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TriMark Legal Funding provides lawsuit settlement cash advances on defective drug lawsuits nationwide.

TriMark Legal Funding is one of America’s top-rated lawsuit funding companies. We provide low-cost pre-settlement lawsuit loans to injury victims with defective drug lawsuits nationwide.


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With each new pharmaceutical lawsuit, new light is shed on the ever-blurring lines between consumer protection and the FDA.

Defective Drug Lawsuit Loans

Not to mention the fading line between consumer safety and the ever-widening chasm of corporate greed, non-accountability and irresponsibility.

Pharmaceutical lawsuits are nothing new. What is new, and quite troubling however, is the ever-increasing size, scope, lethality and regularity with which new defective drug lawsuits are being introduced.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is the growing trend of MDL drug lawsuits being brought against pharmaceutical companies who are often shown to have been fully aware that their products had serious, even deadly side effects, but chose to ignore the human costs and market them anyway because of the multi-billion dollar profit potential. They just fail to provide adequate consumer warnings.

When did that become okay? Isn’t litigation meant to punish the offenders? If so, why does this trend seem to be gaining momentum instead of losing it? The all-too-obvious rationale is as outrageous as it is unconscionable; pursue the almighty dollar no matter the cost in human lives and suffering.

The pattern so far has been easy enough to spot; big pharmaceuticals earn tens of billions of dollars in profits by mass marketing a new drug for a few years and then write off the human losses and inevitable litigation expenses as simply the cost of doing business.

Historically, multi-billion-dollar litigation and settlement expenses tend to consume only a tiny fraction of a heavily-marketed pharmaceutical product’s overall profit run. So companies retain billions in profit after the dust settles; not much of an effective punishment or deterrent.

In addition, this provides zero incentive for pharmaceuticals companies to act responsibly or police themselves. To the contrary, it provides an enormous and clearly irresistible financial incentive to continue this despicable practice unabated.

Call (877) 932-2628 and speak with one of our funding experts today.

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A: Legal funding is a risk-free cash advance that provides immediate financial relief to injured plaintiffs. They’re easy to qualify for, there are no credit checks, and they are only repaid after the case is resolved successfully.

❓ Q: How Much Does Legal Funding Cost?

A: If you’re thinking about getting a lawsuit cash advance on your case, it makes sense to be concerned about the cost.

The short answer is “it depends”. Read more

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    Latest Developments in Defective Drug Litigation…

