March 6, 2015

FDA Approves First Biosimilar Ushering in a New Era of Treatments -- Wall Street Journal Blog

After years of anticipation, the FDA has approved a so-called biosimilar medicine, ushering in a new era of treatments in the U.S. that are forecast to eventually save the nation’s health care system billions of dollars and generate a new round of competition in the pharmaceutical industry. Biosimilars are cheaper copies of brand-name biologics that have demonstrated similar safety and effectiveness. -- 3/6/2015


Ferguson's not the only city to get scathing federal report -- CNN

The report is daunting, and it tears apart the Ferguson Police Department's systemic discrimination against blacks.

But Ferguson is hardly the first place to be scrutinized by the Justice Department. Here are a few others that have been accused of various forms of discrimination:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

What it found: The Justice Department accused the city's police department of engaging in "a pattern" of using excessive force after a two-year investigation. It said that in some troubling instances, officers failed to turn on their cameras and recorders before such encounters.

What happened next: Federal officials suggested overhaul plans for the city, which they said were well received. They included the reporting of any use of force, including pointing of firearms; new policies on use of force; and more sensitivity toward mentally ill people.

Where things stand: Last year, federal and local officials reached an agreement that calls for changes to be implemented within four years and an independent monitor to be appointed. --3/5/2015


New Mexico Senate passes bill to test race horses for illegal drugsLas Cruces Sun News

Senate Bill 498 to rein in illegal doping of horses that take to New Mexico's race tracks has passed the Senate. The legislation by Sen. Mary Kay Papen was approved 39-3 Wednesday. Regulatory changes in the state's horse racing industry continue and come after a 2013 New York Times investigation highlighting drug use, horse deaths and jockey injuries at tracks across the nation, including in New Mexico. -- 3/5/15


Rio Grande Trail- Las Cruces Sun News

The House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee gave a unanimous, bipartisan thumbs up to the bill introduced by Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, to explore creation of a 500-mile trail along the Rio Grande. The House Bill 563 is headed for the House floor, where it is likely to be amended. -- 3/5/15


Farmington residents back PNM plan to close part of coal-fired plantSanta Fe New Mexican

FARMINGTON — More than 150 people filled the Farmington City Council chambers Wednesday for a hearing before New Mexico regulators on PNM’s application to close two units at an aging coal-fired power plant — with a heavy majority of those in attendance supporting the utility’s plan to replace the lost power with a mix of coal from the plant’s other units, nuclear power, a new natural-gas plant and more solar generating stations.

The Public Regulation Commission scheduled afternoon and evening sessions in the Farmington council chambers on Public Service Company of New Mexico’s proposal to shut down two units of the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington. The public-comment period follows weeks of evidentiary hearings that wrapped up in late January in Santa Fe. A hearing examiner will make a recommendation to the PRC, and it could be months before a final decision is made. – 3/4/2015


Police Body Cameras are Only One Piece of the Video Equation -- GCN

President Obama proposed a $263 million dollar program for training and equipment to help make police departments more accountable.  The proposal includes $75 million dollar over three years to help purchase 50,000 wearable body camera for officers.  The President’s proposal is part of the White House 21st Century Policing effort.  In December, the President created the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. On March 2nd, President Obama met with the Task Force on 21st Century Policing to discuss their recommendations to help communities and law enforcement agencies across the country to strengthen trust and collaboration, while continuing to reduce crime. -- February 2015