Articles Posted in dangerous drugs

The device can break and perforate internal organs

When you purchase birth control, you should be able to trust that it’s safe for use. Unfortunately, that’s notwoman2-200x300 always the case, as the attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers can confirm.

One form of birth control that has been making headlines in recent months is a copper IUD called Paragard that has been around for decades. In fact, the Paragard website touts that the device is the only IUD on the market that has had U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for more than 30 years.

Prescription opioids have become the most dangerous drugs in America.

A growing body of evidence suggest the prescription drug epidemic was not an unforeseen health crisis in America, but rather a carefully orchestrated push for sales and profits by some of the nation’s largest drugmakers and pharmacies, which is now claiming more lives each year than either traffic accidents or gun violence.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin, and eight members of the Sackler family, which founded the company, claiming the company misled doctors about the risks of the potent opioid. More than 200,000 people have died of prescription opioid overdose since OxyContin came on the market in 1996. In 2007, three company executives pleaded guilty to federal charges that they misrepresented OxyContin’s dangers. The company paid $634 million in fines. It sold $1.7 billion in Oxo Contin in 2017, according to Reuters News Service. perscription-drugs-2-1319811-300x225

When the Food and Drug Administration approved OxyContin in 1995, the federal watchdog agency allowed drugmakers to claim OxyContin’s long-acting formulation was “believed to reduct” its potential for abuse, compared to Vicodin, Percocet and other more traditional narcotic painkillers. As we recently reported on our Product Liability Lawyer Blog, the FDA is under fire for inherent conflicts of interest, as it is charged with both approving drugs for market and pulling dangerous drugs off the market.

Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers have written about many of the consequences of the opioid crisis, from work injuries, to the risk of becoming addicted while recovering from injury, to the responsibility and liability of doctors, pharmacists and drugmakers. We applaud the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office for pursuing this case. As has been the case throughout history — from asbestos and mesothelioma, to lawsuits against big tobacco, to multi-district litigation involving dangerous drugs and medical products — pushing these cases into court often forces a treasure trove of documents from these companies, which will be invaluable to thousands of other lawsuits seeking justice for families.

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With over 1,000 cases already filed and climbing, the first of the Bellwether trials for the Invokana multidistrict litigation (MDL) is slated to begin in September 2018.  Bellwether trials, collectively, often set the standard for how the rest of the MDL will transpire.  For example, in majority, if the trials go well (i.e. for the injured consumers), the defendants may have increased the incentive to settle some or all of the cases.  If the trials do not go well (i.e. for the defending corporations), the cases may be taken back to start court for trial, or the plaintiffs may close their cases.  Invokana was approved to market in 2013 to treat Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes brought by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson.  Essentially, the function of this drug is to reduce glucose in the body by blocking a key component of the kidney that allows glucose to reenter the bloodstream.  This results in frequent urination to help discharge the glucose that has been separated from the system.  Continue reading

Cases against big tobacco companies are not as common as they were in the 1990s and early 2000s, but people are still dying from lung cancer and suffering from other smoking-related illnesses such as  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and cases are still being filed by products liability attorneys across the nation including our Greater Boston area.  The main issue in these cases is how to deal with any fault attributed to plaintiff.  While there was a time when the general public was not aware of the harm smoking could cause, and there was even a time when R.J. Reynolds used to advertise “More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette,” the dangers of smoking have long since been publicized.

Smith v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Boston products liability lawsuitsIn Smith v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals from the Eleventh Circuit, surviving spouse of plaintiff filed a products liability lawsuit against the tobacco company which produced her preferred brand of cigarettes. She smoked regularly for decades and eventually died of various diseases often associated with long-term smoking of cigarettes. At trial, a jury found in favor of plaintiff, but defendant appealed arguing the jury award should be reduced due to plaintiff’s alleged in negligence in choosing to smoke on a regular basis for many years. This particular case was filed under a theory of wrongful death. Continue reading

There are many drugs and other medical products on the market that we assume are safe.  The problem is that much of the research that “proves” a product’s safety actually comes from drug companies with a financial stake.  Long-term, independent studies on the safety of these medications are often sorely lacking. That’s why in so many cases, the truth of a medication’s side effects doesn’t become known until it is widely distributed to the general public.

However, there are some cases in which product manufacturers are aware or should have been aware their product failed to meet key safety standards.

