Last year, news broke that power morcellator surgical devices used in hundreds of thousands of hysterectomies could cause the spread of deadly uterine cancer, and that 1 in 350 women could be affected.
Most of the involved parties acted swiftly to limit the risk to future patients: major surgical centers announced they were halting use of the devices; the FDA recommended limiting their use; and the largest manufacturer of the machines stopped selling them.
A Pennsylvania jury this week ruled that a retired teacher’s bladder cancer was caused in large part by the diabetes medication Actos, and that the maker of the drug had not properly warned he or his doctor of the dangers.
The decision is the latest warning to consumers over the safety of Actos, which was once the most popular drug in the world for treating type-2 diabetes. Japanese drug maker Takeda continues to claim it is safe, although they now face over 7,500 patient lawsuits for bladder cancer.
In May of 2010, 28-year-old Petra Zele was a young, vibrant woman living out her dreams in Australia. Like many her age, she was taking Yasmin, one of the most popular birth control pills at the time.
However, less than a week later, she would be dead from a massive pulmonary embolism blood clot in her lungs.
A fresh report from a leading prescription medication watchdog suggests drug companies aren’t holding up their end of the bargain of letting consumers know all the details of their product side effects.
The report, out last week from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, shows pharmaceutical companies don’t turn in complete reports for over half of the instances of drug side effects that take place.
It’s no surprise that with pressure from shareholders, drug companies must find new ways to continue increasing profits. However, recent double-digit increases in the cost of medications is putting many dependent Americans in a tough position.
On one side, the cost of brand name drugs continues to rise, forcing many to consider cheaper generics or causing most insurance companies to push generic alternatives on patients whenever possible.
A study released this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows patients over age 65 who take popular sleep aid medications may face higher chances of developing dementia.
It’s not the first study to produce such results, however, it is the first to isolate the risk to the drugs themselves, instead of underlying risk factors in patients taking them. Also, what were initially thought to be temporary cognitive side effects may now actually be permanent.
DrugNews reported last year on the wave of male breast growth side effects sweeping minors who were prescribed the antipsychotic drug Risperdal for autism, depression or anxiety.
Now, with the latest trial underway for a boy allegedly affected by Risperdal, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration has been called on to testify about Johnson & Johnson’s marketing of the medication for unapproved purposes.
With cases in a newly-created Louisiana federal court moving full steam ahead over injuries from the blood thinner Xarelto, a Pennsylvania state court recently announced it too would enter the fray and hear claims over patient internal bleeding.
DrugNews reported last month that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation had transferred more than 50 cases from around the country alleging internal bleeding from Xarelto to the Eastern District of Louisiana for handling by U.S. District Judge Fallon. That MDL system is designed to provide an expedited legal process for patients with similar cases.
The latest in a string of trials alleging the popular diabetes drug Actos caused users to develop bladder cancer started last week in Philadelphia, with stakes high for Japanese manufacturer Taketa Pharmaceutical.
The company faces more than 7,500 lawsuits in federal and state courts around the country from patients who developed the disease after taking Actos.
With the market for newer anticoagulants growing to several billion dollars per year, it’s no surprise the leading competitors would spend a healthy chunk of change on advertising. Anyone with a TV has likely seen countless ads for Xarelto, Eliquis and Pradaxa.
What is somewhat unsettling, however, is that the manufacturers of these drugs also funnel millions of promotional dollars to doctors. Almost $20 million in just the past half year, to be exact.
With nearly $2 billion spent so far by German drug giant Bayer to settle Yaz blood clot lawsuits, it may come as a surprise that not one case has reached a jury decision. That could change this year as a new class of unresolved claims are being scheduled for trial.
In 2009, litigation got underway as a small number of lawsuits alleging Yaz blood clot injuries were consolidated to a dedicated federal court in Illinois. Since then, over 13,000 claims have been filed.
A study from Israeli doctors released last month added fuel to an ongoing debate over the safety of newer style oral blood thinner drugs, noting that medications like Xarelto and Pradaxa may carry greater risks for intestinal bleeding than standby option warfarin.
The comments are just the latest data in years of conflicting evidence from manufacturers and independent researchers. On one side, German companies Bohringer Ingelheim and Bayer have touted the clinical trials behind their drugs Pradaxa and Xarelto, saying the meds carry fewer risks than warfarin.