bennett Alone
5.13“Candid Camera on Crack,” and Other Social Ills
5.13Vampires Who Suck Liberty: How Banks Keep Americans Indentured to Debt
5.13Whose Oil? Our Oil!
5.13Let’s Explore the Roots of Our Violent Culture
5.7Kelly the Hawk Meets the Old Iraqi Warrior
5.7The Shocking Mess in Iraq
5.8The Night After: An Israeli’s Thoughts about the War
5.8Freud on War: Civilization’s Obscene Ghost
4.10On Getting Inspired (and Snubbed) by Ralph Nader
4.9Q & A with Greg Palast
4.5The War President Is Waging a Multi-Faceted Battle on the Domestic Front
NATION & WORLD
5.13CARDIN WARNS THAT BUSH TAX CUT WILL HURT
5.13Though Nation’s Unemployment Rate Is Increasing, Benefits Are Set To Expire May 31
5.13The Great Progressive Rate Scam
5.10Noted Journalist James Fallows Previews “The War after the War”
5.7Israeli Major Brings Message of Peace to Baltimore
5.7The Right Way To Rebuild Iraq
4.4Survey Declares Two-Thirds of US Pension Plans ‘Underfunded’
4.4After Iraq, What? Can the US Occupy and Police the Whole World?
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