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Lawsuits seek more than $68 million from pain pump manufacturers

Nine people in Arizona who claim they were permanently injured by a medical device designed to deliver pain medication to the shoulder joint, are suing the makers of the device for more than $68 million, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. The nine are among a growing number of lawsuits filed against the makers of shoulder pain pumps that were used in patients following shoulder surgery. The devices have a catheter that is implanted into the surgical site and delivers regular does of anesthetics to the wound for up to 72 hours. Doctors soon began to see a connection between ... Read More

China says tainted drug blame should fall on foreign suppliers

A Chinese senior health official says China has been unfairly labeled as a center for fake drug production and that blame should be placed instead on foreign companies who do business with unregistered firms against Chinese regulations. Bian Zhenijia, director of the drug safety supervision department of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), urged companies to be more responsible when dealing with foreign suppliers. “The problem lies in the fact that some overseas companies have an implicit deal with underground factories or illegal manufacturers in China, so the product involved has problems,” Bian said at a press conference. China’s ... Read More

Woman with Tardive Dyskinesia sues makers of Reglan

A Missouri woman is seeking more than $600,000 in damages from the makers of Reglan (metoclopramide) for not adequately warning her of the risk of a serious, permanent, disabling neurological condition known as Tardive Dyskinesia. Shirley Brinkley was prescribed Reglan by her physician in 1992 to treat a stomach ailment. According to the complaint, her physician referred to the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) and the medication’s package inserts and prescribed the medication for long-term use. She took the medication until April 2007. Brinkley claims that even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the long-term use of Reglan, ... Read More

Despite warnings and instructions, food safety may still be a gamble

Following an outbreak in October 2007 of salmonella poisoning linked to Banquet brand chicken pot pies, ConAgra, the manufacturer of the pies, immediately began talking food safety. But instead of assuming responsibility for manufacturing a contaminated product that sickened as many as 15,000 people, ConAgra suggested that killing any salmonella bacteria in its products before eating them was ultimately the consumers’ responsibility. The massive salmonella outbreak prompted ConAgra to remind its customers about the importance of following cooking instructions, especially when using a microwave. In 2007, A ConAgra spokeswoman told the Associated Press that pot pies needed to be cooked longer ... Read More

PR firm to use social media to improve image damaged by coal ash spill

The public relations firm that will likely handle the three-year, $1.9 million image campaign for Kingston, Tennessee, will use social media to improve the area’s tarnished reputation, according to WATE-TV. McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC, which submitted a proposal and budget for the campaign, would use social media techniques such as blogs, blurbs and Twitter Tweets to highlight the positive side of Kingston. The Nashville, Tennessee, firm’s budget also includes a two-year advertising campaign; a two-year, $726,000-per-year “news bureau;” and tracking data to gauge success. TVA officials “agreed in principal” that they would pay for the campaign. Kingston ... Read More

Regions stock drops in light of arbitration losses

Regions Financial Corp., based in Birmingham, Ala., was on the recent Market Watch list of “notable moves” in the stock market. Unfortunately for the company, it was listed alongside General Motors (GM) on the list of “decliners” after experiencing a 5.9 percent drop in stock value. According to the report, the drop is tied to more losses in arbitration cases related to its Morgan Keegan bond fund unit, which lost $2 billion in risky asset-backed securities. Investors are suing Regions Morgan Keegan, alleging the investments were misrepresented as “safe” funds, when they were in fact tied to the volatile mortgage ... Read More

Australian group to screen expectant mothers for postpartum depression

Depression initiative BeyondBlue is working in conjunction with the Australian government to push routine testing for expectant mothers to gauge their risk for suffering from postpartum depression, according to The organization recently sponsored a British study of 1,400 women and found mothers of multiples (twins and triplets) are almost twice at risk of experiencing symptoms of depressions as mothers of single babies. This, researches say, may be linked to the emotional battles these mothers of multiples face trying to conceive, dealing with IVF treatments or handling the increased risk of miscarriage. The study also found that one in eight ... Read More

Woman raises money to help Pakistani boy with SJS

A Leeds, England woman is raising money to help a 4-year-old Pakistani boy see again. She could relate. Patricia Roberts is a survivor of two bouts of Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare but life-threatening condition caused by an adverse reaction to common medication. The condition presents with a rash on the skin that blisters over and causes the skin to peel off in sheets. Victims are susceptible to infection and are often treated in burn units. Blisters also can form in the mouth or on the eyes, which can lead to dehydration or vision problems. When Roberts heard the ... Read More

TVA asked to pay for PR campaign to improve image of damaged area

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is being asked to cover the cost of a three-year, $1.9 million public relations campaign aimed at improving the image of Kingston, Tennessee. The nation’s largest public utility is being blamed for tarnishing the region’s reputation. Once thought of as a destination for water sports and recreation, the east Tennessee community, which includes parts of the Emory River, is now covered in a mass of toxic debris that locals feel may cause them serious illness. McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC submitted a proposal and budget, which includes a two-year advertising campaign; a two-year, ... Read More

Bill seeks to ban importation of substandard building materials

Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich) has introduced a bill that seeks to block the import of substandard building materials into the United States. The bill, H.R. 2155, would give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to prohibit sub-standard steel, cement, and drywall from entering the country. Stupak’s bill comes after an influx of low-grade, allegedly toxic drywall manufactured by Chinese company Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd found its way into thousands of homes in Florida and several other states. Although the problem is likely to be widespread, with cases of caustic drywall being reported as far away as British Columbia, ... Read More