    What is Zantac? Zantac is a popular OTC (over-the-counter) drug that is taken to relieve and prevent heartburn. It is also used to treat indigestion, acid reflux, and a variety of other health issues associated with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and it can be prescribed by a physician to treat any of these disorders. In early 2020, the FDA issued a recall on Zantac due to the fact that its active ingredient ranitidine may be linked to the development of certain cancers, including stomach, colon, and bladder cancers. Ranitidine Explained Prior to April 2020, the main ingredient in Zantac (and some other antacids) was ranitidine, which is an H2 blocker (histamine-2 antagonist). The purpose of H2 blockers in antacids is to prevent certain cells in … Read more
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    McKinsey & Company, the consultant to blue-chip corporations and governments around the world, has agreed to pay nearly $600 million to settle investigations into its role in helping “turbocharge” opioid sales, a rare instance of it being held publicly accountable for its work with clients. The firm has reached a $573 million agreement with attorneys general in 47 states, the District of Columbia and five territories, according to a court filing in Massachusetts on Thursday. Separate deals were announced in Washington State, for $13 million, and in West Virginia, for $10 million. Nevada, not party to the agreements, will continue to pursue its opioid investigation, according to the attorney general’s office. The settlements come after lawsuits unearthed a trove of documents showing how McKinsey worked to drive sales of Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin painkiller amid an opioid crisis in the United States that has contributed to the deaths of more than… Read more
    Four large pharmacy chains are set to face their first trial over the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic, creating new pressure to reach settlements with state and local governments who accuse them of contributing to the public health crisis. The Ohio counties of Lake and Trumbull allege that oversight failures at pharmacies run by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, CVS Health Corp, Walmart Inc and Giant Eagle Inc led to excessive amounts of opioid pills in their communities. Lawyers for the counties and companies are set to deliver opening statements on Monday to a federal jury in Cleveland, where thousands of similar lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, drug distributors and pharmacies are pending. More than 3,300 cases have been brought largely by state and local governments seeking to hold the companies responsible for an opioid abuse epidemic that U.S. government data shows led to nearly 500,000 overdose deaths from 1999 to 2019…. Read more
    Rite Aid Corp affiliates have settled claims by two Ohio counties that it contributed to the opioid addiction epidemic, just over a month before the case was set to go to trial. The pharmacy chain operator and Lake and Trumbull counties disclosed the settlement in a motion filed Wednesday in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, to sever Rite Aid from the case. They did not reveal terms of the deal, which must be approved by Lake County Commissioners and Trumbull County Commissioners. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster granted the motion on Thursday…. Read more
    New details emerge in a lawsuit asserting that chains including CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens sold millions of pills in small towns but rarely flagged suspicious orders to authorities. Through years of lawsuits and rising public anger over the opioid epidemic, the big American pharmacy retailers have largely eluded scrutiny. But a new court filing Wednesday morning asserts that pharmacies including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Giant Eagle as well as those operated by Walmart were as complicit in perpetuating the crisis as the manufacturers and distributors of the addictive drugs. The retailers sold millions of pills in tiny communities, offered bonuses for high-volume pharmacists and even worked directly with drug manufacturers to promote opioids as safe and effective, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Cleveland by two Ohio counties…. Read more
    The federal judge handling the $775 million settlement over the blood thinner Xarelto has established a committee of five attorneys to assess how up to $93 million set aside for leading plaintiffs firms should be doled out. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana tapped Pensacola, Florida, attorney Brian Barr of Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor; Andy Birchfield of Beasley Allen in Montgomery, Alabama; Leonard Davis of Herman Herman & Katz in New Orleans; Gerald Meunier of Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, also in New Orleans; and Levin Sedran & Berman attorney Michael Weinkowitz in Philadelphia to form what the judge referred to as a “fee allocation liaison counsel” in the Xarelto litigation. The attorneys will be tasked with coming up with a recommendation for how the court should divide up the common benefit fund…. Read more
    The judge presiding over a case which saw Johnson & Johnson hit with an $8bn jury verdict has reduced the amount the company has to pay in damages to $6.8m. Last October, J&J was ordered to pay $8bn in damages to a US man who claims he was not warned that taking the company’s antipsychotic Risperdal could lead to breast growth. A jury in Philadelphia agreed with the allegation that J&J’s Janssen unit had downplayed the risk that use of Risperdal (risperidone) in male children can cause enlarged breasts, a condition known as gynaecomastia…. Read more
