Tagged Articles

Product Liability 211 articles

Potent new painkiller could unleash new epidemic of addiction and abuse

Four pharmaceutical companies have nearly finished creating a powerful new painkilling medicine made of pure hydrocodone that addiction experts warn could set off a new addiction epidemic if it wins U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Hydrocodone, better known as Vicodin, is currently the most commonly prescribed and the second most widely abused prescription drug in the United States behind OxyContin. However, hydrocodone is currently available only as part of a compound that includes the non-addictive painkiller acetaminophen. The new form of pure hydrocodone in development would be ten times more potent than the kind already on the market. According ... Read More

Four common drugs cause most emergency hospitalizations, CDC says

A new study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that four common prescription drugs – two blood thinners and two diabetes medications – are responsible for the majority of emergency room visits in the United States. According to the study, published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, warfarin, oral antiplatelet medications, insulins, and oral hypoglycemic agents account for two-thirds of emergency hospitalizations annually. “Of the thousands of medications available to older patients, [these] medications caused a high proportion of emergency hospitalizations for adverse drug events among elderly Americans,” said ... Read More

CPSC announces improvements to product safety database

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new product safety database has been online only since early March, but the agency has announced some key changes it says will improve ease of use and efficiency for businesses. The SaferProducts.gov database functions as both a publicly accessible library of safety information concerning more than 15,000 types of consumer products and as a forum where consumers and businesses can publicly address complaints. Now a new online form in the business portal of the Saferproducts.gov website provides manufacturers, private labelers, and importers a quicker and easier way to communicate with the CPSC about product ... Read More

UC doctor finds statin drugs may cause anger, hostility in rare cases

Some people taking Pfizer’s smoking-cessation drug Chantix have reportedly experienced fits of hostility. Anti-depression medications and other drugs that work to modify brain activity have also been linked to episodes of violent behavior. But what about statins, the drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol? Can they turn perfectly level-headed, even-tempered patients into raging lunatics? According to a recent article published in Slate, Physician Beatrice Golomb of the University of California San Diego has been busy documenting cases of statin users who believe the drugs provoke in them “severe irritability and violence.” Dr. Golomb has documented thousands of patient anecdotes on ... Read More

FDA’s cantaloupe farm inspection sheds light on listeria outbreak, audit failures

Jensen Farms hired a private, third-party auditor to inspect several changes it made to its cantaloupe packing facilities earlier in the summer just before the deadly outbreak of listeria linked to its products, but the auditor failed to recognize the problems in the plant. Jensen Farms, based in Jensen, Colorado, hired food-safety corporation Primus Labs to conduct the audit. Primus Labs then subcontracted the work to a Texas firm called BioFood Safety, and the audit was performed in July. Although the audit acknowledged certain changes and methods that federal regulators later blamed for the outbreak, the firm gave the farm ... Read More

Research finds most teen drivers crash from inexperience, undeveloped skills

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and a number of safety organizations and agencies across the country are working to boost awareness and understanding of the specific dangers that teens face when they get behind the wheel. Year after year, more teenagers are involved in traffic crashes than any other group of people in the United States, and studies have shown that the most dangerous time for teens is in the weeks and months that they drive unsupervised after obtaining a license. According to the AAA’s research, teen drivers are about 50 percent more likely to crash in ... Read More

Family claims Pfizer covered up birth defects risks with Zoloft

Did drug company Pfizer cover up evidence that its antidepressant Zoloft causes birth defects? Susan and James Hodge think so. Susan took Zoloft during her pregnancy and then delivered a baby who died 18 hours after birth from anencephaly, a neural tube birth defect in which a large portion of the brain is missing. The Hodges are suing Pfizer claiming the world’s largest drug company covered up studies that documented the drug was associated with the fatal side effect. The Hodges claim that before Susan became pregnant, Pfizer knew of the dangerous birth defects associated with using Zoloft during pregnancy ... Read More

Listeria outbreak widens, FDA and cantaloupe farms search for answers

The deadly listeria outbreak that federal inspectors say is linked to Colorado-grown cantaloupe continues to expand, leaving many consumers across the country gripped with fear over the bacteria that can incubate within a person for 2 months before any signs of illness appear. The Associated Press has reported that an elderly woman from the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area died during the weekend after being diagnosed with listeria. Although it will take at least a week to test whether the strain of bacteria found in the woman matches the strain found on the recalled cantaloupes, the woman’s family says that she ... Read More

Gas pipeline safety improvements stalled by loose cannon legislator

On September 9, 2010, a subterranean natural gas pipeline owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) exploded in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno, creating a wall of fire that towered over 300 feet tall. The massive explosion killed 8 people and injured dozens more. It also leveled 38 homes and damaged about 70 others. More than a year later, federal investigators issued a final report on the disaster that cited “multiple and recurring deficiencies in PG&E operational practices,” and concluded that the company suffered from safety problems described as “systemic.” Among the “litany of failures” the National ... Read More