Kentucky's attorney general has sued a drug maker, accusing the company of misleading consumers about a diabetes drug in a state plagued by high rates of the disease.
The suit claims that GlaxoSmithKline overstated the effectiveness of the prescription drug Avandia and hid its risks.
Attorney General Jack Conway says the drug maker claimed that Avandia could reduce cardiovascular risks faced by diabetics. The lawsuit claims the drug actually increases those cardiovascular risks.
The suit filed this week in Franklin County Circuit Court in Frankfort accuses the company of violating the state's Consumer Protection Act. The suit seeks an injunction against the company and civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation.
GSK spokesman Kevin Colgan says the company acted properly in studying and marketing the drug.
Audio of WKU Public Radio's story about a new breast cancer radiation program in Kentucky
When Brenda Bradley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, she had no idea she would soon become one of the first American women to undergo a radically different approach to radiation treatment.
Bradley lives in the Hardin County town of Stephensburg with her husband, Tony. After Brenda received a lumpectomy, she and Tony discussed radiation treatment options with Dr. Anthony Dragun at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville.
“And he asked would we be willing to become part of a study," recalls Brenda. "And we talked about it and went back and said ‘absolutely.’”
The program Dr. Dragun was proposing would drastically cut down on the traveling time and number of radiation sessions Brenda Bradley would endure. Instead of driving from Stephensburg to Louisville five days a week for up to seven weeks, Dr. Dragun told Brenda she could instead receive radiation once a week for five weeks.
“And he got us from 30 or 35 treatments to five. And we’ve never had a reason to look back. It worked so well, it was unbelievable,” the Hardin County native says.
Representatives of the state's health department and various hospital executives say almost two years later they are still having payment issues with Medicaid managed care organizations.
Speaking before a House budget subcommittee on health issues, the two groups described situations in which payment for care they administrated months ago were still outstanding claims.
Scott Lockard works in the Clark County Health Department and told lawmakers the state public health department was still owed more than $18 million in late payments. More than $14 million of that is with Kentucky Spirit, which is trying to break its contract and leave the system.
But he added that conversations about those payments are ongoing.
A bill aimed at allowing victims of sexual assault to ask for quick HIV testing of their alleged attackers has cleared the Kentucky House.
Under current laws, only prosecutors can ask for HIV testing of the accused person, and they can only ask after a conviction. The bill would allow a victim or the prosecutor to ask for such a test before a conviction.
Bill sponsor Joni Jenkins says medical advances can prevent HIV from advancing into AIDS if caught early, but convictions often take up to three years.
"So it's critical for victims to know the offender's HIV status as soon as possible and not wait 1 to 3 years for the completion of trial for such information," said Rep. Jenkins.
A certified nurse midwife in central Kentucky has applied to open the first alternative birthing center in the state.
Mary Carol Akers told The News Enterprise that she thinks women in Kentucky should have more birthing options and has applied to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family for a certificate of need in order to build and operate the Visitation Birth and Family Wellness Center in Elizabethtown.
The certificate is required to safeguard against having too many health care facilities.
Cabinet spokeswoman Beth Fisher says there are no other alternative birthing centers licensed in the state.
"I want you to know that women deserve another option," Akers said.
Supporters of a statewide smoking ban brought high-profile help from the world of sports while rallying Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda for their cause.
Urging Kentucky lawmakers to pass a statewide smoking ban, Gov. Steve Beshear and former University of Kentucky basketball player Derek Anderson spoke in favor of House Bill 190 at the rally. Currently more than 20 Kentucky communities have smoke-free laws, spanning across the state. And recent polls said that most Kentuckians support a ban.
Based on those facts, state Rep. Julie Raque Adam says the bill should be passed with bipartisan support.
"This is not a Republican or Democrat issue," said Raque Adams, a Louisville Republican who is sponsoring a House bill. "It's just one that makes sense for public health and Kentucky's economy."
The Kentucky Senate on Wednesday approved that sets up a panel to review abuse cases from nursing homes.
Three doctors would be put on the panel to review abuse cases; the bill would not prevent patients from filing lawsuits, but the findings from the panel could be admissible in court.
The Senate approved Senate Bill 9 on a party-line vote—Republican for, Democrats against.
The bill sponsor, Sen. Julie Denton, a Louisville Republican, said the goal is to crack down on bad lawsuits, while still protecting nursing home patients.
"No one wants to see someone hurt, someone abused, someone neglected and I'm not here to say there aren't some horrible things that have happened to people and that they don't deserve justice, because they do and this in no way precludes that," Denton said.
A bill requiring Kentucky Medicaid managed care operators publish a list of prescriptions and reimbursement prices on Wednesday passed a state Senate committee, following prodding from independent pharmacists asking for access to pricing standards before they fill prescriptions.
The group of independent pharmacists told lawmakers that they are still having trouble with reimbursements from the state's Medicaid managed care operators. And they said they were also still being dramatically undercut on prescription reimbursements when they did receive them.
Pharmacist Jonathan Van Lahr said his goal was to see transparency in the process.
"We are not asking to be paid exorbitant prices for these medications we dispense, just not to lose money. Or at least, let me know I'm going to lose money before I fill it," he says.
Officials in a southern Kentucky city have decided to ban smoking.
The Times-Tribune reports Williamsburg City Council gave final approval on Monday to an ordinance that bans smoking in most public places, including restaurants, bars, pool halls and public areas of hotels and apartment buildings.
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said he is a former smoker, but the duty of officials is to "protect everybody."
The ordinance gives employers 30 days to inform workers about the smoking ban.
Someone at the Department of Children's Services redacted numerous pages of information about child fatalities in meeting minutes that were provided to the media.
DCS spokeswoman Molly Sudderth told The Tennessean the department is still investigating who redacted the information and why.
Because the documents were redacted on a computer, it was impossible to tell that many sentences and paragraphs had been completely removed. These included potentially damaging information about caseworker actions.
The meeting minutes of the department's internal Child Fatality Review Team were requested by The Tennessean and The Associated Press.