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Johnson & Johnson profits soar despite Risperdal lawsuits


New product launches and strong pharmaceutical sales have propelled Johnson & Johnson’s third-quarter net earnings to $4.3 billion on revenue of $17.8 billion. “With a number of regulatory approvals, several new drug application submissions and new breakthrough therapy designations from the FDA, we are increasingly confident in our pipeline expectation of filing 10 new pharmaceutical products between 2015 and 2019, each with revenue potential over $1 billion,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. “Our broad-based business model, strategic investments and talented colleagues position us well for continued leadership in health care.” The company, which sells everything ... Read More

Smokers often unaware of e-cigarette risks; believe vaping to be ‘harmless’

e-cigarette vaping - photo by the-best-electronic-cigarette-review dot com

When cigarettes were first introduced a century ago, makers claimed that smoking was harmless, similar to the claims of e-cigarette sellers today. Several decades later, cigarette use has been proven to cause cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and other health hazards. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity in the U.S., claiming more than 480,000 lives annually. Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Not only is the nicotine in e-cigarettes highly addictive, it also has potential harmful vascular and neurologic effects. Although vaping is promoted as being a smoking cessation aid, there is no ... Read More

Janssen tries to dodge $70 million Risperdal judgment


Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals is desperately trying to skirt a landmark $70 million judgment over claims that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal disfigured a Tennessee boy. The drug company is questioning sufficiency of evidence on numerous issues and arguing that the court improperly limited its ability to tell the jury about the benefits of the drug. Janssen also contends that the court should have applied a $750,000 cap on damages in the case. In July, a Philadelphia jury slapped Janssen with the $70 million verdict in a lawsuit that alleged the company did not adequately warn of side effects, specifically ... Read More

Lawsuits against chemotherapy drug Taxotere consolidated in Louisiana

bald woman, Taxotere - Pixabay image

Thirty-three cases that had been filed federally across the U.S. against pharmaceutical company Sonafi SA were consolidated this month into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Louisiana district court, according to Law360. The drug maker is accused of marketing its chemotherapy drug Taxotere as superior to similar competing drugs, while concealing that the drug caused permanent hair loss. Law360 quotes from one of the suits filed by Ami Dodson in California saying that Sonafi SA began misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of Taxotere as early as 1996, the year that the drug was approved for use by the Food and Drug ... Read More

Omnicare To Pay $28 Million To Settle Abbott Kickback Allegations

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

Omnicare Inc., the nation’s largest nursing home pharmacy, has agreed to pay the U.S. government more than $28 million to settle whistleblower allegations that it solicited and received kickbacks from drugmaker Abbott Laboratories in exchange for promoting the anti-seizure drug, Depakote, for nursing home patients. Nursing homes rely on pharmacy benefit management companies like Omnicare to review their residents’ medical charts at least monthly and make recommendations to their physicians about what drugs should be prescribed for those residents. Omnicare’s most recent settlement resolves accusations that it received several millions of dollars in kickbacks from Abbott in exchange for pushing Depakote on ... Read More

Study: Testosterone does not improve sexual function

Low T

Testosterone replacement therapy may look like the fountain of youth, but a new analysis has found the hormone supplements don’t provide any real benefits as far as improving cardiovascular health, sexual function and cognitive abilities. What testosterone treatments do provide are a laundry list of potential health issues that render the treatments a risky gamble for men. The analysis, published in the journal PLOS One, involved a review of 226 clinical trials conducted between 1950 and 2016 in which testosterone treatments were compared to a placebo for cardiovascular health, sexual function, physical function, mood or cognitive function. “Testosterone has been ... Read More

U.S. Investigating Whistleblower’s Fraud Allegations Against South Carolina Hospital System

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating claims made by a whistleblower in a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that a South Carolina hospital system defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare by entering into unlawful financial relationships with physicians to acquire referrals and boost government billings. Elisabeth Markley, a former Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) physician compensation coordinator, filed the whistleblower lawsuit in federal court in Greenville, S.C., Sept. 25, 2015. Ms. Markley accuses the hospital system of acquiring several medical practices and overpaying the physicians in them with the understanding that those physicians would refer patients to SRHS for ... Read More

Testosterone companies fight over patent infringement

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A patent infringement lawsuit filed against drug maker Lipocine Inc. by Clarus Therapeutics was dismissed by the U.S. District Court in Delaware. Clarus was suing Lipocine over claims that Lipocine’s key drug candidate, LPCN 1021, infringed Clarus’ patent of Clarus’ similar drug JATENZO. LPCN 1021 and JATENZO are experimental oral testosterone replacement therapy currently in Phase III clinical trials. They are designed for boost levels of the male hormone in men with hypogonadism, a deficiency of testosterone due to disease or defect. Testosterone treatments are generally administered by injection, topical gel, or nasal spray. Both LPCN 1021 and JATENZO aim ... Read More

TN medical center tries to toss some lawsuits by victims of fungal meningitis outbreak


A motion by Tennessee-based Specialty Surgery Center PLLC to toss 15 lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) related to the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, based on a technicality, should be rejected, the plaintiff’s steering committee (PSC) told a federal court. The medical group argued that under the state’s health care liability law, the claims needed to be accompanied by an avowal of good faith in relation to expert testimony. Fifteen of the 24 original complaints lack this information. The medical group argued this was grounds for dismissal. Plaintiffs said that the delay was because of an initial uncertainty about whether ... Read More

Live Satellite Testimony Permitted for Metal-on-Metal Hip MDL Trial


Live satellite testimony has been permitted by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade for a trial in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) over metal-on-metal hip implants made by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics. In Texas court, DePuy executive Pam Plouhar is scheduled to give testimony via satellite video, as well as witnesses in Los Angeles and Minneapolis. “It’s a form of harassment. It’s court-sanctioned harassment,” said the co-chair of the life sciences and product liability practice groups at the attorney’s office defending the J&J and DePuy. “Courts and litigants have been relying on deposition transcripts and video for decades, so they’re not less reliable. They may ... Read More