    On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has in turn remanded the case to the district court to determine whether state law claims are preempted by federal law in the 500+ lawsuits pending regarding the medication Fosamax in Merck Sharpe & Dohme v. Albrecht. As previously discussed on this blog in May 2019, the United States Supreme Court held that the issue of federal preemption is one to be decided by the court and not a jury, while somewhat clarifying the “clear evidence” standard governing the analysis. After the high court’s decision, it was unclear whether the Third Circuit would remand the cases to the district court for application of the Supreme Court’s guidance or decide the issue – a legal one, after all, as just declared by the Supreme Court – itself de novo. Following supplemental briefing by the parties,… Read more
    Make no mistake: The legal fight over liability for the U.S. opioid crisis is only heating up. An 11th-hour settlement Monday morning averted what would have been the first trial in a landmark federal case, one involving thousands of plaintiffs at nearly every level of government and defendants from every link in the chain of opioid drug production. But all the other lawsuits in the broader case remain on track for courtroom confrontations. And with the costs of the crisis estimated at tens of billions of dollars and with more than 200,000 overdose deaths since the late 1990s, the stakes are immense — even for people who have never heard of this case. What happens with it will largely determine how much money cities and counties nationwide will have to fight the devastating effects of opioid abuse and when they'll get it. But the litigation is also intensely complicated. So… Read more
    Johnson & Johnson is facing tens of thousands of product liability lawsuits, involving, among other things, its antipsychotic drug Risperdal, opioids, vaginal mesh, and talcum powder. Here, Stanford Law Professor Nora Freeman Engstrom, a tort law and complex litigation expert, and Diana Garnet Li, a student in the Stanford Law School Class of 2021, discuss the mounting product liability exposure facing the multinational giant—and how these cases may develop…. Read more
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    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… Read more
    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… Read more
    A substance that could cause cancer has been found in some ranitidine heartburn and ulcer medicines, including the brand-name drug Zantac, and the source of this contamination is being investigated, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. While preliminary tests found low levels of the nitrosamine impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in some ranitidine products, the FDA said this does not mean patients taking the drugs should stop using them now. NDMA is the same contaminant found in many brands of blood pressure and heart failure medicines during the past year, leading to recalls. Patients who are taking prescription ranitidine and want to stop using it should discuss alternatives with their health care provider, the FDA advised. Those taking over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine could switch to other OTC … Read more
    Johnson & Johnson has been facing several lawsuits over its different products, including talc, hip-plants, and the blood thinner, Xarelto. There are a total of around 50,000 such cases against the company. The company has agreed to settle several of these cases, as announced over the last few months. However, if it were to settle all of the above 50,000 cases, it would cost the company an amount north of $6 billion, in our view. Johnson & Johnson is capable of settling all the claims if need be from its cash in hand of $14 billion. View our interactive dashboard analysis ~ How Much Money Could Johnson & Johnson Have To Shell Out To Settle Its Lawsuits? … Read more
    The opioid epidemic is one of those circumstances in which the crisis has required an immediate response by state and local governments to “pick up the pieces” through the provision of social services at a magnitude and cost that were unthinkable prior to 1995. The amount of money spent on first responders and medical treatments and the number of children left parentless because of the epidemic is enormous.  Few individuals question whether state governments should be responding to the social needs of their constituents; however, less has been written about what has been relinquished—that is, the true opportunity costs—because of this response, along with the broader impact that this has on states and their citizenry. This is an important omission and one that needs to be discussed, not only to compensate states, but also to engage more constituents in understanding how those who are not directly affected by the epidemic… Read more
    As the fall approaches, anticipation is growing for a breakthrough in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, the 1,800 combined cases before Judge Dan Polster. The cases accuse Purdue Pharma and other drug manufacturers, along with drug distributors like McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health and national pharmacies of responsibility for opioid-related harm. With the first trial in this behemoth case just months away (October 2019), the expectation has been that the opioid litigation will follow the patterns of previous high-profile cases like Big Tobacco or the NFL Concussion cases, reaching a comprehensive settlement before trial. Though Judge Polster has kept the underlying facts out of public view by allowing the defendants to file materials under seal, the parties have made noteworthy efforts to publicize an anticipated settlement framework. The proposal would pull nearly 25,000 cities and counties nationwide (of whom roughly fewer than 7% are currently parties to the litigation) into… Read more
