Children's Council Meets

Carroll capsule

October 06, 1991

WESTMINSTER — The Carroll County Children's Trust Fund disbursed $13,693 for the care of 17 children from July 1990 to June 1991, the Carroll County Children's Council reported Wednesday at its monthly meeting at the Extension Service.

The trust fund was started by Dr. Karl Green in the fall of 1983 to help families pay for necessary medical and surgical expenses, said Maxine Fritz of the Carroll County Health Department.

"This was the first service of its type," she said.

In other business, Marianne Earhart, a citizen representative for the council reported on the first meeting of the Committee for People At Risk For Needing Child Care, which will address child care for the working poor.

The committee is comprised of citizens from the community, as well as representatives from county agencies.

"One subcommittee will identify practical things that can be done now to help working poorwho need day care, and the other will work to acquire statistical information on income levels in Carroll County," Earhart said.

WOMAN SUES DRUG FIRM

BALTIMORE -- A Sykesville woman who says she sufferedliver damage after taking a generic drug has sued its manufacturer and a Baltimore testing laboratory.

Veleria Wilkins, 42, claims to have suffered permanent injuries after taking Triamterene/Hydrochlorothiazide manufactured by Bolar Pharmaceutical Co. of Copaigue, N.Y.

She is suing Bolar, Pharmakinetics Laboratories of Baltimore and Mark B. Perkal, a Pharmakinetics founder and former official. Wilkins claims the laboratory conspired to have the drug sold as a generic equivalent of the blood-pressure medicine her doctor prescribed. Both companies and Perkal have been the subject of federal investigations and lawsuits related to an elaborate drug-switching scheme.

Wilkins'11-count suit charges fraud, negligence, civil conspiracy and breachof warranty. It asks for $142 million in punitive damages for 10 of the counts and from $350,000 to $6 million per count in compensatory damages.

If awarded the total amount, Wilkins would receive $60.3 million in compensatory damages and $1.42 billion in punitive damages.

Earlier this year, Bolar agreed to pay a $10 million fine to settle 20 criminal charges tied to corruption and fraud in its generic drug-making operation. Pharmakinetics and its former vice president pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation, and the company was fined $200,000.

In the suit filed Monday in Baltimore Circuit Court, Wilkins alleges that she took Triamterene/Hydrochlorothiazide for 30 days in 1989 and contracted hepatitis and other illnesses. Shehas been unable to work since, according to the suit.

Pharmakinetics allegedly performed tests on the drug that enabled it to be sold as a generic equivalent for Dyazide, a blood-pressure drug made by SmithKline Beecham. But Bolar substituted Dyazide in samples sent to the laboratory for testing, sometimes with Perkal and Pharmakinetic's knowledge, according to admissions in the related criminal cases.

Wilkins' case may be the first allegation of someone suffering injury from the drug-switching scheme, he said.

Jack Kornreich, a spokesman for Bolar, said the company has not received any of the court papers, and he declined comment. Attempts to reach Pharmakinetics officials were unsuccessful.

REC AREA IS ON AGENDA

MOUNT AIRY -- Frederick County officials will respond tomorrow to a town plan for recreational facilities at Twin Ridge Elementary, which is being built.

At the regular 8 p.m. monthly meeting of the council at Town Hall, Frederick officials will discuss a town request for the county to help payfor and build two baseball diamonds and a soccer field at the school, slated to open next fall.

Also on Monday, state police will present results from a traffic survey of the intersection of Main Street and Watersville Road near Mount Airy Elementary. The survey was conducted to determine whether a crossing guard is needed.

The council also will decide whether there will be trick or treating this Halloween, and if so, what the date and hours will be.

MILD QUAKE HARDLY FELT

Residents in northwest Baltimore County felt tiny tremors from an early morning earthquake Sept. 28 that registered 2.4 on the Richter scale, but Carroll residents apparently felt nothing.

"We didn'thave any shake, rattle or rolling down here," said Sykesville PoliceChief Wallace P. Mitchell.

An Emergency Operations Center spokesman said they had no reports of residents calling in about the quake.

James Reger, a geologist with the Maryland Geological Survey, saidthe only report his office had from Carroll County was one from Genstar officials, who said the springs around the Medford quarry ran muddy through the weekend.

"These springs normally run clear, and there was nothing else going on to attribute the muddy water," Reger said.

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