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Articles Posted in Featured Lawsuits

gout uloric deathThe latest drug to catch the eye of mass tort lawyers is the gout medication Uloric.  The FDA is concerned that Uloric has a greater risk of death compared to allopurinol, another gout medication. This follows a clinical trial which showed that Uloric may result in heart-related death.

What is gout?

Gout is a variation of arthritis that results when urate crystals accumulate around joints. Urate crystals are formed when there are abnormally high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is usually dissolvable in the bloodstream and urinated out. However, the body can sometimes either produce too much uric acid or excrete too little of it. Gout primarily affects the joint connected to the big toe. Its sufferers experience symptoms such as joint pain, inflammation, redness, and difficulties with moving around. Paul Manafort’s gout complications since he has gone to prison has been a big news story of late. This makes sense because inactivity can exacerbate gout symptoms.

Increased levels of uric acid increase the risks of developing gout. Eating excessive amounts of certain foods increases uric acid levels. This includes steak, organ meats, and seafood. Non-meats that can increase uric acid levels include alcoholic beverages and drinks containing fructose. Obesity also causes the body to produce more uric acids, making it difficult to remove much of it. Diseases and medical conditions such as untreated high blood pressure, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, which also increase the risk of developing gout.

Earlier this month the FDA announced a major recall of prescription blood pressure and heart drugs which contain the active ingredient valsartan.  You can expect a large number of valsartan lawsuits to follow.

Valsartan is an active ingredient that is widely used in a number of brand name and generic drugs used to treat hypertension and heart failure.  It was recently discovered that when valsartan is manufactured in a certain way, it can contain a dangerous impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA).

NMDA is a known human carcinogen.  The valsartan medications containing the dangerous NMDA impurity have been linked to a specific pharmaceutical ingredient distributed by a Chinese company — Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals.  Zhejiang Huahai was manufacturing the contaminated valsartan component and selling it to several U.S. pharmaceutical companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Solco Healthcare.  Zhejiang Huahai discovered NMDA impurities in its product which eventually led to the FDA recall.

In August 2018, the FDA warned that sodium-glucosecotransporter-2 (SLGT2) inhibitors such as Invokana can cause a rare but serious infection that could cause an amputation of the genital area.

This is a big deal because Invokana is a commonly used diabetes medication. The list of diabetes drugs that have let patients down is long.  The money in these drugs is unreal.  To make the most money, you need to rush your product on the market without fully testing the drug.  That is the biggest problem.

Long before the FDA got involved, I have been looking at potential Invokana lawsuits.  These are the 11 questions victims have about Invokana and the Invokana litigation.

The Roundup weed killer cancer lawsuits have gathered a lot of recent attention.  A $289 million verdict will do that.

These cases are now pushing along with great steam. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California is pushing to have MDL cases go before a federal jury by February 2019. Judge Chhabria has been presiding over all federal Roundup lawsuits. Many of these lawsuits allege that Monsanto failed to warn consumers that their Roundup weed killer brand might cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers.

  1. Roundup

ovarian cancer talcum powder

Juries have not been impressed with Johnson & Johnson’s Arguments

Out of nowhere, talcum powder ovarian cancer cases became the hottest mass tort case.  What happened and where are we now in these lawsuits?

The Product and the Big Question

For many decades, talcum powder has enjoyed great success as a consumer product. While young mothers often eagerly sprinkle it on their infants during diaper changes to help absorb wetness and prevent diaper rash, other women used the powdery substance as a regular part of their feminine hygiene practices.

Also, both male and female athletes routinely use talcum powder products to try to lower their chances of developing athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. Only limited complaints have been lodged for many years about the possibility that talcum powder could cause ovarian cancer. However, many women are now challenging their earlier beliefs about this product’s safety. In fact, the first successful lawsuit against talcum powder product giant, Johnson & Johnson, has now been filed and won.
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nexium kidney problemsPatients who experience acid indigestion, heartburn or other stomach ailments often seek relief from their symptoms by taking one or more drugs like Nexium.  Many patients have gotten great relief from heartburn and related symptoms, which experience little if any side effects.

Those are the happy ending stories. But new research studies indicate that serious Nexium side effects (including kidney disease) can develop when prescribed or OTC (over-the-counter) heartburn medications are taken in higher doses — or for extended time periods.

Back in the 1980s when drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid were first marketed in the United States, many physicians believed they could benefit their patients because the risk of using the was outweighed by the benefits.  Growing scientific literature, including new studies published in 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, question that assumption. Continue reading

xarelto lawsuitsI have written pretty extensively on this blog about the various lawsuits pertaining to the anticoagulant, Xarelto. This drug from Bayer is a controversial one, which has produced a history of bleeding injuries. Despite the risks, Xarelto is a best-selling drug, accounting for a huge amount of money flowing into Bayer’s coffers.

I love quarterly updates from these companies on litigation because they do give a sometimes honest view as to how these companies view the claims against them.  Bayer’s recent quarterly update discussed some of the realities of the drug. This update is a little old now.  Get a recent update and some rampant speculation on the value of these cases here.

  • Get a March 2019 Xarelto litigation status update here.  Sneak preview: things are changing quickly for plaintiffs.

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3M and one of its subsidiaries, Arizant Healthcare, are facing some heat over their Bair Hugger warming blanket. Lawsuits are starting to be filed, suggesting that the company knew that use of the Bair Hugger could expose surgical patients to the risk of infection. Patients who underwent surgery for hip or knee replacements are at greatest risk of infection.

The Bair Huggerbair hugger lawsuits

The Bair Hugger is a fairly interesting and ingenious device. When under anesthesia, the core body temperature drops a few degrees. While only a minor fluctuation, this drop in body temperature causes bleeding to increase in addition to longer recovery times. To address this, an anesthesiologist developed the Bair Hugger back in the 1980s. The device is a blanket of sorts that wraps around the patient on the operating table, blowing warm air to regulate their body temperature. As a result, a surgical patient’s core temperature can be maintained at exactly 98.6, ensuring minimal bleeding and recovery time.

The device is incredibly popular considering that it sees use in around 90% of all major surgeries. It is estimated that there are around 50,000 Bair Huggers in use around the country, meaning they are somewhat of a mainstay in the modern operating room.

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fda testosterone warningsFor months now, we have been writing about the onslaught of information pouring in regarding testosterone therapy and the negative side-effects associated with its use.

Testosterone products, prescribed to treat low testosterone (“Low T”) in men, have become popular among young men seeking physical enhancement, as well as older men who want to counter signs of aging.  Research, however, shows that low testosterone treatments may double the risk of heart attack for young men with heart disease as well as for men 65 years of age and older, even those who have had no heart problems.  Is it worth the risk if not medically necessary?   The FDA says no.

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zoloft birth defectsDepression treatment is essential.  This is especially true during pregnancy.  Untreated depression can have harmful effects on both the mother and the baby.  But we are learning more about the use of antidepressants and the increased risk of problems for the baby.  We keep wondering: WHY DIDN’T THE DRUG COMPANIES KNOW ABOUT THESE RISK SOONER?

A recent study supports prior findings that women who use Zoloft during pregnancy are at an increased risk of giving birth to an infant with birth defects that could include severe heart or cranial malformations.  According to findings published last month in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the use of Zoloft may increase the risk of atrial and ventricular defects by more than 30%, and more than double the risk of craniosynostosis.

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