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Pharmaceutical 7071 articles

J&J argues talc litigation should be tried one plaintiff at a time

It’s been six months since Johnson & Johnson was hit with a staggering $4.69 billion verdict in a case brought by 22 women who alleged the company’s talcum powder products contained cancer-causing asbestos that contributed to their ovarian cancer diagnosis, but the sting has yet to fade. Earlier this month, the consumer health care giant urged the Missouri Supreme Court to force St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison to unbundle a similar trial involving 13 women with ovarian cancer, saying it was unfair not to try the cases one plaintiff at a time. The state’s high court agreed to ... Read More

Perdue’s Sackler family blamed addicts for opioid epidemic

In 1996, Purdue Pharma held a launch party to introduce its new, potent opioid called OxyContin. Then-senior vice president Richard Sackler made a prediction that the party “will be followed by a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition.” Not only was Sackler right, OxyContin became “one of the deadliest drugs of all time,” according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in an amended lawsuit filed against the company. Over the next 20 years since the drug’s launch, Richard Sackler became CEO of Purdue. With family members Beverly, David, Ilene, Lefcourt, Jonathan, Kathe, Mortimer, and Theresa sitting on the ... Read More

Mass opioid overdose leaves 1 dead, 12 hospitalized

One person died and a dozen were hospitalized after a mass opioid overdose at a home in Chino, California. Two officers at the scene also required medical treatment because of accidental exposure to the dangerous drug. Police say the likely culprit was fentanyl and another substance that has not yet been identified. Chino Fire Department Division Chief Jesse Alexander said at one point he saw CPR being performed on six people at the same time during the mass casualty incident. Six doses of the opioid reversal agent Naloxone were also administered, Chino Police Chief Michael O’Brien said. Chino police officers ... Read More

Increase in opioid prescriptions to pets raise red flags amid national epidemic

The number of opioid prescriptions written by veterinarians for pets has increased 41 percent in the past 10 years, according to a new study by Penn Medicine and Penn Vet, raising concerns that some of the highly addictive drugs may not be going to the pets, but to their owners instead. “As we are seeing the opioid epidemic press on, we are identifying other avenues of possible human consumption and misuse,” senior study author Jeanmarie Perrone, director of medical toxicology at Penn Medicine, told The Inquirer. “Even where the increase in prescribed veterinary opioids is well intended by the veterinarian, ... Read More

Experimental smart phone app detects opioid overdose

University of Washington (UW) researchers have developed a cellphone app designed to detect when a person is overdosing from opioids and contact someone with naloxone to intervene. The app is intended to save people from opioid overdose, an epidemic that kills about 115 people each day. “We’re experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of deaths from opioid use, and it’s unfortunate because these overdoses are completely reversible phenomena if they’re detected in time,” said Dr. Jacob Sunshine, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at UW School of Medicine. The Second Chance app uses an algorithm that allows smart phones to ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson will pay for $4.69 billion talc verdict one way or the other

Last July, Johnson & Johnson was hit with a staggering $4.69 billion verdict – one of the largest jury awards in the country – over claims that its Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talcum powder products contain asbestos – a known carcinogen – and contributed to the ovarian cancer diagnoses of 22 women. The news sent the company’s stock into its biggest annual share loss in a decade. But the company may never pay a dime of that verdict. The consumer health care giant is appealing the massive verdict. Its chances of seeing the award slashed or even stricken completely ... Read More

Genetics testing companies sometimes sell consumer DNA data to drug companies

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced six months ago it was acquiring a $300 million stake in consumer genetics testing company 23andMe, and as part of the four-year deal, GSK will have 23andMe’s genetic data at its disposal to fuel ideas on what new drugs to develop and better understand how to pick patients for clinical trials to test new drugs. Sound illegal? It’s not. In fact, genetics-testing companies often have “biobanking consent documents” in their materials that consumers – perhaps unknowingly – agree to when they submit their spit for testing. For 23andMe, that consent document looks like this: “By choosing to ... Read More

Use of Narcan increased twofold among Nashville firefighters

Last year, Nashville, Tennessee, firefighters administered the opioid reversal drug Narcan 1,777 times – more than twice as much as the year before. The staggering statistic shows just how dire the nation’s opioid epidemic has become, according to WSMW News 4. More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs (like heroin), prescription opioids (like OyxContin and hydrocodone), and synthetic opioids (predominantly fentanyl) – a two-fold increase in a decade, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The United States is paying in more than human ... Read More

Eye-tracking device is first baseline-free test for diagnosing concussions

A new medical device that tracks eye movements can help medical professionals diagnose concussions, and is the first noninvasive, baseline-free test of its kind to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The EyeBOX, made by Oculogica, uses proprietary technology to collect and analyze more than 100,000 data points relating to cranial nerve function and eye movements to generate an objective assessment of concussion in less than four minutes. Oculogica plans to market the device for use in children and adults ages 5 to 67 years, starting in select, qualified sites. What is unique about the EyeBOX is ... Read More

Jury shown traces of talc and asbestos in mesothelioma victim’s lungs, lymph nodes

Teresa E. Leavitt’s mother trusted Johnson & Johnson when the company promoted its Johnson’s Baby Powder as safe enough for babies, so she used the talcum powder liberally on Leavitt from the time she was a baby in the 1960s. Teresa continued to use the powder as a young woman, dusting it on her hair and face. Now Leavitt is suing Johnson & Johnson alleging the powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, and left her with a deadly disease that is expected to take her life within the year, Law360 reports. She claims that the consumer health care giant knew ... Read More