Disney and Publix Super Markets, Inc. areseeking to limit corporate liability, proposing a new legislation that would require an injured person to prove that treatment was necessary as well as limit the amount of financial compensation to be claimed for recovery of the medical bills. The proposed law appears to be another avenue to lessen the amount they pay should an injured person sue for compensation.
“I'm putting all my eggs in one basket... I'm betting everything on you...” -Irving Berlin, 1936
Sitagliptin is the scientific name for a “dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor” marketed by Merck & Company under the brand name Januvia.
Therein lies the tale.
There are many media stories currently circulating on the World Wide Web about Januvia, which was initially hailed as an alternative to glitazone drugs such as Actos, now implicated in an increased risk of bladder cancer for those patients who take it. As it turns out however, Januvia patients also run an elevated risk for developing cancer – and the medical reason for this may be surprising to many.
It was just over a year ago (June 27, 2012, to be exact) that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its Class I Recall Notice for Fresenius' NaturaLyte and GranuFlo Acid Concentrates, which can dangerously raise patients' blood pH levels (somewhat like injecting baking soda into the bloodstream). The result can be metabolic alkalosiss, which can cause cardiovascular complications resulting in spontaneous cardiac arrest.
Time was that Johnson & Johnson was “the most trusted brand in America.”
On June 17th, several media sources announced that Fresenius Medical Care North America had recognized one of its dialysis centers – located in the Southwestern Washington town of Walla Walla – for “achieving high standards in patient care in 2012.” The Center for Excellence Designation is given out by the company once every year to a particular Fresenius facility that has demonstrated a superior level of patient care.
The executives at Takeda Pharmaceuticals may be gloating over their recent victory in which a California judge overturned a $6.5 million judgment in favor of the plaintiff - but they shouldn't get too smug about it. Currently, some 3,000 lawsuits have been filed in U.S. federal courts against the Japanese-based pharmaceutical company, and according to some estimates, there could be as many as 7,000 more yet to come.
The argument for the commoditization, commercialization and privatization of everything in America – including health care and medical services – that has been shoved down our collective throats for the past generation goes something like this: “free market competition forces providers of goods and services to offer the best products at the lowest prices.”
Founded in 1871 – before which it was a loose confederation of duchies and principalities – the modern nation of Germany was the first to guarantee all its citizens the right to low-cost or free medical care. This has been a constant from the time the country was an empire ruled by the Kaiser, during the Weimar period, under Hitler and the Nazis, and in the decades following the Second World War as Germany transitioned into a modern, progressive democracy.
Consider some of the pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers currently at the center of litigation over injuries and liability related to negligence and (allegedly) failure to warn patients about potential side effects caused by those products. There is DePuy Orthopaedics, manufacturer of metal-on-metal replacement hips, known to shed particles of toxic metal into patients' tissues and bloodstream. They're not the only ones selling medical implants, of course: this particular lineup also includes Stryker Medical, C.R.
Article by guest commentator K.J. Bard
In recent news, the DePuy Orthopaedics division of Johnson & Johnson will be abandoning the manufacture and marketing of its metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacements. In addition, DePuy will be discontinuing its Ceramic-on-Metal Acetabular Hip System. Both product lines will be unavailable after August of 2013; “related products” will be phased out over next year.
DePuy Bails from the Metal on Metal Hip Replacement Market by Withdrawing its Pinnacle Metal-on-Metal Line
By: Daniel Nigh
Earlier this year, the first of 3000 injury cases against Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda was heard in a Los Angeles court. The allegation: their flagship product, Actos, had caused plaintiff Jack Cooper to develop bladder cancer. Although Mr.
Recently, the FDA issued a report, based in part on data from the questionable RE-LY study, stating that adverse events involving serious and fatal hemorrhaging caused by the anti-coagulant drug Pradaxa may have been somewhat exaggerated. The three authors of the report – none of whom have ties to the manufacturer – suggest that much of the bad news surrounding Pradaxa is due to the fact that it is a relatively new drug and therefore subject to more media scrutiny.
At the end of March 2013, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (USJPML) consolidated all pending cases against Granuflo manufacturer Fresenius before the U.S. Federal Court for the District of Massachusetts. This accomplishes two things: it eliminates all duplication of efforts when it comes to the discovery process, and it moves the trial to a venue near Fresenius' U.S.
It's already widely-known that Boehringer-Ingelheim's anti-coagulant drug, Pradaxa, carries a high risk of patients bleeding to death – and, to add insult to injury, costs that are fifteen times those of warfarin (Pradaxa and its new competitor, Xarelto, run $3,000 a year compared to $200 for warfarin). Doctors nonetheless like Pradaxa (dabigatran) because it's relatively trouble-free; there are few interactions with other drugs and the dosage requires far less adjustments over time than warfarin – meaning less in the way of costly patient monitoring.
The most recent Chicago DePuy ASR trial has ended with a favorable verdict for the defense. In contrast with the recent $8.3 million California verdict for plaintiff Loren Kransky in California this March, the Chicago jury ruled against Carol Strum, whose attorneys asked for damages upwards of $5 million. Jurors heard the final arguments on April 15 and recessed for a day before returning to deliver the verdict the next evening.
A jury in Montgomery, Alabama returned a $3.3 million verdict against Yamaha for its wanton conduct in the design, marketing, manufacture and sale of the Yamaha Rhino Model 660 UTV vehicle. A finding of wantonness means that Yamaha acted or failed to act with a conscious and reckless disregard for the safety of its consumers, knowing that grievous injury was likely to result.
Late last month, a Los Angeles jury decided that Takeda executives were in fact aware of the cancer risk from its flagship product, Actos – and ordered the Japanese pharmaceutical giant to pay $6.5 million to plaintiff Jack Cooper and his wife. Cooper's lawyers presented the court with evidence demonstrating that Takeda executives were aware of the risks associated with Actos as far back as 2004 – yet spent the next seven years hiding this information from regulators.
"DePuy Orthopaedics Hips. Real Life Tested"
Those words still appear on a website maintained by the company (play the videos at the bottom or click on “read transcript”). Of course, these are about the newer Pinnacle hip device, not the ASR that so far has cost the company $8.3 million in a single lawsuit – with approximately 10,000 more cases lined up right behind it.
Those are the words of one Dr. David Grimes, who in July 2011, speaking to an NBC news reporter about the problems with pelvic meshes, added that “...we have a long history of accepting things without critical appraisal.”