Articles Posted in Pharmaceutical Drugs

If someone told any lawyer following mass tort litigation that the next big class action lawsuit would involve a diet drug that causes cancer, the reaction would be “that sounds right.”  Diet drugs have an awful history and we are seeing more and more drugs and products associated with cancer.

Lorcaserin (brand name: Belviq) was “voluntarily” taken off the market last week by its manufacturer at the request of the FDA.

Why? In a clinical study, an increased incidence of cancer was found in those who took Belviq. The FDA recommends that patients talk to their doctors about stopping Belviq. If you were diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq, call us today to discuss your Belviq cancer lawsuit at 800-553-8082 or get a free online claim evaluation.

The FDA and Health Canada are testing metformin for cancer-causing N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).  If this testing shows NDMA levels far above the FDA’s acceptable daily intake limit of 96 nanograms,  Metformin lawsuits could quickly become a large mass tort claim.  The number of lawsuits if this drug is causing cancer would be astronomical.

We are a long way from that.  The context with metformin, and why everyone should measure twice and cut once when looking at this issue, is this is a medically necessary drug for many patients. No one is suggesting that patients stop taking metformin to control their diabetes (although I think patients should talk about their NDMA concerns with their doctors).

This is a 2020 speculation email directed at lawyers about litigation that might be on the horizon.

A mass tort that has been getting a lot of attention from lawyers around the country in recent weeks is Xeljanz blood clot lawsuits.

Xeljanz now has a boxed warning, the FDA’s most severe safety warning, for DVT and pulmonary embolisms.

These conditions can be fatal.  This is a big deal for Pfizer’s blockbuster drug.

A lawsuit against Gilead Sciences, a prominent drug company known for its HIV medications, has been allowed to continue in federal court after the company filed a motion to dismiss the claims. Although the ruling did dismiss some claims against the biopharma giant, it allowed all the core causes of action to continue making the decision a decisive victory for the plaintiffs.  There is still a long way to go but these cases may have legs that could take the plaintiffs to victories at trial and ultimately a global settlement for all the victims.

The legal allegations against Gilead involve the company’s groundbreaking prescription drugs used for the treatment of HIV.  In 2001, Gilead developed and released a first of its kind drug, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) under the brand name Viread. TDF is a unique antiretroviral medicine that works by blocking an enzyme that the HIV virus cells use to replicate and multiply. By preventing the virus cells from replicating, Viread and Gilead’s other TDF drugs effectively stop HIV from growing and progressing into AIDS.

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Gilead dominates, arguably with antitrust implications, HIV drugs known as antiretrovirals.  In the U.S. today, more than 80% of patients on HIV treatment take one or more of Gilead’s products every day.

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Our Zostavax Trials Set for 2020

Our lawyers are handling Zostavax shingles vaccine lawsuits.   If you have a potential suit and have not yet hired a lawyer, call me.

Zostavax lawsuits are now moving forward quickly. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has selected the initial “bellwether” cases in the Zostavax MDL. The bellwether Zostavax cases will be grouped into two categories and prepared for five proposed trial dates that will take place between fall 2020 and summer 2021.  Does that sound far away?  I get it.  But this is not far away in class action-type lawsuits where the ball moves slowly. 

June 2018 Update:  Abilify lawsuits may be very close to a settlement.  There were three cases set to go to trial in the federal MDL.  They are settled.  These cases may settle very soon.  If you have not already brought a claim, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

What is Requip?

facepalm-199x300Ropinirole, marketed under the name Requip, is a dopamine agonist.  The drug stimulates dopamine receptors and mimics the action of dopamine in the brain.   In 1995, GSK sought to submitted get Requip approved to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.  The FDA approved ropinirole for marketing and distribution for treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in 1997.

If you are on dialysis, you are vulnerable. Obviously. The last thing you need is someone who pretends to provide a product that helps while actually knowing that the product is going to create a risk to dialysis patients. That appears to be what we have in these Fresenius NaturaLyte and GranuFlo cases.

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I get so many emails from so many marketing companies. Just today I got an offer to write a guest post on this blog (no), an email telling me that I rank poorly in Salisbury, Maryland on the search engines (he’s wrong), and two more random emails from companies telling me they are the best in the world at getting me to the top of the search engines (unlikely since, you know, you are spamming me).

But I found one of these emails really interesting. This one was from New York City and it offered to provide leads for Actos, Yaz, Yazmin, and Ocella cases. These emails are always flying in, but this one actually provided the prices for the leads:

  • Actos: $450

The first line in this editorial adequately summarizes the problem that leads to unsafe drugs and medical devices:

What would your reaction be if the results of a football match were reported as 5:0 by one of the teams and as 3:1 by the other team?

This editorial underscores a point that I think the “FDA approval is the gold standard” crew completely ignores: it is painfully easy to rig drug testing to get the desired results at any stage of the research and testing process. Most of the injuries were at the end of the study? Change the end point. Most of the adverse effects were in patients with blonde hair? Take them out of the study.shutterstock_69220570

A hospital did not breach a duty of care as a matter of law to a police office who was injured responding to a traffic accident allegedly caused by a just-released colonoscopy patient, Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled, affirming the trial court below.

The police officer responded to an emergency report of a pedestrian-automobile accident. On his way to the scene of the reported accident, Plaintiff’s police car was hit by another car, causing what were apparently pretty serious injuries. The pedestrian involved in the accident to which the Plaintiff was responding had earlier that day undergone sedation after a colonoscopy at Brockton Hospital. Plaintiff’s theory of the case was had the hospital provided an escort for the patient/pedestrian, he would not have had to respond and the accident would not have occurred.

Specifically, Plaintiff argued that a duty of care existed under two theories to back door the foreseeability problem: (1) a “special relationship” the hospital had with the patient and with Plaintiff, (2) a voluntary assumption of a duty of care by the hospital to protect third parties from harm caused by “impaired” patients.

The case generated some attention. Amicus briefs filed by the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys in support of Leavitt, and by the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association and the Professional Liability Foundation, Ltd., in support of the hospital.

The Massachusetts high court found that both theories were not distinctions from the duty and foreseeability problem in finding that a hospital owes a duty of care to a nonpatient third party to prevent a sedated patient from causing injury after the patient leaves the hospital.

Whether negligence extends to “an innocent third-party bystander” was recently decided in Maryland in Gourdine v. Crews. In that case, the family of a man killed in an auto accident brought a lawsuit against Eli Lily claiming that his death was caused by a diabetic who blacked out while under treatment with two insulin medications. Continue reading

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