    Oklahoma is suing Johnson & Johnson in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit to hold the drug giant responsible for its opioid addiction epidemic. Day after day, the memos flashing across screens in an Oklahoma courtroom have jarred with the family-friendly public image of Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant best known for baby powder and Band-Aid. In one missive, a sales representative dismissed a doctor’s fears that patients might become addicted to the company’s opioid painkillers by telling him those who didn’t die probably wouldn’t get hooked. Another proposes targeting sales of the powerfully addictive drugs at those most at risk: men under 40. As the state of Oklahoma’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson has unfolded over the past month, the company has struggled to explain marketing strategies its accusers say dangerously misrepresented the risk of opioid addiction to doctors, manipulated medical research, and helped drive an epidemic that has claimed… Read more
    Every city, town and county in the United States could receive a payout in a settlement with the largest makers, distributors and retailers of prescription opioids, if a judge approves an innovative proposal made Friday in an Ohio federal court by lawyers for hundreds of local governments. The plan, which legal experts describe as “novel” and “unorthodox,” could potentially expand the number of municipalities and counties eligible for compensation in the federal litigation from 1,650 to about 24,500 and open the way for a comprehensive national opioid settlement with the pharmaceutical industry. “We have an epidemic caused by pills that have wheels, and different areas of the country get targeted at different points in time,” said Joe Rice, one of the lead lawyers, explaining a major obstacle to settlement in the rapidly accumulating cases. “So if you solve the problem in New York City, it doesn’t get addressed in Albany…. Read more
    The US Supreme Court vacated and remanded a products liability case involving claims alleging a failure to warn about risks of stress fractures related to the use of Fosamax, which is manufactured by Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp. (“Merck”). Fosamax is a drug that treats and prevents osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Merck argued that the claims should be dismissed as they submitted “clear evidence” that FDA regulations prohibited them from changing the Fosamax label to include the stress fracture risk warnings. The Supreme Court held that the Third Circuit incorrectly determined that “clear evidence” is a question of fact for a jury; rather, the Court held that “clear evidence” is a question of law as it involves a legal determination about an agency decision. The FDA approved the sale of Fosamax in 1995. At that time, the Fosamax label did not warn of the risk of atypical femoral fracture, a type of… Read more
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to Merck & Co – at least for now – by throwing out a lower court ruling that had revived hundreds of lawsuits accusing the company of failing to properly warn patients of debilitating thigh-bone fractures from taking its osteoporosis drug Fosamax. The nine justices unanimously directed the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision allowing the lawsuits to proceed even though federal regulators had rebuffed Merck when the company sought to add a warning to Fosamax’s label about the fracture risk. The decision added clarity to a defense used by drug makers against product liability claims in which they argue that such litigation is preempted under federal law and the U.S. Constitution when a federal agency takes certain actions, as the Food and Drug Administration did in this case. In a decision written by Justice Stephen… Read more
    Johnson & Johnson has lost several major lawsuits over allegations that asbestos in its talcum powder contributes to ovarian cancer. For example, in a 2018 lawsuit, a St. Louis jury awarded almost $4.7 billion in total damages to 22 women and their families. As a strategy, the company has tried to get 2,400 of its state-court cancer lawsuits transferred to a federal court in Delaware. This would allow it to develop a single defense strategy. However, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika in Wilmington, Del. dismissed the request yesterday, “noting that the world’s largest maker of health care products is partly responsible for the boomlet of litigation over its transfer strategy that it now characterizes as a crisis,” reports Bloomberg. J&J hoped that by invoking the legal rights of its talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, now bankrupt, it would create quicker trials and claims resolutions. But Noreika stated in her decision, “J&J cannot establish an emergency…. Read more
    Mary Jo White of Debevoise & Plimpton represents four members of the family that controls Purdue Pharma, the company that developed and marketed the painkiller OxyContin. Purdue, along with other opioid makers, wholesalers and distributors, is facing more than 2,000 suits by state, city and county officials who blame prescription opiates for sparking an unprecedented epidemic of drug abuse. In rare public comments on behalf of the Sacklers, White told me why the family believed the litigation against them and their company is legally dubious, factually misleading and politically motivated…. Read more
