Articles Posted in Products Liability

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Accutane is a medication that is used to treat acute acne. It was first marketed in Atlanta in 1982. Since then, over 16 million patients throughout the world have used Accutane. However, Accutane was withdrawn from the US in 2009, but the drug is still available in foreign countries and in the US in generic forms.

Accutane has been linked to several serious side effects such as birth defects and suicide. It has recently been linked to inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease. Abdominal discomfort, bloody stool, loss of appetite, severe diarrhea, ulcers, and weight loss are all symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease and treatment varies from person to person. Therefore, instead of trying to cure the patient of the disease, doctors try to relieve its symptoms. Common treatment for Crohn’s disease includes anti-inflammatory medication, special diet, and surgery to remove damaged intestinal tissue.

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Bextra’s connection to side effects like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome continues to present a problem for hundreds of patients in the Atlanta area and thousands throughout the country who were prescribed and used the medication.

The FDA requested Pfizer to remove Bextra from the US market in April 2005. The request was made in light of the fact that the risks of Bextra usage to patients far outweighed the medications possible benefit.

Though the FDA stressed the risk of harmful cardiovascular events, which are commonly associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the FDA recognized that Bextra use showed a greater chance of experiencing serious skin reactions such as Steven-Johnson Syndrome.

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Acoustic neuromas is a type of cancer that researches have found to be five times more likely to develop in children and young teenagers who use cell phones. Researchers of this study also found that people who didn’t use cell phones until they were in their twenties were only twice as likely to develop the cancer. Acoustic neuromas can cause deafness.

It is believed by researchers of the study that children 12 years old and younger should only use cell phones in the event of an emergency and that hands-free phones or headsets are best used by teens. Incidentally, the National Agency for Research on Cancer has categorized cell phones as a category 2B. Other carcinogenic compounds classified, as category 2B is gas engine exhaust and the pesticide DDT.

Most experts claim that it is not possible to presuppose the long-term health risks associated with cell phone use because it can take decades for cancer to develop. And studies haven’t followed people for more than one decade. The information from the study will be sent to the World Health Organization to be reviewed and for potential guidelines on cell phone use to be implemented.

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Faulty respirators that can result in the user developing illnesses like asbestos mesothelioma and asbestosis continue to be found in the Atlanta area. These respirators are supposed to protect the wearer by getting rid of contaminants in the air. But even with industry policies prepared and employed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Center for Disease Control design flaws continue to be found.

Faulty respirators are worse than not wearing a respirator at all because it gives workers a falls sense of security that they are safe from asbestos so the wearer is more likely to put him or herself into more dangerous situations.

It is estimated that over 84,000 lawsuits have been filed against 3M due to faulty respirators failing to filter out asbestos and other toxins. And American Optical has had 140,000 claims filed against it where claimants have alleged that their respirators were responsible for asbestos-related diseases in wearers.

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The New York Times recently reported that a FDA committee has advised improving bone-building drug labels. The brands that will be affected are Actonel, Atelvia, Boniva, and Fosamax. Tens of thousands of women in Atlanta take such medications.

The advisory committee’s recommendation follows studies that suggest there is no noteworthy benefit of continuing such therapy past five years. Though the benefits of taking bone-building drugs for three to five years have been proven, such drugs have not been proven for long-term use.

The advisory committee assembled due to concerns that many women have suffered atypical thigh fractures or jaw disease after taking the medications long-term. However, none of the members of the committee advised imposing strict limits on long-term use. Neither did the committee recommend a black box warning even with petitions from former patients present.

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An advisory board for The US Food and Drug Administration recently voted that the advantage of using four popular Bayer drugs make up for the risks associated with their adverse side effects. But the FDA did not make known the fact that three of the advisors were associated with Bayer.

The three doctors were part of a safety committee that evaluated the safety of Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, and Safyal. And they served as consultants, researchers, and speakers for Bayer. Bayer’s studies showed no real danger; whereas, other research and a commissioned study by the FDA found that there is. Advisory committees by the FDA are supposed to make independent decisions concerning medical matters.

The FDA states that members of their advisory committees have to declare all financial dealings they may have with companies in order to guarantee “transparency”. But advisory members are only obligated to make known possible conflicts of interest to the FDA. Therefore, such information is seldom freely available.

