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Mobile Office Locations for April

Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for April

Tue, Mar 29, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for April.

Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Last year, office hours were held in all 75 counties, marking the first time that the Attorney General’s office has held office hours in each county across the State. Since January, 17 mobile offices have been held in an effort to once again travel to all 75 counties.

The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. Attorney General Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation.

Attorney General Rutledge recently expanded the services offered at mobile offices to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes. Rutledge is partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the State who will handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter/com/AGRutledge.

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Scott County

Monday, April 4

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Scott County Senior Citizens Center

1508 Clyde Hawkins Drive

Waldron, AR 72958

Crawford County

Tuesday, April 5

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Van Buren Senior Activity Center

607 Knox St.

Van Buren, AR 72956

Woodruff County

Thursday, April 7

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

St. Bernards Woodruff County Senior Life Center

303 Cache St.

Patterson, AR 72123

Baxter County

Monday, April 11

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Van Matre Senior Activity and Wellness Center

1101 Spring St.

Mountain Home, AR 72653

Stone County

Tuesday, April 12

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Mountain View Senior Center

210 School Ave.

Mountain View, AR 72560

Garland County

Thursday, April 14

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Hot Springs Senior Center

210 Woodbine St.

Hot Springs, AR 71901

Newton County

Monday, April 18

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Newton County Senior Activity and Wellness Center

100 Clark St.

Jasper, AR 72641

Boone County

Thursday, April 21

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Harrison City Hall

114 S. Spring St.

Harrison, AR 72601

Chicot County

Monday, April 25

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lakeside Apartments

628 Mulberry St.

Lake Village, AR 71653

Desha County

Tuesday, April 26

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Southeast Arkansas Regional Library – McGehee Branch

211 N. Fourth St.

McGehee, AR 71654

Lee County

Thursday, April 28

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lee County Library

77 W. Main St.

Marianna, AR 72360

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Child Safety Poster Contest Winners

Rutledge Announces Child Safety Poster Contest Winners

Thu, Mar 17, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the winners of the 2016 Child Safety Poster Contest at a ceremony last night. The theme of the contest, sponsored by the Attorney General’s office, was Bring Our Missing Children Home.

“I want to thank all of the students, families and teachers who participated and congratulate the poster contest winners from Cabot, Little Rock, Mena and Pine Bluff,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I appreciate the safety discussions this contest created across the State. More than 500 entries were received and these creative students did an excellent job highlighting this year’s theme. I am extremely impressed by the talent of our young Arkansans.”

Attorney General Rutledge also extended her appreciation to the contest judges: Melinda Faubel with AT&T, Cynthia Haas with the Arkansas Arts Council and Paul Leopoulos with the Thea Foundation. AT&T helped sponsor the contest, and the Thea Foundation hosted the awards ceremony.

2016 winners:

Kindergarten

  • Brookelynn Anders, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 1st Place
  • Jeimy Garcia, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 2nd Place
  • Ja’Breya Spellman, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 3rd Place

1st Grade

  • Ryan Howard, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 1st Place
  • Za’Miyah Litzsey, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 2nd Place
  • Elijah Watson, Edgewood Elementary School (Pine Bluff), 3rd Place

2nd Grade

  • Pablo Vazquez, Carver Magnet Elementary School (Little Rock), 1st Place

3rd Grade

  • Burcu Karabacak, Carver Magnet Elementary School (Little Rock), 1st Place
  • Addison Thomas, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 2nd Place
  • McKenzie Knighten, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 3rd Place
  • Avalyn Sexton, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 3rd Place

4th Grade

  • Hailey Emerson, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 1st Place
  • Myla Nelms, Western Hills Elementary School (Little Rock), 2nd Place
  • Psalm Wistrand, Pulaski Heights Elementary School (Little Rock), 3rd Place

5th Grade

  • Mason Smith, Cabot Middle School North (Cabot), 1st Place
  • Layla Sessler, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 2nd Place
  • Emma Johnson, Holly Harshman Elementary School (Mena), 3rd Place

The winning fifth grade poster, submitted by Mason Smith, will be entered into the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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Rutledge Statement on the Nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court

Wed, Mar 16, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in response to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“With the unfortunate passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the future direction of the U.S. Supreme Court is at stake,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today, President Obama has chosen to nominate Judge Merrick Garland. The President has this right, but the U.S. Senate has an equal right to advise and consent on this nomination and that right includes choosing not to act on the nomination. In the midst of a highly contested presidential election, Americans deserve their chance to weigh in on the appropriate direction for the Court, and I am optimistic that will occur in November.”

