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Thousands of ER visits each year blamed on dietary supplements

dietary supplements - pills, probiotics

Chris Herrera was 15 when he started taking diet pills with green tea extract to burn fat and shed pounds. The dietary supplement worked. Herrera lost 56 pounds, but he wasn’t looking very healthy. When his mother noticed the whites of his eyes turning yellow, she sent him to the doctor. Medical tests revealed his liver was failing. His doctor blamed his diet pills. Logan Stiner was burning the candle at both ends, working on projects for his high school finals. He popped a powdered caffeine supplement hoping for the burst of energy that one gets from high-energy drinks, but ... Read More

Teavana Flip Tumblers Recalled Over Breakage, Burn Risks

Recall - Teavana tumblers - CPSC image

Starbucks unit Teavana is recalling more than 23,000 of 14-ounce “flip tumblers” sold in the U.S. after receiving a dozen reports that the item leaks and poses a burn risk. The tumblers, which are designed to hold hot liquid and steep hot tea, come with a clear plastic cap and a welded black base that screws onto a stainless steel tumbler. The tumblers were sold in black and silver models with the name “Teavana” printed on the side. They were sold in Teavana stores nationwide and online at Tevan.com from October 2016 through February 2017 for about $40. According to ... Read More

First Xarelto bellwether trial to begin April 24

xarelto

After two delays, the first lawsuit to stand trial in a massive multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving bleeding risks with the blood thinner Xarelto is scheduled for April 24. More than 15,000 lawsuits were consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana under Judge Eldon E. Fallon. The first bellwether case to go to trial involves the case of Joseph Boudreaux Jr., who says he took Xarelto to prevent strokes due to his heart condition, atrial fibrillation, and soon afterward suffered internal bleeding requiring multiple blood transfusions. His case will be heard in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Boudreaux’s trial will be ... Read More

EPA Took six Months to Inform residents of Toxic Benzene Levels

Benzene

When the benzene level in the air at Kim Cupples’ Lansing Township, Michigan, home was found to exceed the state’s evacuation threshold, she says authorities including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) didn’t inform her for six months. During the EPA’s routine screening in March 2016, Cupples’ home measured 1.6 micrograms per cubic meter, then in July 2016 measured 5.96 micrograms per cubic meter. The EPA’s screening level requiring further evaluation is .36, and the state’s evacuation level is 3.6 micrograms per cubic meter. Despite the extremely high levels, the EPA took six months after the testing to “validate” the results and send ... Read More

Kia and Hyundai vehicles under recall for engine defect

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An engine defect has led to the recall of more than 1.3 million Kia and Hyundai vehicles in the U.S. Machining errors during the engine manufacturing process may lead to premature bearing wear within the engine, potentially causing the vehicle to stall and increasing the risk of a crash. Models under recall include the 2011-2013 Kia Sportage, 2012-2014 Kia Sorento, 2011-2014 Kia Optima, 2013-2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and the 2013-2014 Hyundai Sonata. “Hyundai is initiating this action to ensure the safety and quality of its vehicles and the continued satisfaction of its customers,” said Miles Johnson, spokesman at Hyundai, to ... 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

FDA wants Abbott to provide assurance regarding cybersecurity concerns with cardiac implants

data-breach

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) slapped Abbott Laboratories, the new owner of St. Jude Medical Inc., with a warning letter giving the company 15 days to explain how it corrected cybersecurity issues with some of its cardiac implant transmitter devices or face potential consequences. The cybersecurity issue was first raised in August 2016, when third-party investment firm Muddy Waters Capital LLC and MedSec Holdings issued a report detailing alleged “severe security vulnerabilities” in St. Jude Medical-brand implantable pacemakers, defibrillators and resynchronization devices. The devices in question are used to provide pacing for slow heart rhythms and electrical shock or pacing ... Read More

First treatment for tardive dyskinesia gains FDA approval

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Ingrezza (valbenazine) capsules, the first drug to treat the neurological disorder tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive involuntary movements, usually of the jaw, lips and tongue, such as grimacing, sticking out the tongue and smacking the lips. Some people affected by the condition also experience involuntary movement of the extremities or difficulty breathing. Not only is the condition disabling, it can further stigmatize patients with mental illness, as it is caused by antipsychotic medications, especially older drugs, taken for long periods of time to treat chronic conditions ... Read More

HSBC Settles Whistleblower lawsuit alleging SBA Loan Fraud

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HSBC Bank USA has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $2 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who alleged the bank sought reimbursement from the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) for loans it knew to fraudulent or based on fraudulent information. The SBA operates a loan program called SBAExpress, which guarantees lenders half the value of loans they make to start-ups and other small businesses. The program is designed to incentivize banks to loan to small businesses by reducing risk, spurring economic development and growth. The False Claims Act complaint, filed by whistleblower ... 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