Probe of pharmacist's misdeeds expands KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Doctors at Kansas City Internal Medicine have begun a grim and laborious process of studying medical records and other documents from pharmacist Robert Courtney to identify patients who may have been given watered-down drugs.
Based on interviews with Courtney following his guilty pleas, the FBI now believes he may have diluted drug mixtures prescribed for 4,200 patients since at least 1992.
That could include as many as 2,500 patients of Kansas City Internal Medicine, said clinic lawyer Patrick McInerney.
"I don't think we had any idea" of the number of possible victims, McInerney said. "You assume the worst, but now you know the worst."
Courtney, 49, pleaded guilty in February to 20 counts of tampering and adulterating or misbranding the chemotherapy drugs Taxol and Gemzar. Prosecutors say Courtney did it to pocket hundreds of dollars per dose.
At the time, authorities said they had confirmed that the diluted drugs went to 34 patients.
But Courtney's plea agreement required him to tell prosecutors everything he knew about the dilutions. Based on his latest statements, the FBI now believes he watered down 72 types of medication, including antibiotics, AIDS medicine, and anti-nausea medications. All the drugs were administered intravenously or by injection.
Track cleared, trains running CRESCENT CITY, Fla. - The track where an Amtrak Auto Train derailed in a deadly mess of mangled cars and rails was cleared Sunday, allowing the first trains to pass through this northern Florida town since the accident.
The original tracks were torn out by Thursday's derailment, which killed four people and injured more than 150. The first coal train that moved through Sunday morning was on temporary rails, said Gary Sease, spokesman for CSX, the freight railroad that owns the track.
The 39-foot-long sections of temporary track can hold slow-moving trains at 10 mph. The company plans to make improvements this week to allow the temporary tracks to withstand faster trains. He said an average of 28 trains a day are normally scheduled there.
The Auto Train had been headed for Washington with 418 passengers and 34 crew members, as well as 200 automobiles stacked in 23 cars, when it derailed Thursday.
3 Alaskans receive environmental prize SAN FRANCISCO - Three Alaskans who have dedicated themselves to preventing oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were among the latest recipients of the the Goldman Environmental Prize, given annually to people around the world who strive to protect the environment.
Jonathon Solomon, Sarah James and Norma Kassi are members of the Gwich'in nation and live north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory. They have testified before Congress, negotiated agreements to protect wildlife, and traveled the world to fight plans to open the 1.5 million acre coastal plain of the Alaskan refuge.
The three winners will receive $125,000 from the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Foundation.
Gas prices go down slightly CAMARILLO, Calif. - Gasoline prices edged down more than half a cent in the past two weeks despite tensions in oil-producing regions in the Middle East and South America.
Friday's weighted price per gallon for all grades and taxes was about $1.46, according to the Lundberg survey of 8,000 gas stations nationwide.
The decrease - the first since Feb. 8 - could be a sign that gasoline prices, which generally spike during the summer months, may have peaked, said analyst Trilby Lundberg.
"At the very least the gasoline price hikes have been stalled," Lundberg said. "And this is despite dramatic headlines out of two key oil producing countries - Iraq and Venezuela."
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