Latest News

Bayer Healthcare still stands behind safety of Yaz, Yasmin

When Bayer Healthcare launched its new style birth control pills Yasmin and Yaz in 2001 and 2006, respectively, the drugs were marketed under the guise that they were safer than other oral contraceptives. Formulated with a synthetic hormone and containing a diuretic, drospirenone, the pills were touted as having an added benefit of clearing up problem acne and easing the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). But the honeymoon has ended for Bayer, which is now facing more than a thousand lawsuits from women who said they were not adequately warned that the pills could cause serious and life-threatening health ... Read More

NYC residents prepare as doorman strike looms

New York City is bracing itself for a problem that might make most non-city dwellers think “boo hoo hoo” – a looming strike of some 30,000 of the city’s residential doormen and other service workers. The Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union has been in negotiations with New York City’s Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, Inc., which represents building owners, for higher wages, but little progress has been made. The SEI union represents not only New York City’s residential doormen but porters, superintendents, elevator operators, and handymen as well. The average union worker earns on average about ... Read More

Commercial vehicle safety workshop this week

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is holding its 2010 annual workshop in San Antonio, Texas from April 19 – 22. The workshop features meetings, presentations, and other programs developed to improve commercial motor vehicle and overall highway transportation safety. According to Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s interim executive director, “Proactively preventing crashes involving large commercial trucks and interstate buses takes a concerted effort on the part of many stakeholders. To accomplish this, CVSA members actively work to implement new and critical traffic safety initiatives that enhance commercial vehicle enforcement and roadside inspections which ultimately save lives.” Workshop highlights will include ... Read More

New device uses radiofrequency to offer relief to GERD sufferers

Mederi Therapeutics Inc. is launching an innovative new radiofrequency device for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. Mederi’s Stretta is a balloon catheter with a needle that delivers radiofrequency energy. The system is inserted into the esophagogastric junction, or the sphincter controlling the entrance of food into the stomach, and prevents stomach acids from backing up into the esophagus. The radiofrequency waves work to restore the function of the valve separating the esophagus from the stomach. “Our treatment induces collagen deposition. We create small thermal lesions which reform the lower esophageal sphincter and restore it to ... Read More

New NHTSA chief consumed with Toyota woes

When David Strickland took over the reigns of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in early January, he assumed his focus would be the finalizing of landmark fuel economy and tailpipe emissions regulations with the Environmental Protection Agency. What he didn’t anticipate was spending so much time reviewing the safety record of what was once the country’s most reliable car manufacturer. Once in his new role at NHTSA, however, Strickland hit the ground running working to defend the administration’s role in the investigation into eight separate reports of sudden and unintended acceleration incidents in Toyota vehicle since 2003. The ... Read More

Birth control pills celebrate 50th birthday, but safety still in question

Next month the birth control pill celebrates its 50th birthday in the United States. Since then, women’s choices in contraceptives have branched out from pills to patches and implants and injections and so on. Despite the many options now available, there are about 3.1 million unplanned pregnancies each year. Some speculate that women just don’t feel safe taking birth control. The first birth control pills approved for use in the 1960s contained high amounts of hormones, resulting in bothersome and sometimes dangerous side effects including mood swings, weight gain and blood clots. Since then, hormone levels in pills have dropped ... Read More

Oregon appeals court denies I-Flow request for retrial

An Oregon Appeals Court denied a request by defendant I-Flow for a new trial in Mulnomah County Circuit Court following a January 22 jury verdict against the pain pump manufacturer. Jurors awarded $5.475 million for damaging the right shoulder of Portland, Oregon, resident Matthew Beale, placing blame on the On-Q Painbuster infusion pain pump device manufactured and marketed by I-Flow. Matthew was a physically active individual who suffered a minor tear in his right bicep tendon his while throwing a football. Following surgery to repair the tear, Matthew’s condition worsened. Matthew’s surgeon had implanted a pain pump device to deliver pain ... Read More

Hypertension drug’s new label warns of SJS, TEN

A medication used for the management of hypertension now includes an updated safety label that warns patients of a rare but serious skin condition, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. The new safety label for Inderide (propranolol HCL/hydrochlorothiazide) tablets carries a warning of “erythema multiforme including Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), exfoliative dermatitis, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)” in the Adverse Reactions section. SJS and its most severe form, TEN, are allergic reactions to medication. More than 2,000 drugs have been associated with the condition. The condition begins with blisters that cause ... Read More

Meridia safety label warns of life-threatening cardiovascular events

The weight loss drug Meridia has updated the Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions sections of its safety label to include information about a possible link between the drug and life-threatening cardiovascular events, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency ordered the manufacturer of Meridia to update the label following a review on the drug that showed a higher than expected risk of cardiovascular events in patients using sibutramine (11.4 percent) compared to patients using a placebo (10 percent). Meridia was approved by the FDA in 1997 for the management of obesity, including weight loss and maintenance of weight ... Read More

Heartburn drug linked to SJS/TEN

A drug used to treat acid reflux disease has been linked to a rare but serious skin condition known as Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and its more severe form, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) delayed release capsules now includes a warning of the risk of SJS and TEN in the Adverse Reactions section of its safety label. The updated label states that in post-marketing review, some patients taking Dexilant suffered immune system disorders including anaphylactic shock that required emergency intervention, and SJS and TEN. Some cases were fatal. SJS/TEN is a ... Read More