    Thanks to Purdue Pharma and other defendants in the multidistrict litigation that alleges the drug companies sparked the opioid crisis, we now know how much plaintiffs claim they owe to fix it: more than $480 billion. That is the predicted cost, according to Johns Hopkins public health professor Caleb Alexander, of a national abatement plan that would stretch over 10 years. Alexander was cited in summaries of nonpublic reports by plaintiffs’ expert witnesses that Purdue, Endo and Mallinckrodt filed last week as part of an emergency motion for more time to depose the witnesses. The Johns Hopkins prof, according to the April 8 defense filing, estimated that the cost of providing treatment, preventative education, foster care, criminal justice resources and other services to address opioid addiction would be $452.9 billion…. Read more
    The Sacklers had a new plan. It was 2014, and the company the family had controlled for two generations, Purdue Pharma, had been hit with years of investigations and lawsuits over its marketing of the highly addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin, at one point pleading guilty to a federal felony and paying more than $600 million in criminal and civil penalties. But as the country’s addiction crisis worsened, the Sacklers spied another business opportunity. They could increase their profits by selling treatments for the very problem their company had helped to create: addiction to opioids. Details of the effort, named Project Tango, have come to light in lawsuits filed by the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York. … Read more
    Johnson & Johnson and Bayer agreed Monday to pay $775 million to settle almost 25,000 lawsuits in connection to blood thinner Xarelto. Each company will pay 50 percent of the settlement, according to The New York Times. The payment ends both state and federal cases — the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson jointly markets Xarelto with Bayer, which is based in Germany. Patients sued both companies, which failed to issue warnings regarding possible fatal bleeding episodes connected to taking Xarelto. Neither company accepted liability and actually won all six lawsuits that went to trial. “Even in the face of meritless allegations, and even while winning in court, complex litigation demands an enormous amount of time and resources,” the pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson explained in a statement regarding the settlement…. Read more
    Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle more than 25,000 U.S. lawsuits over their blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto for a total of $775 million, court documents on Monday showed. The amount will be shared equally between the two companies that jointly developed the drug. Bayer and J&J do not admit liability under the agreement. The settlement will resolve all pending U.S. lawsuits over Xarelto, which plaintiffs claimed causes uncontrollable and irreversible bleeding leading to severe injuries and even death among thousands of plaintiffs. Plaintiffs accused the drugmakers of having failed to warn about the bleeding risks, claiming their injuries could have been prevented had doctors and patients been provided adequate information…. Read more
    KEY POINTS Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle more than 25,000 U.S. lawsuits over their blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto for a total of $775 million, court documents on Monday showed. The settlement will resolve all pending U.S. lawsuits over Xarelto, which plaintiffs claimed causes uncontrollable and irreversible bleeding leading to severe injuries and even death among thousands of plaintiffs. Plaintiffs accused the drugmakers of having failed to warn about the bleeding risks, claiming their injuries could have been prevented had doctors and patients been provided adequate information. Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle more than 25,000 U.S. lawsuits over their blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto for a total of $775 million, court documents on Monday showed. The amount will be shared equally between the two companies that jointly developed the drug. Bayer and J&J do not admit liability under the agreement. The settlement will… Read more
    Executives from Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin, admitted in federal court in 2007 that Purdue’s marketing practices and interactions with doctors had understated the strength and addictive potential of the drug — an omission that many experts believe contributed to an opioid epidemic that claimed nearly 50,000 American lives in 2017 alone. But on Thursday, the release of a previously sealed deposition from 2015 showed that Purdue executives knew of OxyContin’s strength long before that $600 million settlement. The deposition, which had been filed in court, revealed that Dr. Richard Sackler — part of the family that founded and controls Purdue, and who has served as Purdue’s president and co-chairman of the board — knew as early as 1997 that OxyContin was much stronger than morphine, but chose not to share that knowledge with doctors…. Read more
