Monthly Archives: April 2011

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Unsafe needle practices infect thousands of U.S. patients annually

In a nation with highly advanced medical technology and high safety standards such as the United States, you might not expect that a simple threat like unsafe needle use and injection practices would be a problem within the healthcare industry, yet it is. The Premier Safety Institute and the Safe Practices Coalition, an alliance of health care organizations, sponsored an all-day conference Tuesday on the problem of unsafe injection practices for medical professionals and others in an effort to raise awareness about the problem. Failure to deliver intravenous medications and injections in accordance with safety rules has resulted in more ... Read More

Popular weight-loss supplements pose injury and death risks, consumer group warns

The over-the-counter weight-loss drug Alli and its prescription form Xenical should be removed from the market immediately, warns Public Citizen, a national non-profit consumer advocacy group based in Washington D.C. The group has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a ban of the popular drugs, citing evidence that they can cause severe, life-threatening injury to liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Alli and Xenical are forms of orlistat. Xenical contains 120 milligrams (mgs), while Alli, which is available without a prescription, contains half the amount of orlistat. Public Citizen says that the risks of serious injury far outweigh the drugs’ ... Read More

Consumer group calls FDA’s unwillingness to ban latex “reckless”

Surgical and patient examination gloves that have cornstarch powder on them or are made of natural latex rubber pose a serious threat to patients and health care workers and must be banned said Public Citizen, a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, in a petition filed Monday with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many people are chronically allergic to latex rubber. Health care workers can experience serious or life-threatening allergic reactions when they wear latex gloves or when they inhale the cornstarch powder bound to latex proteins that has been released from latex gloves worn by others. Inhaling the cornstarch ... Read More

Attorneys investigating claims against Darvon, Darvocet

An estimated 10 million people have used the painkiller propoxyphene, sold under the brand names Darvon and Darvoset by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, since 1957, when the medication was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Potentially hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the drug’s side effects, and many may not even be aware that their medical condition was caused by propoxyphene. Attorneys for Beasley Allen Law Firm are currently investigating cases of injuries and deaths caused by propoxyphene, and experts say the case against the pharmaceutical companies who supplied the drugs could grow as big, if not bigger, ... Read More

Public Citizen takes aim at diet pills Alli, Xenical

The consumer watchdog group that nearly four decades ago first warned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the painkiller Darvocet should be banned from the market because it was killing people, has taken aim at a diet pill. Public Citizen has petitioned the FDA to take a closer look at side effects caused by orlistate, the weight loss drug sold over-the-counter under the brand name Alli and by prescription in higher doses under the name Xenical. The group says it pored through the FDA’s public database of serious side effects to drugs and identified 47 cases of acute pancreatitis ... Read More

Atlanta-area school bus crash ignites debate about seat belts and driver safety

Two school buses collided in Gwinnett County, Georgia, Monday morning, injuring several students who were on their way to take the Georgia State Criterion-Referenced Competency Test and sparking a local debate on the need for safety belts on school buses and better driver safety. Authorities said that the crash occurred about 8:45 a.m. at an intersection in Norcross, Georgia, a city of about 11,000 people in the Metropolitan Atlanta area. A bus from Lilburn Middle School carrying 38 students drove into the back of a special needs bus carrying two children to Camp Creek Elementary School at the intersection. The ... Read More

CSPC outlines new guidelines for crib manufacturers, consumers

Bombarded with questions about new safety standards for cribs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a flyer outlining the new, more stringent requirements for crib manufacturers and answering some of the most frequently asked questions from consumers. Most of the questions have been about the drop-sides of cribs, but CSPC says the new rule also encompasses a crib’s mattress support, slats, and hardware, all of which are required to be more durable. Crib manufacturers will also have to test to these new, tougher guidelines in order to prove compliance. The guidelines were established by CSPC following numerous crib ... Read More

Public Citizen raised flags about Darvocet, now warns of Alli, Xenical

Consumer watchdog group Public Citizen was the first to raise concerns about the safety of propoxyphene, the active ingredient in the brand-name drugs Darvocet and Darvon. The group petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) twice since the prescription painkiller was introduced more than 50 years ago. Public Citizen claimed the drug had a sketchy track record for efficacy and that patients were needlessly dying from accidental overdoses while taking the drug. The FDA opted to keep propoxyphene-containing drugs on the market, but did agree to put stronger warnings on the product’s safety label. Still, Public Citizen urged, it was ... Read More

Bayer dismisses new studies showing higher blood clot risk with Yaz, Yasmin

Bayer isn’t backing down. The pharmaceutical giant that is making billions off sales of it’s popular birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin, says two new studies that suggest the company’s oral contraceptives put women at greater risk for blood clots than older generation pills, are flawed. “Given the already large and robust scientific body of evidence, in Bayer’s opinion, these studies do not change the overall assessment about the safety of Bayer’s oral contraceptives,” the company said in a statement. Yaz and Yasmin are considered “fourth generation” birth control pills and use the hormones ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone. Bayer heavily ... Read More

Amid sea of recalls, J and J considers takeover of medical device company

Johnson & Johnson is reportedly in talks with device maker Synthes Inc. about a possible takeover, potentially the biggest deal in Johnson & Johnson’s 125-year history. Synthes has a market value of about $19 billion, and a takeover of the company could give Johnson & Johnson just what it needs deflect the negative press it has received over the past year from recalled products that range from over-the-counter medicines and consumer products to artificial hip implants. Synthes is the largest maker of devices to treat bone fractures and trauma. Merging with Synthes’ Smith & Nephew Plc. would add more trauma products ... Read More