Kentucky Injury Lawyers

5 Facts You May Not Know about IVC Filters

Published on Apr 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm in Dangerous Drugs.

An IVC filter is a small, cage-like device that gets surgically inserted around the inferior vena cava, a major vein which carries blood to the heart and lungs. The device is designed to permanently stop blood clots from traveling to the lungs and is usually only inserted after other anticoagulation treatment courses are unsuccessful. Despite the fact that IVC filters have helped some patients live longer, they have caused other patients to suffer from a myriad of serious complications including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), cardiac tamponade, pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage, and even death.

If you or someone you know has had the device inserted or plans on having the surgery done, we have a wealth of important information you should take a look at, but in addition, we have also come up with a list of 5 interesting facts you may not know about the IVC filter:

  1. The majority of IVC filters are inserted without telling the patient about how to care for the device afterwards.

As odd as it may sound, surgeons will often place an IVC filter inside a patient without telling them that it should later be removed if it’s no longer needed. Patients will often assume that the device should stay in forever only because they were not told differently. Doctors will often say nothing at all regarding the after care of the device, in fact.

  1. The longer an IVC filter remains in the body, the higher the risk of injury.

If the patient is no longer at risk for developing blood clots, it’s best for the IVC filter to be removed 1-2 months after insertion. The FDA even recommends device retrieval in cases where it’s no longer needed. The most dangerous risks associated with IVC filters usually happen in patients who have had the device for many years. Long term risks can include IVC occlusion, lower limb deep vein thrombosis, and even hemorrhage and/or death.

  1. A recent study suggests that IVC filters don’t even provide any significant medical benefit.

The medical field advances quickly. IVC filters were once thought to be incredible life savers, but recent findings in a study conducted by Mark R. Hemmila in the October 2015 issue of Annals of Surgery report that “High rates of prophylactic IVC filter placement have no effect on reducing trauma patient mortality and are associated with an increase in DVT events.”

  1. In 2016, a major, 5-year study began which aims to study the safety and effectiveness of 7 brands of IVC filters.

Most case studies involving IVC filters are performed on filters that are manufactured by companies under heavy legal scrutiny such as those created by C.R. Bard and Cook Medical. In 2016, a new study sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) went underway which will look at seven major brands of IVC filters and how they affect patients over the course of five years.

The study is called PRESERVE which stands for “Predicting the Safety and Effectiveness of Inferior Vena Cava Filters” and will involve over 2,100 patients and 60 different medical communities.

  1. At least 27 deaths have occurred due to IVC filters.

According to evidence discussed during a major NBC News report in 2015, at least 27 deaths have directly resulted from complications suffered after IVC filter insertion. The FDA has collected over 900 adverse device reports from the years 2005-2010 alone. As of December 2015, there are over 120 pending lawsuits directed at Cook Medical and C.R. Bard regarding patients and their loved ones who have suffered from damage caused by IVC filters.

The numbers and facts don’t lie. IFV filters, once considered safe, are no longer safe and should be either taken off the market completely or altered until they become safer. Furthermore, the manufacturers should not only be creating safer devices but also properly informing physicians and patients regarding the risks and realities concerning the filters and their recommended retrieval.

If you or someone you love has experienced medical complications due to an IVC filter, it’s not too late to get involved in the pending lawsuits and potentially receive compensation. Contact Louisville personal injury lawyer Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices to find out how.

Tad Thomas Appointed to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in Levaquin Multidistrict Litigation

Published on Mar 25, 2016 at 11:37 am in Dangerous Drugs, Press Release.

LOUISVILLE, KY, March 25, 2016— Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices has been appointed to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in the federal fluoroquinolone (commonly known as Levaquin) product liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) which was initiated last year. The Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) is a committee of ten attorneys throughout the United States that will assist the entire plaintiff’s multidistrict litigation group in coordinating proceedings between the plaintiffs and attorneys, preparing the plaintiffs for trial, and serving as a possible litigator during trial.

Fluroquinolones: An Overprescribed and Potentially Dangerous Treatment for Common Infections

Published on Mar 18, 2016 at 2:25 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Recently a 21- member panel for the Food and Administration met to discuss the overprescribing of a specific class of antibiotics called fluroquinolones.  More than 30 people came forward during the open public hearing about the severe, life-altering side effects they have experienced from taking these antibiotics in potentially unnecessary situations.  As a result, the FDA has decided to strengthen label warnings and clarify when the drugs should and should not be used. 

Thomas Law Offices works with Kentucky Attorney General to resolve $15.5 million Risperdal case

Published on Dec 30, 2015 at 1:14 pm in Dangerous Drugs.

The end of 2015 brought with it the successful end to Risperdal litigation filed by Thomas Law Offices, the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General and the Houston Law Firm of Bailey Peavy Bailey Cowan and Heckman.  The lawsuit, which alleged the drug company violated the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, sought penalties against the company and its parent, Johnson & Johnson.

A Drug Price Increases by 5,000 Percent Overnight and Doctors Demand to Know Why

Published on Nov 19, 2015 at 11:13 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Infectious disease physicians and advocates are in outrage as the decades-old drug Daraprim increases in price overnight from $13.50 per tablet to $750.00 per tablet.  Daraprim, the common name for the drug pyrimethamine, is the only medication for treating toxoplasmosis, an infection contracted from cat parasites that can cause birth defects.  It is also a co-treatment for HIV infections, some cancers, and malaria.

The rights to Daraprim were recently purchased in August by a company named Turing Pharmaceuticals.  Doctors and advocates wrote a letter to the drug company urging them to reconsider their price increase, as it raises the cost of treatment to as much as $634,500 annually.  “This cost is unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient in need of this medication, “the letter said, “and unsustainable for the health care system.”  Turing Pharmaceuticals claims the drug is not overpriced compared to its peers was unprofitable at the former price.  They stated that the drug will now return what they consider to be a reasonable profit, not excessive at all, and the additional money will allow them to develop newer, better drugs.

Daraprim is part of recent trend in increasing costs among older pharmaceuticals where drug companies purchase the rights to an older, neglected drug and attempt to turn it into a high priced specialty drug. This is a frequent occurrence in the cost of drugs for rare diseases because competition in the particular field is so small.  Drug companies often reset the prices when they purchase these drugs because they now have a monopoly on the most common treatment for a given disease.

Companies like Turing Pharmaceuticals attempt to appear understanding and offer discount programs to patients who struggle to pay the new increased price.  However, these programs are often very complicated to register for and are not a sustainable source of assistance for patients who require taking the medication long term.  Research for generic drugs that require a lesser out-of-pocket expense has been growing in recent years, but mainly in drugs that are taken for more common, widespread illnesses like heart disease, high cholesterol, and blood pressure regulation.  The cost necessary to research generic drug options for rare diseases is not something drug companies are interested in paying, especially when little to no competition exists for their current, brand-name product.

Pharmaceutical companies who control drugs for rare diseases claim that the patients who need their products are their highest priority.  But dramatic price increases in Daraprim and uncommon drugs like it leave physicians and patients alike questioning the true motive behind the action.  To learn more about the increasing cost of pharmaceuticals and the likelihood of this action to continue in the future, contact Thomas Law Offices for more information.