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August 19, 2013
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Dr. Segun Rasaki, an Indianapolis physician, has been charged with 24 felonies for allegedly prescribing controlled substances such as hydrocone, methadone and oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose, according to charges announced Monday by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Rasaki, who was being held Monday in the Marion County Jail, describes himself as an "independent hospital and health care professional" on his LinkedIn page. In an unrelated case, Rasaki was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing patients. The state’s medical licensing board revoked his medical license in the same year. According to an investigation by state and federal investigators, Rasaki prescribed painkillers illegally to 11 patients as well as to one undercover agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He also allegedly filed more than $5,000 in fraudulent claims against health insurer Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for “ghost” office visits and unneeded medical services.

Eli Lilly and Co. stock jumped 5.5 percent Thursday after the Indianapolis-based drugmaker announced clinical trial results showing its experimental lung cancer medicine necitumumab increased patients' overall survival compared with those on chemotherapy alone. According to Bloomberg News, the drug was tested in nearly 1,100 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer with tumor types known as squamous. “This is a clear upside surprise,” Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst with ISI Group LLC, said in a note to clients. Analysts had “basically zero” expectations for necitumumab, Schoenebaum said in his note. The drug failed in a prior non-squamous lung cancer trial, he said. Lilly expects to publish results of the trial and submit the drug to regulators next year.

Public broadcasting station WFYI-FM 90.1 aims to expand distribution of its locally produced “Sound Medicine” show to at least 30 radio stations in large and medium-size markets in the next two years. The 12-year-old show already airs on 16 out-of-state stations as far away as Alaska. WFYI has lassoed two years’ funding to “build a sustainable national brand” for the show, which the station produces through a partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine. As for how much money was recently committed, and by whom, station executives declined to say. In the past, much of the funding has come from Indiana University Health Physicians and from IUPUI, which often are mentioned during the program. The new funds are being used to add an executive producer tasked with improving distribution and content of the program, which is distributed without charge to stations interested in running it. "Trying to negotiate a license fee at this point is a barrier to carriage," said Alan Cloe, executive vice president of content services at WFYI. "Sound Medicine," whose primary host is former WRTV-TV Channel 6 anchor Barbara Lewis, covers everything from new medical treatments to dispelling common medical myths.

Ivy Tech Community College is cutting hours for its part-time professors in preparation for implementing the Obamacare overhaul of health insurance. The law requires employers to provide health insurance to part-time employees who work 30 hours a week or more, and the Obama administration has said it will start enforcing that provision in 2015. Colleges and the Obama administration are also still trying to figure out how to convert colleges’ system of counting credit hours into a reliable system of hours worked. Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder said the college system reduced most of its part-time faculty's credit hours to nine to provide leeway for unresolved issues such as how preparation time is counted. About 60 percent of Ivy Tech professors work part time. Snyder says college officials would prefer the figure be 50 percent, but he says that would require an additional $50 million in state funding.

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