Product Liability LawyerIf a pharmaceutical company knows or has reason to know of a defect in their products and either hides the results of tests performed, or chooses to be willfully-blind of a potential averse event (side effect) due to failure to conduct adequate testing, this can be the basis for filing a Boston defective drug lawsuit against the drug manufacturer.  Continue reading

A recent case from the Supreme Court of New Jersey involved a products liability action filed against the major pharmaceutical maker that is now known as Roche in connection with its Accutane drug.  Accutane is the brand name for the drug isotretinoin. The drug was originally developed by Hoffmann-La Roche labs and was used to treat a severe skin condition known as nodular acne.  It was also used in some cases to treat a form of skin cancer.

pillsWhile the drug was effective at treating acne, it had some serious side effects associated with it.  In some cases, it would lead to severe birth defects.  For this reason, women taking the drug had to be counseled against becoming pregnant while taking it, and also needed to either abstain from sex entirely or use what were considered effective contraceptives.  Condoms were not considered sufficient when not used in conjunction with another method of birth control.  For this reason, Accutane is considered a teratogen, meaning it can cause birth defects. Continue reading

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is a federal regulator without a key regulatory power: Recall. blindinglight

That’s why when investigators with the agency confirmed there were high levels of a potentially lethal toxin in toddler teething tablets, there was really nothing they could do other than announce it. The manufacturer of the tablets refused to issue a recall, and the FDA was powerless to force them to do so.

This could soon change. At least, that is the hope of lawmakers supporting the Recall Unsafe Drugs Act. This measure, H.R. 1108, would give the FDA the authority to order mandatory recalls on dangerous drugs and homeopathic products. The measure would revise the current law for the FDA to be allowed to issue mandatory recalls for products it does not directly regulate. The proposed law would also give the agency the power to issue mandatory recalls of pharmaceuticals that have been shown to cause serious health consequences and/or death.  Continue reading

Two drug companies have been ordered to pay $67 million over false claims made regarding the efficacy of cancer drug Tarceva, the U.S. Justice Department announced.whitepills

The drug is approved for some patients who suffer from non-small cell lung cancer or pancreatic cancer. However, OSI Pharmaceuticals LLC and Genetech Inc. reportedly misled consumers about how effective the drug was in treating non-small cell lung cancer.

This settlement was reached after allegations that between January 2006 and December 2011, the two drug makers promised the product would be effective for non-small cell lung cancer patients. What they failed to disclose was that research had shown it only worked if the patients hadn’t ever smoked or had any sort of mutation in their epidermal growth factor receptor. The latter is a protein that has been traced to the spread of cancerous cells. Continue reading

Trial is underway in one of the first lawsuits heard by a jury regarding drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Synthes Inc. using a type of bone cement absent FDA approval on the spines of patients who later died in surgery, just moments after they were injected with the compound.spine

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in a Washington state court, focuses on the intentional off-label use of the bone cement which was known to be risky. What should have been a routine procedure to treat back pain for a 67-year-old patient in 2007 ended up killing her. Patient’s family sued Synthes, the surgeon and the hospital for use of the bone cement, known as Norian, even though it wasn’t approved for use in back pain surgery.

Many are closely watching the development of this case, making it high-stakes not just for the parties involved but for future plaintiffs as well. It’s being covered by Courtroom View Network (CVN). Plaintiffs allege the manufacturer marketed Norian for use in spinal surgeries, despite a company physician characterizing such use as akin to “human experimentation.”  Continue reading

When the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 handed down its decision in Pliva v. Mensing, it essentially left a large group of people – those who use generic prescription drugs – without any recourse if those drugs proved dangerous or defective.

Pills pouring from a medication bottle

Generally, it’s been held that makers of brand name drugs can’t be liable for generic drugs because they don’t actually make them. The Pliva decision made it so that generic drug makers can’t be liable for failure to warn (a key in any defective drug case) because by federal law, generic drug makers don’t write the labels. The labels are written by the brand name manufacturers and then approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

All this makes it interesting that the California Supreme Court will be taking on the issue of “innovator liability,” also known as brand manufacturer liability for generics in the case of T.H. v. Novartis Pharm. Corp. You see, California is one of the few states where courts have held that brand name manufacturers could in fact be liable for dangerous generic drugs. That ruling was handed down in Conte v. Wyeth, in which a California appeals court determined the brand name maker of a drug called Reglan, used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, could be found liable for injury caused by the generic version. The California Supreme Court declined to review that decision, so it’s been generally accepted in that state.  Continue reading

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