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Pharmaceutical 3323 articles

Beasley Allen has one of the largest and most technologically advanced Mass Torts practices in the country. The Mass Torts division represents numerous people in claims against companies that manufacture and/or market defective pharmaceuticals and/or medical devices. The resources devoted to this division allow the firm to competently and conscientiously handle any group of cases, no matter how large, along with particular catastrophic injury cases.

Our firm was recently involved in one of the greatest victories in Mass Torts history, against drug manufacturer Merck regarding the drug Vioxx. After more than five years of hard-fought and difficult litigation, Merck agreed to pay $4.85 billion, the largest pharmaceutical settlement in U.S. history, to resolve certain Vioxx-related claims involving plaintiffs who suffered a heart attack, including sudden cardiac death, or a stroke.

Study indicates weight loss surgery may be linked to severe headaches

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Obese patients who undergo weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) to lose weight are at an increased risk of developing a type of severe headache, according to new research published in the journal Neurology. Researchers with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles studied 338 people with a history of spontaneous intracranial hypotension, a condition in which the cerebral spinal fluid around the brain leaks. This condition can cause headaches when a person is sitting or standing upright but the headache generally disappears when the person lies down. Other symptoms include vomiting, nausea, stiffness in the neck, and difficulty concentrating. The study also ... Read More

Parkinson’s disease drugs linked to impulse control disorders

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Drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease may cause impulse control disorders in users, such as compulsive gambling, compulsive shopping or hypersexuality, according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records. The drugs in question are known as dopamine agonists, and include the brand names Apokyn, Parlodel, Dostinex, Mirapex, Requip and Neupro. The drugs are also used to treat restless leg syndrome and are considered a highly effective class of medications. For the study, researchers analyzed FDA data on 2.7 adverse drug events reported between 2003 and 2012. Among the reports analyzed, 1,580 were identified as involving what researchers categorized as “serious” ... Read More

Tampons may help doctors detect ovarian cancer

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Tampons could one day be used as a diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer, according to researchers fro the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Researchers studied tampons that had been placed in the vaginas of ovarian cancer patients and found tumor DNA in cells trapped within the tampon fibers. “In about 60 percent of the patients who had their (fallopian) tubes still intact, we were able to pick up tumor cells, or essentially tumor DNA, in the vaginal tract,” said Dr. Charles Landen, associate professor of gynecologic oncology. Having fallopian tubes still intact would be key for the study since the ... Read More

Off-label prescribing of antipsychotic drug raises concerns about side effects

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Off-label prescribing of an antipsychotic drug in Canada is raising concerns about serious and life-threatening side effects. Seroquel is only approved in Canada to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In the United States, however, it is also used as an add-on treatment to an antidepressant for patients with major depressive disorder. According to IMS Health Canada, a company that tracks the health care industry, the number of prescriptions for Seroquel in Canada has risen from 4.1 million in 2008 to 7.4 million in 2013. However, the prescriptions for the drug are vastly disproportionate to the number of Canadians suffering from ... Read More

UK regulators to review cancer risks with power morcellator used to remove uterine growths

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U.S. drug and medical device regulators warn that a controversial surgical instrument used to grind away uterine growths can spread cancer and worsen the odds of long-term survival and should only be used if women are first made aware of the risks before undergoing procedures in which the instrument will be used. The tool is known as a power morcellator and is made by various medical device manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson. The device is typically used with a tube-shaped blade that grinds up and removes uterine fibroids or, in some cases, the entire uterus. Since they were introduced in ... Read More

Hospira recalls lidocane because vial contaminated with human hair

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Hospira is recalling yet another injectable product due to contamination of visible particles in vials of its products. The latest recall, involving one lot of the anesthetic Lidocane HCl, was issued after a confirmed customer report of human hair embedded in and attached to a pinched area of the stopper. While no reports of adverse events associated with this recall have been reported, if the particulate breaks and pieces are able to pass through the intravenous catheter, injected particulate material may result in local inflammation, phlebitis, and/or low-level allergic response to the particulate or microembolic effects. The affected lot of ... Read More

Dr. Oz warns against use of power morcellator for removal of uterine growths, uteruses

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If the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) warning about a surgical tool known as the power morcellator used to remove uterine growths and to perform hysterectomies can cause the spread of undiagnosed cancer and lessen the odds of survival isn’t enough to raise concerns about the device, perhaps Dr. Mehmet Oz’s warning will. The host of the popular television program, The Dr. Oz Show, called the issue a “medical crisis,” saying he believes that until advianced technology supports the safety of morcellation, he is definitely advocating against the procedure. Power morcellator is a surgical tool that is typically used with ... Read More

New warnings added to label of potent painkiller Zohydro ER

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Just months after the new potent painkiller Zohydro ER hit the market amid a slurry of controversy, a long list of new warnings including black box warnings, have been added to the opioid’s safety label. Zohydro, made by Zogenix, is the first pure hydrocodone to be approved in the United States. Hydrocodone is a potent opioid painkiller that is already marketed in combination with other painkillers such as with acetaminophen in the drug Vicodin. The FDA approved Zohydro under the premise that people with chronic pain need more treatment options. Also, the combination hydrocodone with acetaminophen puts patients at risk ... Read More

Label of Estring menopause treatment updated to include estrogen-class standards

Estring black box warning

The black box warning and other warnings and precautions on the hormonal postmenopausal symptom reliever Estring have been updated to reflect current recommended estrogen-class labeling standards which include risk of uterine cancer, breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, blood clots and dementia. Estring is a vaginal ring made by Pfizer that contains estradiol, a synthetic estrogen. It is inserted into the vagina and should be removed after 90 days of continuous use. Estring is used after menopause to treat moderate to severe vaginal itching, burning and dryness, painful intercourse, urinary urgency and painful urination due to urogenital atrophy. Hormone replacement therapy, ... Read More

New black box warning added to blood thinner Eliquis

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The blood thinner Eliquis (apixaban) has a new black box warning that prematurely discontinuing therapy for reasons other than pathological bleeding or completion of a course of therapy increases the risk of blood clots. If therapy is prematurely discontinued, it is advised that patients be given another anticoagulant to prevent this risk. Eliquis is used to reduce the risk of strokes or blood clots in patients with a common heart rhythm abnormality known as atrial fibrillation, not caused by a heart valve problem. It is also approved to prevent and treat blood clots in the veins of the legs, known ... Read More