County completes tracing on tainted sanitizer

Forsyth County officials say they’ve identified and made contact with all the companies in Winston-Salem that recently received bottles of hand sanitizer that tests showed contain methanol, a toxic substance.

Kyle Haney, the administrator of the county’s economic development program, said work is underway to exchange all of the tainted bottles with different sanitizers free of methanol.

The county distributed about 200 17-ounce bottles of Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer before learning that the sanitizer was on a list of sanitizers determined to contain methanol by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

On Thursday, Haney contacted the recipients of about half the bottles.

The remainder were identified and contacted Friday.

“We have already exchanged some and are coordinating to exchange the rest at the beginning of the week,” Haney said.

The county distribution was part of a larger program to help businesses by providing them with personal protection equipment.

Methanol can be poisonous to touch and fatal if consumed. Hand sanitizers should contain ethanol, a safer alcohol compound.

Wesley Young

N.C. gains $179,000 from pharmaceutical kickback settlement

North Carolina will receive $179,152 from a multi-state Medicaid settlement involving Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. and allegations of kickbacks to healthcare providers.

The company, based in Parsippany, N.J., will pay an overall fine of $3.5 million, plus interest, the federal government and 15 states. The case is part of a whistleblower lawsuit filed in federal court in New Jersey.

The settlement resolves allegations that from Dec. 1, 2012, through April 30, 2015, Pacira paid kickbacks in the form of research grants to certain healthcare providers or institutions to increase sales of its product Exparel.

The drug is a single-dose injectable local anesthetic indicated for the treatment of post-surgical pain.

The U.S. government and state attorneys general claimed that Pacira’s conduct violated the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, along with the N.C. False Claims Statute that resulted in the submission of false claims to the N.C. Medicaid program.

Richard Craver

Officials: Man cited for taking federally protected coral

KEY LARGO, Fla. — A North Carolina man visiting the Florida Keys stole large pieces of federally protected coral, authorities said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded Wednesday night to a Key Largo condominium complex and issued the man a notice to appear in court for violating the Endangered Species Act, the Miami Herald reported.

FWC investigators had been tipped off that someone had coral out on a balcony at the Landings of Largo. Officers identified it as staghorn coral. The man told officers he was in the Keys for the two-day lobster miniseason, which ended Thursday night.

Staghorn coral can form dense groups called thickets in very shallow water, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service. The coral provides an important habitat for other reef animals, especially fish.

FWC said the coral found Wednesday was taken in for genetic testing.

The Associated Press

Load comments