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European group issues statement regarding use of testosterone replacement therapy

Low T

Recent controversy in the United States regarding the overprescribing of testosterone replacement therapy to aging men, and cardiovascular side effects associated with the hormones, have prompted the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) to issue a statement saying testosterone treatments should not be offered to all aging men, and that candidates be evaluated for co-morbidities that could affect natural testosterone levels and increase side effects from treatment. Testosterone treatments, which includes the brand names AndroGel and Axiron, are intended for men who suffer from hypogonadism, a condition in which men do not produce enough testosterone due to disease or injury. ... Read More

Murray Energy to pay $150K in whistleblower lawsuit claiming the company tried to deter safety complaints


Murray Energy Corp., the largest underground coal mining company in the U.S., has been fined a total of $150,000 due to interfering with the rights of whistleblowers to file anonymous safety complaints. The administrative law judge also ordered Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray to personally deliver speeches to his employees at the mines, informing them of their rights as American laborers. “I find interference with the right to make anonymous complaints to be a very serious matter that undermines the safety of the mine,” Judge Margaret Miller, of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, wrote in her ruling. ... Read More

Fresenius slapped with wrongful death lawsuit


A man is suing Fresenius Medical Care and others, claiming negligence on behalf of the dialysis company and members of Huntington Internal Medicine Group in Huntington, W. Va., which he claims caused injuries and the premature death of his father. John. E. Bourdelais was undergoing dialysis treatment under the care of the defendants on July 13, 2013, when he suffered life-threatening injuries including hemorrhagic shock, cardiopulmonary arrest, bilateral pleural effusions, cardiac arrhythmias, hypovolemic arrest, traumatic hemothorax and multiple fractured ribs secondary to resuscitation. This, the lawsuit claims, shortened his life by two years. The lawsuit was filed by John M. ... Read More

AF patients should weigh stroke risk against bleeding risk with blood thinners


Atrial fibrillation, or AF, is the most common type of heart rhythm abnormality in which the heart beats too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. This causes blood to pool in the chambers of the heart, which can lead to blood clots that can break loose and travel to the brain, causing a stroke. Thus, patients with AF are at an increased risk of stroke. To reduce this risk, AF patients are often treated with blood thinners. But the decision to prescribe anticoagulants to AF patients is a gamble, says Dr. John Mandrola, in an editorial for Medscape. “The drugs ... Read More

U.S. Backs Whistleblower Complaint Against Navy Contractor


The U.S. said on Wednesday that it has joined a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who alleges a U.S. Navy contractor that provided goods and services to U.S. ships in ports around the world knowingly overbilled the government for a decade starting in 2005. The U.S. government contracted U.K.-based Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited to provide goods and services, known as ship husbanding, for crews of ships at port in Asia, Africa, Central America, North America, South America, and Mexico. These services typically included providing food and other basic provisions, arranging ship-to-shore and local transportation, waste removal, ... Read More

Mirena IUD linked to increased risk of breast cancer

mirena IUD

The Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) has been linked to complications that can cause lasting injuries, but a new study suggests it may also increase the risk of breast cancer. The Mirena IUD is inserted into the cervix where it releases a small amount of the progestin hormone levonorgestrel. It is intended to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. It has been linked to serious adverse side effects and potentially life threatening complications following implantation including migration of the device from its intended place in the cervix, perforation into other organs, embedment in the uterus, and expulsion of the IUD. ... Read More

Pfizer promotes single servings of Viagra but omits warning of melanoma risk

Viagra single pack

Pfizer has launched a marketing campaign to promote the new single-pack servings of its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, but its materials don’t warn about a side effect that has resulted in lawsuits in recent months. A half million men used Viagra each month during 2014, and about 16 percent of them reportedly used the medication outside the home. This revelation prompted Pfizer to pursue offering the drug in single packs, offering the same pills found in bottles of Viagra, but in a small pouch containing just one pill. The pouch can slip easily into a pocket, wallet or suitcase. The ... Read More

Blood clot risk in patients who quit Pradaxa therapy prematurely


The Warnings and Precautions section on the labels of the blood thinner Pradaxa has been updated to include a warning that premature discontinuation of Pradaxa therapy can cause a thrombotic (blood clot) event. Pradaxa is a blood thinner that is prescribed to patients with a common heart rhythm abnormality known as atrial fibrillation. The drug helps prevent pooled blood in the heart chambers from clotting. These clots can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. The new warning states that if Pradaxa is discontinued for a reason other than pathological bleeding or completion of a course of therapy, treating ... Read More

Whistleblower, U.S. Take Indiana’s Largest Health Care System To Trial For Alleged Medicaid Fraud


An Indiana federal court heard opening arguments Friday in a whistleblower case brought by an Indiana doctor who accuses Indiana University (IU) Health and Healthnet of defrauding Medicaid out of $100 million and putting pregnant women and their unborn children at risk. Dr. Judith Robinson, former director of women’s services at HealthNet and medical director of ob-gyn services at Indiana University (IU) Health Methodist Hospital, alleges in her lawsuit that the care providers booted high-risk, low-income pregnant women on Medicaid to the care of less-expensive midwives, then billed the government for those services at higher rates, as though doctors performed them. This Medicaid fraud scheme, ... Read More

Brain Injury Class Action Results In Big Changes To Youth Soccer Rules

skull xray

The United States Soccer Federation has announced new rules and guidelines designed to protect more youth players from the cumulative neurological damage that can occur with repeated blows and knocks to the head. The new rules are part of a resolution in a class action lawsuit filed by a group of players and their parents in a California federal court, accusing FIFA, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and the American Youth Soccer Organization of negligence in the way they addressed and handled concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury among soccer players. The class action, which did not seek monetary ... Read More