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BC-US--Business Features Digest, US

November 29, 2018

The Business News enterprise package planned through Dec. 3. For comments or questions, call 212-621-1680.For questions about photos, call ext. 1900. For questions about graphics, call ext. 7636.

INDUSTRY:

MCCONNEL-HEMP — Pressed for time and pushed to move quickly on a border wall and criminal justice reform, the Senate’s top leader has his own priority in Congress’ lame-duck session: passing a farm bill that includes a full pardon for hemp, the non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana that’s making a comeback in his home state. By Bruce Schreiner. SENT: Thursday, 1,050 words, photos.

REPEATED FLOOD LOSSES — After Hurricanes Florence and Michael, the nation’s financially troubled, taxpayer-backed flood insurance program is likely to restore homes and businesses that have already been rebuilt repeatedly, sometimes at costs totaling more than the building is worth. By Emery P. Dalesio. SENT: Monday, 1,000 words, photos.

TECHNOLOGY:

IMPLANT FILES-FDA — AP Investigation: Under pressure from industry, US health officials adopted a goal to be “first in the world” in approving new medical devices for US patients. The Food and Drug Administration’s new “vision” mirrored talking points from industry lobbyists. And former regulators say the agency’s shift ushered in a series of changes that may put American patients at risk. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: Tuesday, 3,800 words, photos. An abridged version of 930 words also was sent.

With: IMPLANT FILES-INDUSTRY INFLUENCE — The nation’s top medical advisers have called the FDA’s main system for clearing medical devices “flawed.” In 2011 they recommended that it be replaced because it cannot assure safety and effectiveness. Despite a string of device safety problems, the 42-year-old pathway persists, bolstered by millions in lobbying dollars from industry manufacturers and trade groups. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: Tuesday, 1,250 words.

— IMPLANT FILES-INSULIN PUMPS — Medical device manufacturers and experts say insulin pumps are safe. But an AP investigation found that insulin pumps and their components are responsible for the highest number of malfunctions, injuries and death reports in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s medical device database. In terms of injuries, insulin pumps were second only to metal hip replacements. But those problems have been widely reported. By contrast, problems with insulin pumps largely have flown under the radar. By Holbrook Mohr and Mitch Weiss. SENT: Tuesday, 1,410 words, photos.

IMPLANT FILES-BREAST IMPLANTS — When a medical device causes harm, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is supposed to be notified so that it can take action to protect the public. But the agency’s public database of malfunctions, injuries and deaths suspected of being related to medical devices is so full of incomplete information that for a decade women believed the problems associated with breast implants had been resolved. They weren’t. By Meghan Hoyer. SENT: Monday, 3,100 words, photos. An abridged version of 1,000 words also is available. A joint investigation by The Associated Press and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

With: IMPLANT FILES-FDA REACTION — U.S. health officials say they plan to overhaul the nation’s decades-old system for approving most medical devices, which has long been criticized by experts for failing to catch problems with risky implants and medical instruments. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: Monday, 500 words.

— IMPLANT FILES-UNIQUE IDENTIFIERS — The FDA is slowly rolling out a plan to put unique identification codes on medical devices to better track problems. But without a place to put the codes on insurance claims or in electronic health records, advocates worry they may not do much good to protect patients from defective products. Says medical researcher Joel Weissman, “this is really about protecting patients from defective or ineffective products.” By Meghan Hoyer. SENT: Monday, 680 words.

MICROSOFT’S STEADY RESILIENCE — Microsoft is threatening to overtake Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company — a sign of Microsoft’s steady resilience as other tech giants stumble. By Matt O’Brien. SENT: Tuesday, 800 words, photos.

CHINA-SPYING ON CARS — Electric vehicles sold in China are giving real-time data to the government, providing a powerful surveillance tool without drivers’ knowledge, the AP found. By Erika Kinetz. SENT: Thursday, 2,200 words, photos, video.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

NERDWALLET-WORST ENEMY — You’d never set out to sabotage your investment strategy on purpose, yet some of the decisions you make could do just that. Lessons from the field of behavioral economics can help you avoid some common mistakes. By NerdWallet columnist Anna-Louise Jackson. SENT: Thursday, 800 words, photos.

NERDWALLET-CHILD TAX CREDIT — The wallet-emptying experience of raising kids understandably fuels a lot of interest in the child tax credit, but thanks to some big changes recently, the fascination could reach Tickle Me Elmo-like proportions. Here are a few things tax pros say you should know about this credit and how you can take maximum advantage of it on your tax return. By NerdWallet’s Tina Orem. SENT: Wednesday, 650 words, photo.

NERDWALLET-MILLENIAL MONEY-NO GIFT EXCHANGE — It’s OK to bow out of secret Santas and other gift exchanges if you don’t have the funds to participate. By Kelsey Sheehy. SENT: Tuesday, 740 words, photos.

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