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Maryland 195 articles

Appeals court rejects J&J’s bid to challenge expert in Risperdal side effects case

A Pennsylvania appeals court rejected Johnson & Johnson’s bid to challenge expert testimony in a trial over claims that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a boy to grow female breasts, which resulted in a $1.75 million verdict against the drug company and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The verdict was later reduced after a trial judge agreed that the plaintiff was bound by Maryland law, which limits noneconomic damages to $680,000. The three-judge Superior Court panel rejected Janssen’s arguments that plaintiffs expert Dr. Francesco DeLuca had improperly relied on an 8-year-old photograph of plaintiff Nicholas Murry to determine he had gynecomastia, ... Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuit Ends in $16 Million Judgment Against Delaware MRI Operator

A whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit against a Delaware MRI provider and its owner has resulted in a default judgment of more than $16 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware said a Delaware federal court ruled on Jan. 29 that Orthopaedic and Neuro Imaging LLC (ONI) must pay $16,223,091, with the company’s owner, Richard Pfarr, personally liable for $6.12 million of that amount. Robin White, a former ONI employee, filed the whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government after she found that the company was submitting claims to Medicare for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans ... Read More

Jason’s Deli Data Breach Affects 2 Million Credit and Debit Cards

Jason’s Deli is advising its customers to check for suspicious activity in their banking and credit card accounts after it discovered a data breach affecting about two million accounts. The Beaumont, Texas-based company, which operates 275 restaurants in 28 states, says that hackers installed “RAM-scraping” malware at several point-of-sale (POS) terminals in various corporate-owned Jason’s Deli restaurants starting on June 8. Jason’s Deli headquarters said that the data breach came to its attention on Dec. 22 after it was notified by payment processors that credit card security personnel had discovered a large quantity of credit and debit card information appearing ... Read More

Blood thinner recalled over drug ingredient mixup

International Laboratories LLC is recalling one lot of the blood thinner Clopidogrel because the pills may contain the cholesterol-lowering statin Simvastatin instead. The recall affects Lot # 117099A of Clopidogrel Tabloets, USP 75mg, packaged in bottles of 30 tablets. The affected lot was delivered to distribution centers in Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, California and Maryland, and then distributed to retail stores throughout the U.S. Patients prescribed Clopidogrel, the active drug ingredient in Plavix, who miss doses of this medication are at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, both of which can be life threatening. Additionally, unintentional consumption of Simvastatin, ... Read More

Hidden cameras reveal nursing home abuse

A hidden camera inside a Pompano Beach, Florida nursing home shows a certified nursing assistant forcefully trying to get a 94-year-old nonverbal man with dementia out of bed. She lets him fall into a chair and then hits him on the head. Later, another nursing assistant is shown dousing the man with mouthwash. “Mouthwash has alcohol in it. Guess what? He’s gong to end up with ulcers and bedsores from dried out skin, and that’s exactly what happened to this man when he had stage three ulcers that ultimately proved to be fatal,” said the attorney hired by the man’s ... Read More

Maryland Woman Pleads Guilty to Medicare, Medicaid Fraud

A Maryland woman pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud charges for a scheme in which she falsely represented herself to be a medical equipment vendor for New York-based Medicare and Medicaid management programs. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Suzanna Meliksetyan, 28, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, purported to operate multiple durable medical equipment companies so that she could submit bogus claims to Healthfirst, a non-profit, New York-based health maintenance organization that administers Medicare Advantage plans and New York Medicaid Managed Care plans. As part of her guilty plea, Ms. Meliksetyan admitted that she operated a number of scam medical ... Read More

Contamination risk remains with Pharma Tech liquid docusate

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reminding health care professionals and patients not to use any liquid product manufactured by Pharma Tech LLC’s Davie, Florida, facility because they may be contaminated with Burkholderia cepacia, a bacteria that can cause serious, life-threatening infections in people with compromised immune systems and patients with chronic lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis. These Pharma Tech-produced products are labeled by a variety of companies including Rugby, Leader, Major, Centurion, and Mid Valley. Laboratory testing conducted by the FDA has identified B. cepacia in several bottles of Rugby Diocto (docusate sodium) oral liquid from lot ... Read More

Probiotics may improve kidney function in women with lupus

Recent studies have shown that popular stomach medicines may lead to kidney damage. For example, proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, like Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec, have been shown to increase risk of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Many who suffer from acid reflux and other digestive problems have been looking for more natural ways to treat their symptoms, such as diet changes, and often find that they have more relief from these treatments without the potential for dangerous side effects. Kidney damage can also be caused by the autoimmune disease, lupus. According to Medical News Today, as many as half ... Read More

Pumpkin Spice Air Freshener Sickens Several in Baltimore School

Five people who fell ill after inhaling a pumpkin spice scented aerosol at a Baltimore, Maryland, high school were hospitalized Thursday, Oct. 5 Students and faculty at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School told the Baltimore Sun that they noticed an unusual smell emanating from the third floor. The strange odor “appeared to be getting stronger” as the minutes passed, said school president Bill Heiser. Before long, several students and teachers started to experience respiratory distress, including difficulty breathing, headaches and gastrointestinal problems. Mr. Heisman ordered an evacuation of the school and called the Baltimore Fire Department. First responders promptly ordered ... Read More

Petland pups spreading drug-resistant infection to humans

Puppies sold by the national pet store chain Petland have been linked to an antibiotic-resistant strain of infections in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “We know that Campylobacter is common in dogs, that’s not new to us,” said CDC veterinarian Dr. Mark Laughlin. “But an outbreak of human illness due to contact with dogs is quite unique.” Dogs carry the bacteria that causes Campylobacter infections, but not all who carry the germ experience symptoms such as diarrhea. The bacteria can be spread through dog poop, when someone is touching, feeding or cleaning up after their pup. ... Read More