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CDC Adopting Guidelines for Prescribing Pain Medications

Rutledge Applauds CDC for Adopting Guidelines for Prescribing Pain Medications

Wed, Mar 16, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today applauded the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for acting quickly to adopt federal guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. The adoption comes after Rutledge and 35 other State attorneys general in January urged the CDC to approve the proposed guidelines.

“The CDC has acted quickly so that physicians have the tools and knowledge they need to properly prescribe medication,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “There are serious dangers associated with chronic pain medications, but when prescribed effectively they can be the best treatment. However, the problem of prescription drug abuse cannot be ignored, and I will continue building on the successful State and local partnerships to increase public safety and save lives.”

According to the CDC, the U.S. is currently experiencing an epidemic of prescription opioid misuse and overdose. Increased prescribing and sales of opioids — a quadrupling since 1999 — helped create and fuel this epidemic. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, United States, 2016, will help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients.

Among the 12 recommendations in the guideline, three principles are key to improving patient care:

  • Nonopioid therapy is preferred for chronic pain outside of active cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care.
  • When opioids are used, the lowest possible effective dosage should be prescribed to reduce risks of opioid use disorder and overdose.
  • Providers should always exercise caution when prescribing opioids and monitor all patients closely.

The CDC developed user-friendly materials to assist providers with implementing the recommendations, including a decision checklist. These materials, as well as information for patients, are available at CDC.gov.

Rutledge has been vocal about the problem of prescription drug abuse in Arkansas. Since taking office, she has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to hold Drug Take Back Days, encouraging Arkansas to clean out their medicine cabinets of unused and expired medications to be properly disposed of by law enforcement and now she offered those same drug take back services at each mobile office held throughout the State. She also partnered with the Arkansas Office of the Drug Director, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and the Criminal Justice Institute to host the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Summit last November in which participants learned about more research and strategies to fight prescription drug misuse and abuse.

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Settlement to Resolve Kickback Allegations

Arkansas to Receive Settlement to Resolve Kickback Allegations Against a New Jersey based Pharmaceutical Company

Wed, Mar 16, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units joined the federal government to reach an agreement in principle with the pharmaceutical manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company with its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey, to settle allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act. Rutledge released the following statement:

“Arkansas is set to receive $15,459.81 from a multi-state settlement reached with Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. The Arkansas Medicaid Trust Fund, which incurred losses as a result of this fraud, will be reimbursed. This pharmaceutical company violated the False Claims Act by using meals and speaker program honoraria as incentives to entice physicians to prescribe the drugs Azor, Benicar, Tribenzor and Welchol.”

Daiichi Sankyo will pay the states and the federal government a total of $39 million in civil damages and penalties for Medicaid and other federally-funded health care programs.

The investigation that led to the settlement grew out of a false claims action filed by a former Daiichi Sankyo sales representative in 2010. The whistleblower’s complaint alleged that the claims were false because they resulted from kickbacks that Daiichi Sankyo provided to physicians who prescribed the drugs.

The settlement agreement reimburses the federal government and the participating states for damages that were assessed in accordance with the amounts that Daiichi Sankyo expended on each speaker program for each fiscal year. The total Medicaid portion of the settlement – state and federal – is $10 million; and the states’ share of the Medicaid recovery is $5 million. Additionally, as part of the settlement, Daiichi Sankyo has agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), which obligates Daiichi Sankyo to undertake substantial internal compliance reforms for the next five years.

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia are participating in the settlement. The federal settlement was announced by the Justice Department in January of this year.

Arkansas’s portion of the settlement will be placed in the Arkansas Medicaid Trust Fund.

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