by Max Brantley
The line is open. Closing out:
* LOTTERY THEFT: A reported investigation of a (former) Arkansas Lottery Commission employee for theft of lottery tickets is apparently nearing a conclusion. Multiple sources expect a resolution, such as a plea, soon.
* A QUESTION FOR OUR MAN IN AZERBAIJAN: Secretary of State Mark Martin, a featured speaker at a meeting this week in Azerbaijan for reasons wholly unapparent to the rest of the world, does a lot of traveling. A frequent critic notes that as well as his recent request of an official attorney general's opinon from Dustin McDaniel on the effective date of 2013 legislation that didn't carry an emergency clause. That was a toughy. You start the first full day after adjournment and count 90 days. Commentary from the correspondent continues with a listing of Martin's staff:
A lawyer, Deputy Secretary of State A.J. Kelly ($98.081); General Counsel Martha Adcock ($84,399); Government Affairs Assistant Adrienne Lee; Legal staffer Tiffany Minyard; Director of Government Affairs Kelly Boyd ($77,500), and a new attorney in the Elections Division. With that kind of high priced legal and other staff, why did Martin have to ask the AG for his opinon? Seems to an interested observer he pays people good money to know that answer.
Alex Reed of Martin's office responds that the official opinion from the attorney general is a tradition of many years standing, including by previous holders of the office. I don't think Charlie Daniels ever went to Azerbaijan. But Bill McCuen did take a famous motorcycle ride to New Mexico with his attractive posse. And Kelley Bryant polished the patina off the Civil War statue.
* ARKANSAS CHECKING FOR SUSPECT DRUG: A Health Department release says 10 clinics in Arkansas received a drug from a compounding pharmacy in Tennesse that is being checked because 40 patients who received the injectable steroid later developed infections.
The Arkansas Department of Health along with federal health organizations and other states are investigating reports of infections among 20 patients in Illinois (5), North Carolina (2), and Florida (13) who received injections of a steroid, methylprednisolone acetate (MPA), after Dec. 6, 2012, produced by Main Street Family Pharmacy, LLC, (MSFP) in Newbern, Tenn. Complications identified thus far appear to be limited to skin abscesses at the site of injection and joint infections. There are no reports of meningitis, stroke or death.
Ten clinics in Arkansas have received MPA from the MSFP. All ten have been contacted and are assembling information to assist in the investigation. Individuals who are experiencing any unexplained health problems following an injection of methylprednisolone acetate from one of these clinics are encouraged to contact the clinic or their regular health care provider.
The clinics include: Antoon Medical Clinic in Stamps; Lofton Family Clinic in DeQueen; Ouachita Family Practice in Mena; Reinhart Family Healthcare in Monticello; Monticello Medical Clinic in Monticello; Southern Medical Group in Magnolia; Chambliss & Davis Clinic in Magnolia; Coast to Coast Medical in West Memphis; Family Medicine in White Hall; Integrated Health in Fayetteville.
The investigation began after the FDA was notified of two individuals who developed complications after being administered this product at a clinic in Greenville, NC. On May 28th, 2013, the MSFP issued a voluntary recall of all sterile products. Arkansas is among at least 15 states including Alabama, California, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas where the products were distributed.
The organizations involved in the investigation include the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Health, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Tennessee Department of Health. Because the investigation is in an early stage, staff members with all agencies are working now to gather and process information and to communicate with affected facilities and patients.