    The world’s most prestigious management-consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, has been drawn into a national reckoning over who bears responsibility for the opioid crisis that has devastated families and communities across America. In legal papers released in unredacted form on Thursday, the Massachusetts attorney general said McKinsey had helped the maker of OxyContin fan the flames of the opioid epidemic. McKinsey’s consultants, the attorney general revealed, had instructed the drug company, Purdue Pharma, on how to “turbocharge” sales of OxyContin, how to counter efforts by drug enforcement agents to reduce opioid use, and were part of a team that looked at how “to counter the emotional messages from mothers with teenagers that overdosed” on the drug…. Read more
    Drug company executives appearing in court in Boston this week have been accused of running “a criminal enterprise” and putting greed before patient safety as they pushed prescription narcotics during the opioids crisis, blighting the health of America. The defendants are the first painkiller manufacturing bosses to stand trial over conduct authorities say contributed to an overdose epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the past 20 years, regardless of region, age, race and income. If the Boston trial and others scheduled to get under way later this year are anything to go by, 2019 is now shaping up as the start of a reckoning for the pharmaceutical giants still making billions from opioids. Assistant US attorney David Lazarus told jurors in the federal court in Boston that John Kapoor and the company he created, Insys Therapeutics, ran a nationwide kickback and conspiracy scheme that effectively bribed… Read more
    Just over a year ago, opioid lawsuits against makers and distributors of the painkillers were proliferating so rapidly that a judicial panel bundled all the federal cases under the stewardship of a single judge. On a January morning, Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio made his opening remarks to lawyers for nearly 200 municipal governments gathered in his Cleveland courtroom. He wanted the national opioid crisis resolved with a meaningful settlement within a year, proclaiming, “We don’t need briefs and we don’t need trials.” That year is up…. Read more
    A Massachusetts judge said Friday she would rule by early next week on a request from media organizations, including STAT and the Boston Globe, to make public redacted portions of a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and other opioid painkillers. The Connecticut company’s aggressive and misleading marketing of OxyContin has been blamed by addiction experts for helping spawn the opioid addiction crisis. Outside the Boston courthouse Friday, families of people who became addicted to opioids after taking Purdue’s medications rallied, with some calling for criminal charges against the company. “Every day that goes by where this document is substantially under seal is a day that the public does not have access to newsworthy and important information… Read more
    Following a two-year investigation during which time multiple Indiana cities and counties and at least 27 states filed lawsuits, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Nov. 14 his office is leading the state of Indiana into a legal battle over prescription opioids. Hill said his office was filing a complaint in Marion County Court against a single pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, which is already facing hundreds of complaints and has sought financial restructuring advice. “I think the timing is wise,” the attorney general said, explaining why Indiana is choosing to file now. There has been an “exhaustive investigation” for the past two years that included taking depositions from former Purdue Pharma employees, interviewing medical professionals, reviewing records and ascertaining the impact on Indiana. “It’s important to recognize this lawsuit is based on the damages that we have incurred and that we can document,” Hill said. “And that’s taken a great… Read more
    Since a previous contribution to this journal in 2012,2 the epidemic of opioid abuse has become increasingly frightening and tragic. That contribution focused on the relevance of OxyContin to prescription opioid diversion and abuse, the marketing tactics employed by pharmaceutical companies to promote products, and the associated economic medicalization of substance abuse and addiction. This update details dramatic changes in the epidemic and explores attempts being made to combat the rising opioid overdose death toll. Important legal developments arising from the marketing and distribution of prescription opioids are overviewed. Specifically, the proliferation of legal actions against firms involved in the epidemic has resulted in the consolidation of claims in a multidistrict litigation (MDA). The difficulty of stemming the epidemic through legal avenues shifts attention to recent attempts by regulators to stem the epidemic. The paper concludes with some pessimistic observations about the difficulties of using “harm reduction” solutions to address… Read more
    The fate of about 500 lawsuits involving the drug Fosamax is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. The nation’s highest court has agreed to consider overturning an appellate court ruling that reinstated the lawsuits after a federal trial judge dismissed them. The issue involves whether Merck, the manufacturer of the osteoporosis drug, failed to warn of the danger that patients taking Fosamax could develop a specific type of thigh bone fractures. Merck argues that it asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve such a warning on its label, but the FDA denied its request. Lawyers for the injured patients say Merck asked for a warning about a different kind of fracture than those involved in the lawsuits. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in March 2017 that jurors should decide the issue. But the Trump administration — invited by the Supreme Court to weigh in — maintained this… Read more
