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Los Angeles Times

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Six of the world's biggest drug companies are about to be winnowed down to three. If all the mergers go through, we will have Pfizer-Wyeth, Merck-Schering-Plough and Roche-Genentech controlling more than $100 billion in drug sales every year - amounting to one seventh of all revenues for drug companies worldwide. (I wrote a story about this a couple weeks ago for the Los Angeles Times.)

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Victor Merina is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism. Previously, as an investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times, he was a member of the paper's projects team and was part of a group of reporters named as finalists for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for a series on homicides in Los Angeles County. He also shared in the paper's 1993 Pulitzer for spot news coverage of the 1992 riots. Since leaving The Times, Mr. Merina has written opinion pieces for that paper and for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Sean Connelley and Katy Newton teamed up in 2004 while working for the Oakland Tribune. Inspired by the integration of multimedia and web-based news sites across the country, Mr. Connelley and Ms. Newton saw an opportunity to develop their passion for documentary storytelling.

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Michael F. Cannon is the Cato Institute's director of health policy studies. Previously, he served as a domestic policy analyst for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee under Chairman Larry E. Craig, where he advised the Senate leadership on health, education, labor, welfare, and the Second Amendment. Mr. Cannon has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, and NPR.

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Lisa Girion joined the Los Angeles bureau of Reuters as a correspondent in January after 16 years at the Los Angeles Times, most recently as an investigative reporter assigned to the Metro desk, where she produced major multimedia stories on the intersection of government, commerce, health and welf

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Dr. Lester Breslow is a professor and dean emeritus of the UCLA School of Public Health. He has been professionally active in public health for 65 years, especially in chronic disease control and health promotion. His colleagues call him Mr. Public Health "mostly because he helped set the course for modern thinking about health and fitness," according to a Los Angeles Times profile.

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Ms. Ikeda is a nutrition education specialist with the College of Natural Resources' cooperative extension. She is a nationally recognized expert on pediatric obesity and the dietary practices of ethnic and immigrant populations. She is a pioneer in conducting community collaborative research on the food habits and dietary quality of California's low-income, immigrant and ethnic populations, and has developed culturally sensitive and relevant educational programs for these groups.

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Jack Cheevers is the communications director for Region 9 of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency responsible for administering Medicare, Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance (SCHIP), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and several other health-related programs. Cheevers oversees communications in Region 9, which covers California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Trust territories.

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Bob Baker is a freelance writer, editor and writing coach. He was a newspaperman for 34 years, the last 26 as the Los Angeles Times, which he left in 2004. At The Times, Mr. Baker was reporter, deputy metro editor and the papers first full-time writing coach. He is the author of Newsthinking, a book on mental organization for journalists, and co-author of Burn, Baby! BURN!-the autobiography of legendary R&B DJ Magnificent Montague. Mr.

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It started on March 20, 2006, with what I thought was a one-shot story about the health care language gap. Two and a half years later, I am still writing follow-ups (more than 40 articles in all) about the story behind the original story — the long-hidden practice of some insurers of retroactively canceling policyholders with large medical bills.

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