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State and regional briefs

Bill would help animals abandoned in foreclosures

BOSTON — Animals abandoned during foreclosures would be granted extra protections under a bill approved by the Massachusetts Senate.

Sen. Jamie Eldridge says he filed the bill after what he called the tragic death of a dog in an abandoned building in Hudson.

The Acton Democrat says the bill would protect abandoned animals by requiring landlords to inspect vacant buildings for animals or pets within five days of a property being vacated through foreclosure or the loss of tenancy.

If an abandoned animal is found, the landlord or property owner would be required to immediately notify a local animal control officer.

Eldridge says the bill is intended to ease the suffering of abandoned animals and pets.

The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate and now heads to the Massachusetts House.

State bill would OK biosimilar substitutes

BOSTON — A bill that would let pharmacists substitute a so-called biosimilar for a biological medicine has been sent to Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk.

The Massachusetts Senate gave final approval to the proposal Thursday.

The bill would allow the substitution when the federal Food and Drug Administration has determined that the two biological products are interchangeable and the prescriber has not been instructed otherwise.

The bill also requires pharmacists to notify the prescribing practitioner and the patient if there has been a substitution.

Biological medicines are used to treat diseases and health conditions and are generally made from human or animal materials.

A biosimilar is a biological medicine that is highly similar to an already approved biological medicine and has no clinically meaningful differences with regard to safety, purity and potency.

Police look for home invasion suspects

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield police are searching for five men who made off with a large amount of cash during an armed home invasion.

Authorities say the suspects broke into the home in the Forest Park neighborhood just after 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Police say one of the men had a shotgun and another had a handgun. Officials say all five suspects were Hispanic and dressed in black.

Police say it appears the suspects knew there was a large amount of money in the house before the robbery. The amount of cash taken wasn’t disclosed.

One of the suspects struck a man in the house with the butt of the shotgun, but the victim didn’t need to go to the hospital.

Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call Springfield police.

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