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July 28, 2014
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The Indiana University School of Medicine plans to hire 100 research professors over the next five years in a bid to vault into the top 25 medical schools. If successful, that recruitment drive could boost by 15 percent the number of research-oriented faculty at IU and bring in an extra $35 million to $40 million in annual research funding. If the plan plays out as Dean Dr. Jay L. Hess hopes, the school could become a closer partner with drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co., medical-device maker Cook Group Inc. and other major life sciences companies. Hess’ plans are actually a bit more modest than those advanced by his predecessor, Dr. Craig Brater, who retired last year. Brater wanted IU to become one of the 10 most richly funded medical schools for research, up from about 40th now. To get there, he estimated, the school needed to recruit 400 researchers, on top of the 700 it employs today. But Hess noted that IU would need hundreds of millions of dollars more per year in funding from the National Institutes of Health—IU receives about $100 million per year—to reach that level.

Four doctors who supposedly ran a system of clinics aimed at helping addicts kick painkillers were illegally selling a drug that's supposed to aid in rehabilitation, federal authorities said Friday after raiding the doctors’ clinics in Carmel, Noblesville, Muncie, Kokomo and Centerville. According to the Associated Press, Dr. Larry Ley, 68, of Noblesville, was being held on $1 million bond on drug-dealing charges in Hamilton County Jail. Prosecutors say Ley led the operation. A dozen additional suspects, including three other doctors, are under arrest or sought by police. The probable cause affidavit said patients would go to clinics operated by organizations called the Drug and Opiate Recovery Network or Living Life Clean and pay cash for prescriptions of Suboxone, a drug that can be used to treat addictions to opioid painkillers or heroin. The clinics did not accept insurance. Patients allegedly did not undergo medical or mental exams, and weren't asked to provide medical histories. Office employees allegedly handed out pre-signed prescriptions, the affidavit alleges. In 2013, Ley allegedly wrote nearly 8,500 prescriptions, generating an income of $718,000, the affidavit says.

Terre Haute-based Union Health System will cut 150 positions system-wide by the end of the year, according to the Tribune-Star. The cut represents a 5-percent reduction of the system’s 3,000 workers and is projected to produce savings of $200 million by 2020, according to a letter sent Thursday by CEO Pat Board to the hospital system’s employees. “We face numerous challenges due to changes in the healthcare environment and its impact on Union Health System, which include a shift to more outpatient services and declining reimbursement." Union Health includes Union Hospital in Terre Haute and Union Clinton Hospital in Vermillion County north of Terre Haute in western Indiana.

Community Health Network Foundation has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to discover ways to deliver better care at lower cost while strengthening its nursing staff. The Health Resources and Services Administration grant will fund a three-year project to encourage nurses to deliver care as teams at Community East Family Medicine Center and then replicate the model they create at seven Community hospitals and other sites of care. The grant covers 88 percent of the project’s estimated costs, and Community will provide the balance of the funding.

Dow AgroSciences LLC reported second-quarter sales of $1.9 billion, an increase of 3 percent over last year's second period. The Indianapolis-based subsidiary of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co. reported quarterly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, of $281 million. That was down $9 million, or 3 percent, from a year ago. Crop-protection sales rose 3 percent in the quarter, led by insecticides, which reported double-digit gains in all regions. Quarterly seed sales increased 3 percent, with growth in corn and soybeans in North America and Latin America.

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