    Merck & Co. has another chance for a reprieve in its long-running fight against Fosamax liability lawsuits. After an appeals court revived hundreds of patient claims last year, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear Merck’s bid to put them to rest again. Merck argues that the FDA rebuffed its 2008 bid to update the osteoporosis drug's label to warn of a link to severe bone fractures, but decided to order a warning in October 2010, when Merck did so. Now, Merck shouldn’t be held liable for that lack of a warning, because the FDA’s labeling power shields it, the company says. And the high court will now review that argument, in an important development for the drug industry. The question of FDA pre-emption has made its way through multiple courts in recent years, and Merck’s Supreme Court appeal could settle it. That, in turn, could affect product liability cases… Read more
    Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio has perhaps the most daunting legal challenge in the country: resolving more than 400 federal lawsuits brought by cities, counties and Native American tribes against central figures in the national opioid tragedy, including makers of the prescription painkillers, companies that distribute them, and pharmacy chains that sell them. And he has made it clear that he will not be doing business as usual. During the first hearing in the case, in early January, the judge informed lawyers that he intended to dispense with legal norms like discovery and would not preside over years of “unraveling complicated conspiracy theories.” Then he ordered them to prepare for settlement discussions immediately. Not a settlement that would be “just moving money around,” he added, but one that would provide meaningful solutions to a national crisis — by the end of this year. “I did… Read more
    Until the last decade, the only option available for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation to help control blood clots was Coumadin (also known as warfarin). While effective in preventing intracranial bleeding, patients on Coumadin have to endure regular blood tests and risk major bleeding complications. Now there are new drugs known as non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs). The two anticoagulants at the forefront of the blood thinner market are Pradaxa (dabigatran), made by Boehringer Ingelheim, and Xarelto (rivaroxaban), manufactured by Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals division. Both of these blood thinners are considered by some doctors to be safer and more effective than Coumadin. But they still come with increased risk of severe bleeding that have resulted in patients filing both Xarelto lawsuits and Pradaxa lawsuits by the thousands. Additionally, they are more expensive and may impact the renal system with prolonged use. Because of these issues, we decided to do a head-to-head comparison between the two biggest rivals in this class of new blood thinners. Patients trying to choose the… Read more
    A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday overturned a $27.8 million verdict against the makers of the blood thinner Xarelto in a lawsuit by an Indiana woman who claimed the drug caused severe gastrointestinal bleeding. Judge Michael Erdos issued a judgment notwithstanding the verdict because of testimony by the prescribing doctor for plaintiff Lynn Hartman. Erdos rejected an alternate ground for overturning the verdict that was based on an Instagram photo by a lawyer for the plaintiff that used the hashtag #killinnazis. Erdos nonetheless scolded and punished the lawyer for the post…. Read more
    With the U.S. in the grips of an opioid crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, the role of pharmaceutical manufacturers that made tens of billions of dollars selling the deadly painkillers is coming into focus as litigation and investigations mount. From as far back as 1911 until the late 1990s, the use of opioids, or narcotics, was limited to very narrow circumstances, such as post-surgical pain and end-of-life care. That’s because the medical establishment and regulators were keenly aware of the addictive quality of the drugs and the dangers they posed if misused. But that all changed when a school of thought started to take over in medicine beginning in the late 1990s, early 2000s. Treating pain became a preeminent priority. Addiction was less of a concern and pain was dubbed the “5th vital sign.” … Read more
    A Pennsylvania jury awarded an Indiana woman a $28 million verdict in the state’s first Xarelto lawsuit trial. The plaintiff suffered gastrointestinal bleeding about a year after being prescribed the blood-thinning drug, according to a press release. The verdict followed nearly a month of testimony in court of Common Pleas. The plaintiff’s attorneys accused Johnson & Johnson and Bayer of downplaying the potentially life-threatening side effects of the Xarelto drug. It took the jury less than two days to come to a verdict, awarding the plaintiff and her husband $1.8 million in compensatory damages and $26 million in punitive damages. Pharmaceutical giants Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have been named in more than 20,000 lawsuits related to the Xarelto drug. Approximately 2,000 of those lawsuits are part of the mass tort program in Philadelphia…. Read more