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Drivers in Atlanta continue to be at risk from the harmful effects of bromine and other toxic chemicals that creates that “new car smell” according to the fourth annual buyers guide to toxic chemicals in automobile interiors, produced by the Ecology Center. This is in spite of the fact that automobile manufacturers are steadily reducing these sorts of chemicals.

As indicated by the report, 40% of all the automobiles tested in 2012 have brominated flame-retardants (BFRs) in their interiors. BFRs are a variety of different chemicals that are used to reduce flammability and slow down combustion rates. However, bromine isn’t the only chemical causing concern. Chlorine, lead, and heavy metals are also deemed toxic and found in cars in varying amounts.

These chemicals are linked to numerous health problems such as allergies, birth defects, cancer, learning impairments, and liver toxicity. And according to the Ecology Center’s report, the Mitsubishi Outlander, the KIA Soul, and the Chrysler 200 SC are motor vehicles found to have the highest levels of these chemicals.

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Anyone who has ever been in a serious car accident can attest to the importance of properly working airbags. On the other hand, defective airbags in automobiles can cause serious injury. And many injuries occur when defective airbags either fail to deploy or when they deploy without reason.

Honda has recently announced that it is recalling certain cars, many in the Atlanta area, due to a defect in their driver’s airbag inflator. It seems that the inflator pumps too much air into the bag. And too much air can lead to the rupturing of the bag, scattering metallic equipment through the airbag into the air.

So far, twelve injuries and one death have been related to the defective airbag inflators. Honda had recently expanded its recall in an effort to account for 640 more inflators, which may have been used as replacement parts. Therefore, a total of 272,000 vehicles have been added to the recall.

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An executive at Johnson & Johnson allegedly has admitted in an e-mail that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) rejected approval on a DePuy Hip Replacement after reviewing studies conducted by the company. It is alleged, that the studies established that considerable numbers of the product failed too soon, thus creating the need for patients to undergo repeat surgeries.

According to news reports, the alleged statements that the executive made in the e-mail are in direct contrast with statements made by the company concerning the ASR hip replacement. The e-mail was reportedly written in August of 2009 by a DePuy Orthopedics vice president a few days after the FDA privately informed the manufacturer that one version of the hip replacement device did not gain approval.

Before the products recall, Johnson & Johnson was stubbornly maintaining that it was safe and insisted that company studies countered complaints made by surgeons and regulators overseas that the hip replacement apparatus was faulty. The New York Times reports that the mechanism that the FDA disapproved was only sold abroad, but a similar version was allegedly used in hundreds of Atlanta patients that was also recalled.

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For many women, physical exertion, such as coughing, exercise, heavy lifting, or sneezing can cause an accidental leakage of urine. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), as it is known, is the most common type of urinary incontinence found in women. Stress incontinence may be caused by a weakened pelvic muscles that supports the bladder and urethra or because the urethral sphincter is not working correctly. Weakness may be caused by:

  • Childbirth
  • Injury to the urethra area
  • Some medications
  • Surgery in the prostrate or pelvic area

Sometimes, vaginal sling procedures are performed in an effort to control stress incontinence. However, in July of 2011, the FDA advised doctors that most cases of pelvic organ prolapse can be effectively treated without the use of a bladder sling. Unfortunately, many women in the Atlanta metropolitan area who have had vaginal mesh implants have experienced:

  • Complications during sex
  • Corrosion of the mesh
  • Hardening of the mesh
  • Infection
  • Injury to nearby nerves
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Urinary problems
  • Vaginal pain and discomfort

Urinary incontinence is typically caused by an underlying medical condition that is usually treatable without the need of surgery. Moreover, there is no indication that bladder slings help women when its main use is treating pelvic organ prolapse. So, why the prevalence of the mesh slings. Pressure or incentives from the manufacturers to use them?

Manufacturers of these devices have failed to properly warn patients and healthcare practitioners of the possible problems associated with the vaginal mesh. Furthermore, surgery is only recommended after the exact cause of urinary incontinence has been found. Most of the time, healthcare providers will attempt retraining the bladder or Kegel exercises before surgery is even considered.
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