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What We're Reading: Talc and Asbestos; CVS Health CEO Outlines Plans; HHS to Probe Border Death

AJMC Staff
Reuters examined internal J&J documents as well as court records and said they show that, from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, while the company denies the claim; Larry Merlo, chief executive officer of CVS Health, said he expects 15% to 20% of the drugstores to include an in-store medical clinic; HHS' internal watchdog will investigate the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl after she was detained by US border agents. 

J&J Knew About Asbestos in Talc, Reuters Claims

Reuters examined internal J&J documents as well as court records and said they show that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos. The wire service said that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers worried about the problem but failed to publicly disclose it. The company denied the news, which caused its stock to fall 10% on Friday.

 

CVS Health CEO Outlines Plans for Clinics While Waiting for Federal Judge to Approve

In an interview with the Associated Press, Larry Merlo, chief executive officer of CVS Health, said he expects 15% to 20% of the drugstores to include an in-store medical clinic, but he said there are no plans to replace a consumer’s primary care physician. Meanwhile, a federal judge has set a hearing for December 18 about its purchase of Aetna, which was cleared by the Department of Justice. The judge, Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, wrote in an order that he was "less convinced" than the government that the agreement would resolve antitrust concerns and has seemed annoyed that CVS closed its purchase of Aetna in October before his ruling.

 

HHS Watchdog to Investigate Death of Guatemalan Girl at US Border

HHS' internal watchdog will investigate the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl after she was detained by US border agents. The Trump administration defended the treatment of the child, identified as Jakelin Caal by a Guatemalan official, and said there was no indication that she had any medical problems until several hours after she and her father were taken into US custody on December 6. Initial news reports said Caal died of dehydration and exhaustion. Officials said later she had suffered cardiac arrest, brain swelling and liver failure, Reuters reported.

 
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