    A federal jury has cleared Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson of liability in the third case to go to trial out of thousands of lawsuits claiming the drugmakers’ blood thinner Xarelto led to severe internal bleeding. The verdict in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Mississippi, is a blow to thousands of patients with similar allegations against the drugmaker. The jury returned the verdict after just four hours of deliberation. The companies also won the previous two trials on claims of risks from Xarelto. In the latest case, plaintiff Dora Mingo claimed she suffered acute gastrointestinal bleeding after she was treated with Xarelto for a month in 2015 to prevent blood clotting following an operation. She accused the drugmakers, who jointly developed the blood thinner, of having failed to warn about the bleeding risks and said her injuries could have been prevented had they provided adequate information…. Read more
    As the number of lawsuits against the blood thinner Xarelto continues to climb, so do reports of injuries and deaths caused by the controversial anticoagulant, according to a recent study by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). According to ISMP, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received 15,043 reports of serious injury or death linked to Xarelto last year — a 41 percent increase over the previous year. ISMP, a non-profit organization that monitors and analyzes adverse drug events reported to the government, published the findings in its annual edition of QuarterWatch.  Oral blood thinners such as Xarelto caused more emergency room visits in 2016 than any other class of drugs, ISMP found. The group said it identified nearly 22,000 reports of severe injury, including 3,018 deaths. Nearly all of the injuries were from internal bleeding, the report states. Of the five anticoagulants implicated, rivaroxaban, sold under the brand name… Read more
    A month after drugmakers Johnson & Johnson and Bayer prevailed in the first trial over allegations of harm caused by the blood thinner Xarelto, the second bellwether case has gone to trial in New Orleans. This time, the family of a woman who died about a year after she started taking the drug for atrial fibrillation is accusing the drugmakers of responsibility for her fatal hemorrhagic stroke. Sharyn Orr, of Louisiana, died in May 2015 at the age of 67 after being in a coma for 10 days. The family’s lawyers say her death was “completely avoidable.”… Read more
    The first federal trial over the bleeding risks of Xarelto, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer’s blockbuster anticoagulant, kicks off next week, with 18,000 more cases stacked up behind it. It will be the initial indicator of whether juries are likely to side with the drugmakers, ruling that their med is safe and effective, or patients, who claim the two companies hid the real risks of the blood thinner. The case in New Orleans was brought by Joseph Boudreaux, who took the drug to cut his stroke risk but claims it caused internal bleeding that caused heart problems and resulted in a visit to intensive care unit for a week, the Chicago Tribune reported. In their defense, J&J and Bayer point out that the FDA has deemed the drug safe and effective and that the risks it holds are clearly laid out on its label…. Read more
    Joseph Boudreaux says taking Johnson & Johnson's blood-thinning drug Xarelto was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. While Xarelto was supposed to help cut his stroke risk, Boudreaux says it instead caused internal bleeding that required a week-long hospital stay in the intensive-care unit, several blood transfusions and multiple heart procedures. "I don't want anybody else to suffer like I have from that drug," the part-time security guard says. Starting Monday, Boudreaux will get a chance to have jurors hold J&J and Bayer, which jointly developed Xarelto, responsible for the treatment's potentially fatal side effects as his case in New Orleans becomes the first lawsuit targeting the medicine to go to trial. The companies are facing more than 18,000 U.S. patient suits blaming the blood thinner for internal bleeding. The medicine also has been linked to at least 370 deaths, according to Food and Drug Administration reports…. Read more
    Fen Phen lawyer Cynthia K. Garrett reports that worsened injury claims may still be filed for those who took the diet drugs Pondimin or Redux, registered with the AHP Settlement Trust by May 3, 2003, established the required baseline injury during the Screening Period that ended in 2003, did not participate in the Seventh Amendment Supplemental Fund, and currently qualify for a Matrix Compensation Level and dollar value above any previous award received. Garrett explained, "Whether you can still file a claim depends upon the nature and extent of your injury, when your worst injury was first diagnosed, and what has previously been filed in your case. The criteria you must meet to file a claim today is discussed at length on my website, CKGLawFim.com. I've provided you with a quick summary below." Who Can Still File A Claim: Qualifying injuries must have been diagnosed prior to your 80th birthday…. Read more
    Merck & Co Inc is urging a U.S. appeals court to reconsider a ruling that revived hundreds of lawsuits accusing the company of failing to adequately warn about the risks of thigh bone fractures associated with its osteoporosis drug Fosamax. In papers filed on Wednesday, Merck asked the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to grant a rehearing by the three-judge panel that issued the March 22 ruling or for a rehearing by the full 14-judge court…. Read more

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