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Drug price bill advances

The House unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would create a commission to study the cost of prescription drugs. The bill grew from consumers' complaints that some pharmaceutical companies and drugstores inflate prices for popular drugs. The bill would require the 18-member commission to hold at least four public hearings during 1994-95 and offer recommendations about possible price controls. The vote was a victory for Rep. Philip Mishkin, D-Port Richey, who has tried for two years to get the commission started. The Senate Health Care Committee is scheduled to consider a similar bill today. Pharmaceutical manufacturers oppose the bill, saying any move toward price control will have a "chilling effect" because researchers will be reluctant to spend money developing new drugs if they see little potential to recover costs once the drugs reach the market.

Bill may help hearing-impaired

TALLAHASSEE _ A bill that would create new consumer rights for the hearing-impaired passed a House committee Tuesday. The House Business and Professional Regulation Committee approved a bill to require that hearing aid businesses give customers a refund during a 30-day trial period. It also requires the businesses to give customers an explanation of telecoil technology, which allows hearing aid users to connect their devices directly to telephones, televisions and other audio devices without being bothered by background noise. Telecoil is an option on most hearing aids, and the bill would require businesses to offer it. The bill, a result of a state Department of Elder Affairs panel, is pending in the Senate.

Massacre tales contradicted

Authorities tried to prevent the violence that destroyed the predominantly black hamlet of Rosewood 70 years ago, said a woman whose sworn statement contradicted testimony by two survivors. Margaret Cannon, whose father was a deputy sheriff when the community was wiped out in January 1923, said authorities were trying to "keep the peace and not hurt anyone" when a battle began at the house of a prominent black family in Rosewood. Survivors and descendants want millions from the state because of the incident.

Women's clubs boycott citrus

Florida's Business and Professional Women's Clubs have joined a national boycott of Florida citrus products that is gathering steam since the male-dominated Citrus Commission hired commentator Rush Limbaugh to push orange juice. The group is asking women across Florida to put an orange dot on all currency they spend as part of an effort to let people know how much money women control. The group said Limbaugh makes "bigotry, sexism and racism a source of entertainment." They urge Floridians to drink California or Brazilian orange juice as long as the Citrus Commission uses Limbaugh in advertising.