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Docs Charged With Selling Samples

15 Mar 2016 
Federal prosecutors have charged three pharmacists and two doctors with selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drug samples that were supposed to have been given to patients for free.

Prosecutors in criminal cases filed Monday accused the doctors of selling pharmacists thousands of free pills given to them by pharmaceutical companies as part of promotional programs.

The pharmacists then punched the pills out of their sample-size packets and mingled them with other medications for resale to patients, the government claimed.

Information about the drugs' expiration dates and lot numbers were lost in the process, making it impossible for patients to know when the medications expired, or identify pills with potential problems in the event of a product recall.

The defendants face fines and potential jail time if convicted.

One pharmacist, Mark Rubin, 51, of Bucks County, allegedly paid doctors and pharmaceutical company representatives $500,000 for the "free" samples, then resold them at a profit.

His attorney did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment Monday.

2004 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Rousseff in survival mode after historic Brazil protests

15 Mar 2016 
Rousseff in survival mode after historic Brazil protests - Yahoo News

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Brazil's leftist President Dilma Rousseff huddled with cabinet ministers Monday after mass demonstrations calling for her resignation pushed Latin America's biggest country further into crisis.

Rousseff made no comment after her meeting in the capital Brasilia, but in the wake of Sunday's protests, she is fighting for her political life.

Between one and three million people flooded the streets of Sao Paulo, Rio, Brasilia and some 400 other cities, according to conflicting data.

Turnout in Sao Paulo was estimated at 500,000 by the research center Datafolha and 1.4 million by the Sao Paulo military police. The figures surpassed estimates by either organization in previous opposition demonstrations.

Protesters said they were fed up with the country's worst recession in 25 years, a massive corruption scandal unfolding at state oil company Petrobras and the government's complete inability to pass laws in Congress.

The historic rebuff on the streets left Rousseff few options as another grueling week started, with Congress geared up to relaunch stalled impeachment proceedings.

View galleryHuge crowds took to the streets of Brazil on Sunday…Huge crowds took to the streets of Brazil on Sunday to call for the resignation of President Dilma R ...

An attempt to impeach the country's first female president began last year but fizzled out on technicalities.

On Wednesday or Thursday, the Supreme Court is expected to set out the rules, opening the door for Rousseff's many enemies in the legislature to ramp up the pressure.

- Lula facing corruption judge -

In parallel to the political assault against Rousseff, her mentor and predecessor as president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, faces money laundering charges related to the Petrobras probe.

State prosecutors who had filed criminal charges and requested detention for Lula transferred their case to the federal judge already investigating the leftist icon in a parallel case.

View galleryDemonstrators demand the resignation of Brazilian President…Demonstrators demand the resignation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in a protest in Sao Paulo ...

This would concentrate Lula's fate in the hands of Judge Sergio Moro, the relentless head of the probe into the Petrobras corruption scheme.

For Rousseff, the legal onslaught threatens a key ally.

Lula, who founded the ruling Workers' Party and was president from 2003-2010, is far more popular than she is and provides much of her credibility with the left-wing base.

There have been persistent Brazilian media reports that Rousseff is offering Lula a ministerial post in a last-ditch attempt to keep prosecutors at bay.

If he joins the government, his case would be out of Moro's jurisdiction and transferred to the Supreme Court.

View galleryA woman protests against Brazilian President Dilma…A woman protests against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de Janeiro on March 13, 2016 (AFP ...

Lula, who vigorously denies the allegations of corruption, says that prosecutors have only spurred him into deciding on a comeback attempt as president when Rousseff's second term ends in 2018.

"I am an old man who was trying to rest," Lula, 70, told police 10 days ago when he was briefly detained for questioning in the Petrobras probe.

"I will be a candidate for the presidency in 2018, because I think a lot of the people who've been on my back will be getting the same treatment from me from now on," he said, according to a transcript released Monday.

- Running out of friends --

Planning the next election may be premature with Rousseff battling just to survive her second term.

View galleryBrazilian protesters say they are fed up with the country's…Brazilian protesters say they are fed up with the country's worst recession in 25 years (AFP Pho ...

The impeachment case rests on allegations that Rousseff's government illegally manipulated accounts to boost public spending during her 2014 re-election campaign.

During the first push last year, analysts reckoned that Rousseff could still get enough votes from sympathetic deputies to survive. That is becoming less clear.

Her Workers' Party is in a shaky coalition with the bigger PMDB. On Saturday, a PMDB congress discussed pulling out altogether, with a decision to be taken in 30 days.

Relations between the Workers' Party and the PMDB have been strained for a long time. But the PMDB leader Michel Temer is Rousseff's vice president and as such would replace her automatically should she be impeached -- a tempting incentive for the biggest party in Congress.

Analysts said all parties were watching the protest turnout on Sunday and that the big crowds could help push wavering deputies to support impeachment.

"This has been a very bad weekend for the government," said analyst Sergio Praca at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio.

"The demonstrations were very powerful... It's the worst scenario possible for the government."

An indicator of how much support the Workers' Party can still muster will come this Friday, when Rousseff supporters plan their own street protests.

Company Legal & Law MattersPolitics & GovernmentDilma RousseffLula

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