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Suspicious Prescriptions for HIV Drugs Abound in Medicare

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds Medicare spent tens of millions of dollars in 2012 for HIV drugs there’s little evidence patients needed. A 77-year-old woman with no record of HIV got $33,500 of medication.

When Freedom Summer Landed in White America’s Living Rooms

An iconic civil rights print hung in one rural Maine home and helped shape a family’s commitment to justice.

Pro-Troop Charity Misleads Donors While Lining Political Consultants’ Pockets

Move America Forward has collected millions to send care packages to U.S. troops. But its appeals often rely on images and stories borrowed without permission, and its assets have been used to benefit political consulting firms and PACs.

Cuomo’s Office Denies Using Private Email Accounts. But it Does.

Aides to the governor have used private accounts, which can help hide communications on public business, despite state rules barring the practice.

The Obscure Drug With a Growing Medicare Tab

Experts question the effectiveness of H.P. Acthar Gel, a drug made from pigs’ pituitary glands. Yet it cost Medicare more than $141 million in 2012, up from $7 million in 2008.

Top Acthar Prescribers in Medicare Have Ties to Its Maker

The top four prescribers of the drug were promotional speakers, researchers or consultants.

Glitch Prompts Temporary Shutdown of Pharma Payment Verification System

The government had to take offline its system for doctors to verify payments from drug companies after at least one doctor had payments attributed to him that actually went to someone else.

Podcast: What to Look for in Federal Release of Payments From Big Pharma

Senior reporter Charles Ornstein on the significance of the data due to be made public next month under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.

Drug-Addicted Docs Running Clinical Trials and More in Muckreads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

Lobbyists Bidding to Block Government Regs Set Sights on Secretive White House Office

When Washington lobbyists fail to derail regulations proposed by federal agencies, they often find a receptive ear within the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an arm of the White House Office of Management and Budget that conducts much of its business in secret.

Murdoch’s Circle: The Growing News International Scandal

From phone hacking to bribery, the corruption at News International has involved many players -- increasingly, ones close to Rupert Murdoch. We’ve mapped out the players involved in this growing debacle, organized by their proximity to Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and other senior staff.

Report Criticizes EPA Oversight of Injection Wells

The Government Accountability Office says environmental regulators are failing to adequately enforce rules for wells used to dispose of toxic waste from drilling.

Campus Sexual Assault: What Are Colleges Doing Wrong?

We’ve rounded up cases and coverage that show the persistence of sexual violence at colleges.

Podcast: ‘No Credit? Need Credit?’ It’ll Cost You

Reporter Paul Kiel talks about the ways installment-loan lenders skirt the law to get customers on the payment treadmill – and then into court.

USA Discounters Responds to ProPublica Article

The company says ProPublica “inaccurately” portrayed its policies regarding military customers, but cites no errors.

The Catholic Church’s Bogus Healer and More in MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

For Lenders, Gaps in Federal Law Make Suing Soldiers Easy

Courts are required to appoint attorneys for service members if they are sued and can’t appear. But the law says little about what those lawyers must do. Some companies have taken advantage.

Thank You for Your Service: How One Company Sues Soldiers Worldwide

With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands.

Insta-Loophole: In Florida, High-Cost Lender Skirts the Law

Despite a ban on high-interest car title loans, the nation’s largest title lender has opened 26 Instaloan stores in Florida, offering a refashioned version of the loans that effectively charge the same sky-high rates the law was designed to stop.

September 2014

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