Business news

Elam gives up gavel of development authority


Terry Elam, the chairman of the Development Authority of Richmond County, said at a Thursday meeting of the group that he will relinquish his position at the end of the year.

Elam has served for two years in the role and said he is stepping down to take over as chairman of the executive committee at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce. He will remain a member of the authority's board.

"I just don't think one person should hold both of those positions," he said. "We have a lot of talented people here in Augusta."

A nominating committee will be formed in November and a new chairman is expected to be selected by December.

U.S., states investigate diabetes drug Avandia

WASHINGTON --- British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline reported Thursday that its controversial diabetes drug Avandia is under investigation by federal and state law enforcement officials in the U.S.

The announcement came less than a month after the Food and Drug Administration issued severe restrictions on use of Avandia because of its links to heart attack. Regulators in Europe pulled the drug off the market altogether.

Glaxo said it received a subpoena from Department of Justice, which is investigating the development of marketing of Avandia. The company received similar requests for information from attorneys general in several states.

"These enquiries are at an early-stage, and GSK is cooperating with these offices," the company stated in its third-quarter earnings filing.

Avandia had more than $3 billion in sales in 2006, but it has become a major liability since 2007 when its heart risks were first publicized.

In other news

A GOVERNMENT PANEL SAYS sweeping changes are needed to prevent money market mutual funds from sparking a financial crisis. A group led by the Treasury Department said Thursday that the funds should face stricter oversight, insure themselves against losses and allow their share prices to change as investments gain or lose value. The proposed changes are aimed at making money market funds less risky and easier for investors to understand.