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personal injury 371 articles

Preteen girls more likely to experience adverse reactions after Gardasil shots

Preteen girls are more likely than older teens and women to experience adverse side effects within two weeks of receiving Merck’s Gardasil® vaccine, a new Kaiser Permanente study has found. Gardasil®, which is typically administered in a three-shot series, is intended to ward off human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and prevent cervical cancer. Since its debut in 2006, however, the costly vaccine has drawn intense criticism from many doctors, medical researchers, consumer groups, and parents for posing too many health risks while providing little to no benefit. The Kaiser study surveyed 899 girls and women ages 11 to 26 who received ... Read More

Injured Pfizer worker blows whistle on unpoliced biotech hazards

Becky McClain was a molecular biologist working for Pfizer Inc. when she was allegedly injured on the job after being exposed to a highly secretive virus in the company’s Groton, Connecticut, laboratories. McClain filed a number of complaints with Pfizer in an effort to address safety concerns that put both workers and the public at risk. But instead of fixing the problem, Pfizer turned its back on Ms. McClain’s complaints and fired her. Today, two years after winning a $1.27 million judgment against Pfizer and an additional $910,000 for attorney’s fees and punitive damages awarded by a judge last year, ... Read More

New study finds black women more prone to HPV infection, cervical cancer

A new study conducted at the University of South Carolina indicates human papillomavirus (HPV) infections tend to last longer in college-age black females than in their white peers, potentially exposing them to a higher risk of developing cervical cancer. Dr. Kim Creek, vice-chair and professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences at South Carolina College of Pharmacy in Charleston, told HealthDay his study of HPV infection amongst women enrolled at the University of South Carolina suggests black women “are more likely to have persistent high-risk HPV infection.” HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital warts. If left untreated, ... Read More

New algorithm detects adverse reactions caused by drug combinations

A new algorithm developed by researchers to search through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) enormous and complex record of drug interaction data reveals what can happen when patients take prescription drugs in combination. The FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) data, an ever-growing database of hundreds of thousands of drug reactions reported directly to the agency from health care professionals and consumers, provides valuable information about prescription drugs and their possible side effects. The new algorithm, however, unlocks more of the database’s potential by finding previously unknown relationships between different drugs and their consequences for patients. Russ Altman, ... Read More

Johnson & Johnson sold unapproved transvaginal mesh for years, report claims

Johnson & Johnson sold its Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh for three years without obtaining approval for the product, according to a March 21 report by Bloomberg. The Prolift mesh, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) eventually approved for use in 2008, is now the source of about 550 personal injury lawsuits in the U.S., filed by women who allege the product malfunctioned and harmed them. To gain FDA approval, manufacturers of medical devices such as surgical mesh and bladder slings must demonstrate that the products either have passed required clinical tests for safety and efficacy or are sufficiently ... Read More

U.S., Canada, Mexico join efforts in poison prevention week

To young children, grandma’s heart medicine looks like an enticing piece of candy, and a bottle of brightly colored, citrus-scented floor cleaner promises to be a fun, fruity drink. The typical household is full of such deceptive poisons for children who can’t yet read, as evidenced by more than one million emergency phone calls involving poisoned children made to U.S. poison control centers every year. This week (March 18-24) marks the 50th anniversary of National Poison Prevention Week. To help call attention to the everyday dangers of household poisoning, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has teamed with its Canadian ... Read More

Florida school fired whistleblower who voiced safety concerns, OSHA says

PALMETTO, FL–The Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Florida, is being sued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for firing an employee who blew the whistle on alleged safety hazards at the school. According to OSHA, the employee submitted a letter to his supervisor on June 20, 2009, warning of improperly placed extension cords and the lack of sprinkler systems in the Manatee School’s two theaters. School authorities never responded to the letter or the concerns it expressed. The employee then filed a complaint with OSHA on July 14, and on July 30 regulators from OSHA’s ... Read More

Gardasil distribution stalled in France pending government-ordered study

The distribution of Merck’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil has been halted in France, where a government-appointed group of immunologists and other researchers has been formed to determine if the benefits of the vaccine are worth the risks. As in the United States, Gardasil has become a “thorny subject” in France, with many parents suspicious of the vaccine’s benefits and fearful of its risks, according to France’s Le Point. Data pulled from the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows that from the time Gardasil was introduced in 2006 until September 15, 2011, 20,096 adverse events following the vaccine ... Read More

Transvaginal mesh fast-tracked through FDA approval

Consumer Reports, one of the nation’s oldest and most trusted authorities on consumer product quality, has launched an offensive against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 510(k) medical device approval process, saying it has created “a nightmare scenario” for millions of Americans. The FDA’s 510(k) process, used to push transvaginal mesh, bladder slings, and other medical devices to market, is often referred to as the “fast-track” process or fast-tracking because it does just that; the process speeds many medical devices to market by forgoing clinical safety testing. Medical devices that are granted a ride on the 510(k) speedway must ... Read More

Sudden acceleration cases filed against Toyota in California state courts get trial date

Litigation filed in California state courts over sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles has been slated to begin January 1, 2013, starting with a high-profile case alleging the wrongful death of a California woman whose 2006 Camry crashed after it sped out of control. In that case, plaintiff Peter Uno alleges that his wife Noriko Uno died in April 2008 after her Camry suddenly accelerated to speeds over 100 mph while she was traveling on an Upland, California highway. Mrs. Uno ultimately lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a telephone pole. Jury selection on this first bellwether case ... Read More