Month: September 2019

3 Things To Do If A Hospital Stay Made You Sicker

Medical errors can lead to fatal infections and are now the third leading cause of death in the US. Johns Hopkins patient safety experts say these mistakes are responsible for more than 250,000 deaths per year and nearly 70 percent of the 1.7 million preventable hospital-acquired infections accounted for.

Hospital-acquired infections can be caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens. The most common types are central-line associated infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infection (UTI), Clostridium Difficile (C. diff) infections, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), invasive Candidiasis, Septicemia, and surgical site infections (SSI).

Cancer worries halt shipments of generic Zantac

A division of Swiss pharmaceutical maker Novartis is halting distribution of generic Zantac pills over concerns about an ingredient possibly linked to cancer.

Novartis-owned Sandoz has issued a “precautionary distribution stop” of all medicines containing ranitidine, an antacid and antihistamine used to block stomach acid.

The stop “in all our markets will remain in place” until “further clarification,” Novartis said.

“Our internal investigation is ongoing to determine further details,” the company said.

The move came after the Food and Drug Administration last week said it had detected low levels of a probable carcinogen in the heartburn drug Zantac and its generic versions.

Test findings:FDA finds probable carcinogen in Zantac and other heartburn drugs

The probable carcinogen, called NDMA, has also prompted the recall of several

New Supreme Court Decision Offers Guidance for Mass Tort Preemption Defense

After years of limited guidance, the Supreme Court has finally provided direction to lower courts on the issue of preemption when they delivered their opinion in Merck v. Albrecht. “Preemption” is a common defense used by defendants in pharmaceutical mass tort litigation. Through this defense, pharmaceutical companies argue that the state law causes of action are preempted by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) control over drug and medical device approval and labeling.

The Preemption Defense

The Merck v. Albrecht case centers the drug, Fosamax, as a focal point in the mass tort litigation. Fosamax is pharmaceutical used for osteoporosis treatment and the case revolves around atypical femur fractures caused by use of the osteoporosis drug. Merck, the maker of Fosamax, asserted the preemption defense. Merck argued that it was the state’s failure to warn consumers of the drug’s risk and causes of action could not be brought against Merck because the FDA rejected its proposed warning label change in 2008. When Merck began to receive reports of atypical femur fractures in the early 2000s, it submitted a proposed label change to the FDA in 2008 and included a warning for fractures. The FDA rejected this labeling change, therefore Merck argues it cannot be sued for “failure to warn” because its attempt to warn was rejected by the FDA. The plaintiffs argue that the proposed label change was rejected because it incorrectly referred to the fractures as stress fractures, rather than atypical femur fractures. In 2011, the FDA requested and changed the label to warn of atypical femur fractures.

Purdue Pharma Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Purdue Pharma has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a plan for settling some of the opioid-related litigation it faces in federal and state courts across the country.

These settlements have an estimated value of more than 10 billion dollars.

The company has announced the agreement in principle for the settlement framework with 24 state attorney generals, officials from 5 United States territories, the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the multidistrict litigation (MDL), and co-lead counsel in the MDL. The parties included in this agreement in principle represent some of the more than 2600 lawsuits filed against Purdue Pharma concerning opioids, including the company’s OxyContin products.

The more than 2600 civil actions filed against Purdue Pharma generally allege that the company engaged in deceptive and false marketing tactics to sell its opioid products and is liable for the ongoing national opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma has denied claims made against the company in these lawsuits.

Accident victim’s family wins $42M from trucking company

A landmark court case could change the way the trucking industry protects your family on the road.

WUSA9’s series of reports on deadly crashes known as “underride accidents” began in 2017. Now, the largest ever verdict against a trucking company for one of those underride accidents is exposing how the industry secretly fought new safety features for more than a decade — despite knowing the risks.

A side underride accident killed 16-year-old Riley Hein on a New Mexico interstate in 2015. Riley’s car careened off an embankment and ended up lodged underneath the side of a trailer manufactured by Utility Manufacturing Company.

“The truck driver drug his car for a half a mile until it caught on fire and Riley burned to death,” Riley’s father, Eric, said.

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