LOS ANGELES — The nation's largest pharmacy chain will pay a record fine for illegally selling large amounts of a key methamphetamine ingredient to criminal traffickers, a problem that prosecutors say led to a surge in production of the widely abused drug in California.
CVS Pharmacy Inc. agreed to pay a $75 million fine and forfeit $2.6 million in profits on the unlawful sales of pseudoephedrine in California and Nevada in 2007 and 2008, according to federal prosecutors based in Los Angeles.
The penalty is the largest for a civil violation of the Controlled Substances Act, a 40-year-old law that is more often aimed at street dealers and narcotics traffickers.
Oklahoma executes man in 1996 slaying
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McALESTER, Okla. —A man convicted in the 1996 fatal shooting of a fisherman in eastern Oklahoma was put to death Thursday as Buddhist monks chanted inside the execution chamber.
Donald Ray Wackerly, 41, received a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m.
A converted Buddhist, Wackerly requested that two spiritual advisers witness his death. Wackerly and the monks both repeatedly recited a six-syllable chant —"om mani padme hum" — during the execution.
One of Wackerly's attorneys described it as a "mantra of ultimate compassion."
FDA cracks down on chelation treatments
CHICAGO — Chelation products sold over the counter as treatments for autism, heart disease and other conditions are dangerous and illegal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned in a crackdown announced Thursday.
Nine sellers of the products were warned this week that they are violating federal law. The warning letters also served to caution parents and others who might be tempted to buy the chelators, which are touted on scores of websites and blogs as effective therapies for a wide range of chronic medical problems.
The chemicals, which help remove metals from the body, are potent drugs that carry serious risks, including kidney damage, dehydration and even death, said FDA medical officer Charles Lee. "Chelation can be dangerous and can cause serious harm," Lee said.