Recently in drug safety Category

February 7, 2013

Beware of Counterfeit Drugs

counterfeit drugs.jpgcounterfeit drugs1.jpg
More and more generic drugs are turning out to be COUNTERFEIT! A counterfeit drug is one that is marketed and sold as the real drug, but in actuality it is missing one or more of the key active ingredients. Taking such drugs can be dangerous and hazardous to your health. Headlines have recently discussed the popular flu remedy Tamiflu as having a counterfeit on the market.

Yesterday, the FDA announced that it had identified another counterfeit cancer drug. The drug is a generic counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin. This is the third case involving the best-selling Roche drug in the past year. The FDA is notifying and warning doctors about this latest counterfeit.

Most of these counterfeit drugs are found on-line at discount pharmacies. The on-line pharmacies that are selling counterfeit drugs have websites that look professional and authentic. But, as the old saying goes, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! So, beware consumers, if the price of the drug is unbelievably low, it is probably a fake. Buyers of on-line drugs must be careful that they are dealing with reputable pharmacies.

Continue reading "Beware of Counterfeit Drugs" »

November 1, 2012

Chronic Pain Injections in NC Tainted with Deadly Meningitis

epidural injections.jpgA pharmaceutical company, New England Compounding Center of Massachusetts, has sold and delivered a tainted batch of steriod injections to doctors' offices across the US. The injections are tained with a deadly strain of meningitis. The tainted injections have been blamed for at least 14 deaths thus far.

To date, almost 14,000 people have been given the bad medicine. Most of the people who have received the injections were given the medicine as a form of pain treatment for chronic back problems.

A Minnesota woman filed the first lawsuit last week in a federal court. She told the media that said she has experienced a high fever and nausea after getting an injection, and that she is anxiously awaiting test results.

Continue reading "Chronic Pain Injections in NC Tainted with Deadly Meningitis " »

August 18, 2011

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Cigarette Verdict

cigarettes1.jpgThe Florida Supreme Court has just declined to review a lower court's decision upholding a $3.3 million compensatory damages verdict and a $25 million punitive damages verdict for the widow of a smoker. The case name was Martin v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

The effect of the Florida Supreme Court's decision to not review the case is that the lower court decision stands as the final decision in the case. By declining to review the lower court's decision, the Supreme Court has basically said, "We think you got it right." RJR Tobacco is shocked and probably livid about the decision. For months, RJR has asserted that they fully expected the decision to be overturned on appeal.

The American Association for Justice reported that one of the lawyers for Ms. Martin said, "by leaving that ruling intact, the supreme court paved the way for juries to continue to consider all the evidence regarding the fraud and deceit of the cigarette industry and the tragic toll it's taken on American families."

Continue reading "Florida Supreme Court Upholds Cigarette Verdict" »

January 17, 2010

Johnson & Johnson Issues Giant Recall In North Carolina

Thumbnail image for Johnson & Johnson Bldg.jpgOn Friday, January 15, 2010, Johnson & Johnson, the multi-national conglomerate, issued a huge recall of several of its most popular over the counter medications, including Tylenol, Motrin and St. Joseph's Aspirin. The popular products have a strange moldy smell and have caused more than 75 people to become ill after taking the medicines. The symptoms range from nausea and vomiting to severe abdominal pain. Several people have sought medical attention after getting sick.

Johnson & Johnson apparently knew of the suspect drugs several months ago, but failed to promptly and thoroughly investigate the complaints. The moldy smell allegedly originates with a chemical used in treating the wooden pallets on which the products are shipped. Johnson & Johnson has not publicly disclosed the name of the chemical.

The Food and Drug Administration is also lobbing accusations that Johnson & Johnson should have notified them as soon as they suspected a problem. In a prior post about another drug making giant, Eli Lily, I explained how the FDA obtained billions as a result of the drug maker's violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Similar allegations by the FDA are considered likely in this case as a result of Johnson & Johnson's reckless disregard for the public's safety.

In a separate announcement, the Justice Department is alleging that the pharmaceutical giant has paid millions and millions of dollars in kickbacks to Omnicare Inc. to boost drug sales to patients in nursing homes. Federal prosecutors contend that Omnicare purchases of Johnson & Johnson medicines tripled during this under-handed scheme to more than $280 million. Such conduct will likely cost Johnson & Johnson tens of millions, as it should. Conduct by corporations that intentionally harms the public should continue to be subject these corporate wrongdoers to massive fines, criminal prosecution, and punitive damages.

November 13, 2009

Eli Lily Pays $24 Million in Zyprexa Case

Capsules - Pills.jpgDrug giant Eli Lily has been caught red-handed in an off-label marketing scheme of the drug Zyprexa. The FDA has approved the drug for treatment of schizophrenia and certain types of bipolar disorder. Many states have sued the drug giant for marketing the drug to treat other mental health conditions such as depression, dementia, Alzheimer's and agitation. Marketing a drug to treat conditions it has not been approved for is illegal.

The Associated Press reports that Utah has entered into an agreement with Eli Lily to settle that state's claim. Eli Lily has agreed to pay Utah $24 Million. The Utah Attorney General stated that his office found that 1,769 patients over the age of 65 had been prescribed the drug but had never been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Last year, Eli Lily settled similar claims with more than 30 other states, including North Carolina, in a $62 Million settlement, but Utah and 13 other states refused to settle and filed separate lawsuits. In the last 60 days, South Carolina agreed to settle for $45 Million and Connecticut agreed to accept $25 Million for Zyprexa's illegal marketing.

Eli Lily settled with the US Department of Justice in January for $1.4 Billion. As part of that settlement, Eli Lily also agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges that it violated the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. In that case, the DOJ alleged that Lily had persuaded physicians to prescribe Zyprexa to children and elderly patients when they knew that the drug was not designed for these patient populations and that it can be harmful to these age groups.