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.
Statin drugs, such as the widely prescribed Lipitor, has been shown to effectively lower cholesterol levels and protect against cardiovascular events, but the drugs may also drive down the amount of testosterone in men’s blood, leaving them with symptoms such as low libido. Statins are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world, but statin side effects have been called into question. As mentioned earlier, studies show statins can reduce testosterone levels, which may lead some men to seek testosterone treatment. However, testosterone drugs can increase cardiovascular risk – the very problem statins aim to fix. Statins can also ... Read More
Children and adolescents beginning treatment with second-generation antipsychotics rarely undergo metabolic screening despite the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommending it as early as 2004, according to a new study. Second-generation antipsychotics, such as the widely prescribed Risperdal, can increase blood sugar levels and put users at risk for type 2 diabetes. This is a particular concern with children and adolescents because diabetes is a chronic condition that requires lifelong management. The ADA issued the guidelines along with the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. They recommended that ... Read More
The mechanism that allows the drug Viagra to improve erectile dysfunction may also provide other benefits as well as risks, a new study has found. Viagra, which contains the active ingredient sildenafil, was found in animal studies to relieve nerve damage caused by diabetes. The condition, known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, is a common but life threatening health complication in diabetic patients, and in some cases leads to amputation. A new study published online in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE supports earlier studies that show Viagra may ease nerve pain by improving blood supply to the sciatic nerve. ... Read More
UnitedHealth insurance announced it soon will require doctors to get permission before performing hysterectomies with a controversial surgical procedure known as power morcellation. The news comes after a wave of reports that power morcellation for hysterectomies and myomectomies – the removal of uterine fibroids – can increase the risk of spreading undetected cancer and worsen a woman’s odds of survival. Power morcellators are surgical tools fitted with a blade that minces uterine fibroids or entire uteruses within the uterine cavity and removes the tissue through a small incision in the abdomen. The procedures have been favored by doctors over more traditional ... Read More
Many antipsychotic medications are prescribed off label to treat elderly patients with dementia despite warnings that the drugs can be deadly for these patients. But a new study shows the drugs may speed up death in dementia patients more than previously thought. For example, the antipsychotic drugs, such as Risperdal (risperidone) is approved to treat children and adults with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability with autism. It is routinely prescribed for unapproved uses, a practice that doctors can legally do but drug companies are forbidden to promote drugs for off-label uses. One of the more common off-label uses of Risperdal is ... Read More
Elsie Smith, 87, of Bridgeport, Conn., is one of hundreds of people who have filed a lawsuit against the makers of Xarelto claiming they were never warned the blood thinner could cause them uncontrollable, life threatening bleeding. Smith claims she was prescribed the drug in 2012 and used it for two years before she suffered “a life-threatening bleeding incident,” in 2014. Xarelto, made by Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, is one of the first drugs from a new class of anticoagulants hit the market as a “safer and more convenient” alternative to the long-used warfarin ... Read More
Consumers should be aware that the safety and effectiveness of asthma treatments labeled as homeopathic and sold over the counter cannot be guaranteed, and asthma symptoms that are not appropriately treated and managed could lead to life threatening consequences, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a safety communication. “Asthma is a serious, chronic lung condition,” the agency warned. “If asthma is not appropriately treated and managed, patients may have wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing, and could be at risk for life-threatening asthma attacks that may require emergency care or hospitalization.” There is no cure for asthma, but ... Read More
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Johnson & Johnson unit McNeil-PPC Inc., of a $10 million verdict levied against the company by the family of a girl who suffered a serious allergic reaction and blindness after taking Children’s Motrin as prescribed for fever. McNeil had petitioned the state high court to hear the case after its bid for appeal was rejected by the Pennsylvania Superior Court panel last September. The panel supported the lower court’s decision in July, which found the consumer health care company failed to warn that its over-the-counter medicine could cause the serious ... Read More
Breo Ellipta, a drug used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), did not cause any asthma related deaths in a series of clinical studies conducted by the drug’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The studies will be reviewed by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel, which will decide whether to recommend the medication as a safe treatment for asthma. The safety label of Breo Ellipta currently includes a warning that compounds in the drug called long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists can increase the risk of asthma-related deaths. The clinical trial data submitted by GSK included three deaths however none were related ... Read More
An ingredient found in over-the-counter cough medicines may help lower blood sugar levels and could one day be used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in the journal Nature Medicine. Researchers at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany, have discovered that the drug dextromethorphan, when consumed, metabolizes into a compound called dextrorphan. This compound is what triggers the insulin release from the pancreas. The drug suppresses the activity of certain receptors called N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) in the medulla oblongata, located in the brainstem just above the spinal cord. NMDA receptors also are found in the ... Read More