Author

Amanda Burbank

307 posts

Amanda J. Burbank is a poet, writer and editor. She's had a number of pieces published in a variety of places, from local papers and magazines to online blogs to literary magazines. She's worked on the other side of the profession as well, from beta reading for multiple aspiring novelists to assisting a literary agent to working as an editor herself. She's also worked as a teacher, homeschooling her three children for three years, learning with them as they were continually, joyously discovering. She graduated from Huntingdon College with a bachelor of arts majoring in English and Psychology. She and her husband and children live in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Talc litigation asks when to warn consumers of health risks

talc justice

An attorney analyzing the legal landscape for the Claims Journal used the talc litigation to examine the issue of failure to warn. He concluded that manufacturers and their insurers can’t assume that the argument that they are waiting on a scientific consensus about an alleged risk associated with their product will protect them from liability. In spite of the fact that scientists are still studying the effects of talc on the female reproductive system and that there is debate over how to interpret the decades of research that has already been done, three juries in 2016 found Johnson and Johnson to be liable ... Read More

A new kind of anti-reflux surgery for GERD patients offers alternative to PPIs

PPI proton pump inhibitor

There is another option besides long-term PPI use for those who suffer from chronic acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, known as GERD. This serious disease is estimated to affect more than 80 million Americans. Symptoms include heartburn, nausea, sore throat, belching, pain in upper abdomen, asthma, chronic cough and regurgitation. Left untreated, it can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which tissue that is similar to the lining of your intestine replaces the tissue lining your esophagus, which sometimes develops into esophageal cancer. Many with this disease are treated with proton pump inhibitors (or PPIs) such as Prevacid, ... Read More

New talc trial alleging ovarian cancer risk underway in Missouri

talc justice

Johnson and Johnson’s attorney said in opening arguments of the fifth talc trial that is now underway in Missouri that government agencies have not determined that talc is a risk factor for ovarian cancer. However, the plaintiff’s attorney promises to show evidence that J&J and co-defendant Imerys Talc America used corporate power to influence government agencies, successfully preventing talc regulation. “In internal documents, the mantra of the defendants has consistently been, ‘It’s time to create more confusion,’” said the plaintiff’s attorney Allen Smith, according to the St. Louis Record. “Johnson & Johnson has never warned the public about this hazard,” Smith told jurors, ... Read More

Researchers find what may be ‘an effective approach’ to destroying cells of rare melanoma

melanoma

Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is most commonly associated with sun exposure or tanning beds, both exposing people to ultraviolet (UV) radiation that causes DNA damage. Scientists have been making breakthroughs recently on a cellular level. Discoveries related to the BRAF gene have led to new therapies for the most common type of melanoma, cutaneous melanoma (CM). Scientists have also been studying how inhibiting phosphodiesterase (PDE) 5A increases the invasiveness of melanoma cells. Erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, as PDE5 inhibitors, have been found by several studies to increase melanoma risk by as much ... Read More

Consumers pay the high costs of Big Pharma’s greed

online pharmacy - FDA image

Some men with melanoma are suing Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies that manufacture, sell and market erectile dysfunction drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors. According to Law360, “the master complaint includes a slew of allegations, including negligence, unfair and deceptive trade practices, strict liability, breach of express and implied warranty, unjust enrichment, fraud and deceit, and negligent misrepresentation and concealment.” Citing a Center for Drug Evaluation and Research joint clinical review, the complaint alleges that Pfizer knew as early as 1998 that after taking Viagra people had developed skin cancer as well as cancer in the tissue lining organs, and that ... Read More

Know the symptoms and risk factors of ovarian cancer

talc ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer, the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive system, is only detected early 20 percent of the time. Once it spreads beyond the ovaries to other organs it is much more difficult to treat. Improving chances of early detection is an important goal in fighting this disease that is expected to affect more than 22,000 women in 2017. More than half of those diagnosed are expected to die as a result of the disease, 14,000 women in 2017. News outlets such as SimpleMost have taken up the challenge to spread knowledge about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, which are often ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson accused of valuing corporate profit over human life

talc justice

Johnson and Johnson is accused of putting corporate profit over public safety. The Daily Hornet cites the company’s six massive product liability losses in 2016 and the nearly 103,000 lawsuits filed against it just surrounding alleged injuries from five products: vaginal mesh, anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, blood thinner Xarelto, Pinnacle hip implants, and talcum powder. “The lawsuits involve different products, but all claim that Johnson & Johnson knew the products were dangerous and downplayed risks, putting corporate profits over public safety,” said The Daily Hornet. The news source goes on to give one specific example, saying that the J&J exec in ... Read More

Henna art brings courage and hope to women with cancer-related hair-loss

henna tattoo, Taxotere, hair loss - Shutterstock

Since the now closed organization Henna Heals began raising awareness about “Henna Crowns” in 2010 henna artists around the world have begun to use their skills to serve women who have suffered hair loss due to chemotherapy by designing beautiful and inspiring temporary henna tattoos for women to wear proudly instead of covering up their heads with scarves or hats or wigs. Some women dealing with cancer find the emotional aspect of hair loss difficult to cope with, shaking their confidence and causing them to question their beauty and womanhood. In fact some women even have lost their hair permanently ... Read More

Judge supports punitive damages in talc litigation

talc justice

The fifth Missouri talc trial started April 10 before Judge Rex M. Burlison of the 22nd Circuit Court of St. Louis. Burlison presided over all of the court’s talc trials, including three last year resulting in verdicts in favor of plaintiffs who claimed Johnson and Johnson’s talc-containing products contributed to the development of their ovarian cancer. The St. Louis Record reports that as this new trial begins defendants Johnson and Johnson and Imerys, the company that supplies talc to J&J, are still busy arguing against last year’s losses. Specifically, both have filed post-trial motions against last October’s $70 million verdict. Among their arguments, ... Read More

Dermatologists recommend annual exam for melanoma prevention

melanoma

The Wall Street Journal reports that a group of 50 dermatologists have just published in Melanoma Management a call for new guidelines for melanoma screenings. They recommend yearly full-body scans by primary care physicians for a number of specific groups of people they deem high risk, some more obvious than others. Recommended for these full-body scans were people 35 to 75 years old who have a family history of melanoma or previous history of skin cancer; those with light skin, blonde or red hair, or lots of freckles; those who have a history of indoor tanning, sunburns, or severely damaged ... Read More