Kentucky Injury Lawyers

First Risperdal Trial Starts In Mass Tort Action

Published on Feb 25, 2015 at 12:32 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Whether the drug makers failed to properly warn doctors and the public about the side effects of Risperdal is the issue being litigated in Philadelphia this winter. Over 1200 cases have been consolidated in a mass tort action filed there, and the first case began in late January.

Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson has already been fined billions of dollars in a settlement for charges that the company illegally marketed Risperdal. In a joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Justice and several states, the government found that the makers aggressively marketed doctors to prescribe Risperdal for unapproved uses, specifically for children with disabilities and the elderly with dementia.

The first case being tried in Philadelphia involves a 20 year-old male who is autistic. He took Risperdal when he was 8 years-old and later developed “large female breasts.” The growths appear to be permanent, with the only way to remove them being a mastectomy.

Petrochemical Industry Hiding Benzene Dangers

Published on Feb 4, 2015 at 10:57 am in Dangerous Drugs.

The petrochemical industry has spent at least $36 million to fund scientific research trying to minimize the dangers of benzene. This effort comes after independent studies have linked benzene to leukemia and other cancers.  In 2004, the National Cancer Institute reported a study finding there’s no safe exposure level for people working with benzene.

Exposure dangers

Workers in the petrochemical industry have been among the most exposed to benzene and its effects. Benzene is a component of crude oil, and is used to make plastics, lubricants, dyes, pesticides, and adhesives. Over the last 10 years, lawsuits have been filed on behalf of workers who were sickened or died from benzene-related exposure, yet the industry is still trying to debate whether benzene is causing these rare cancers and other illnesses.

Study Shows Risks of Cipro, Avelox and Levaquin

Published on Jan 10, 2015 at 9:00 am in Dangerous Drugs.

A new study has documented the risk of nerve damage from taking powerful antibiotics in the class of fluoroquinolones. The best known of these drugs are Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Avelox (moxifloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin).

The study, published in the September issue of the journal Neurology, found that current users of this class of antibiotics were at a higher risk of developing nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy, than non-users. The study further found that current new users of the drugs had the highest risk.

Oral fluoroquinolones are a strong class of antibiotics and one of the most often prescribed by doctors in the U.S. Last year, the FDA issued a warning regarding the risk of nerve damage from taking any oral doses of Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin, or others in this class of drugs. These risks came to light from adverse events reported from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System and from published case reports. Absent still was any evidence from large epidemiologic studies that could establish a solid link between this drug and peripheral neuropathy.

Should Levaquin Have Stronger Warning Labels?

Published on Jan 9, 2015 at 9:30 am in Dangerous Drugs.

A 54 year-old woman in Arizona had only taken Levaquin for seven days before she wound up in the emergency room after she became dizzy and couldn’t breathe. Within a few weeks, Jenny Frank’s ankles swelled and her knees ached. Her joints started making crunching sounds when she moved. Gastrointestinal problems, muscle spasms, and fatigue followed.

Frank was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, which is a known side effect of Levaquin. Last summer, the FDA issued a warning that Levaquin and the other drugs in the class of fluoroquinolones, had potentially serious side effects, including peripheral neuropathy. The FDA found drug makers were not adequately documenting these risks in their labeling and required stronger warnings.

Due to Frank’s nerve damage, she had to wear braces on her elbows, wrists and knees, and use a cane to help her walk. “Every single day, something else in my body fell apart,” she told USA Today. Three years later, she has mostly recovered. But some cases can be permanent.

Drug Makers Pay Government Billions For Fraud

Published on Nov 17, 2014 at 8:31 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Some of the largest pharmaceutical companies, the household names who make many of the drugs we take, have agreed to billion dollar settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid civil and criminal litigation. The charges include fraudulent marketing practices – a big part of which has been promoting drugs for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The charges have also included financial payouts to doctors and pharmacists to prescribe or sell their drugs, manufacturing practices that can contaminate the medicines, and using unreliable scientific data to win FDA approval.

Here are highlights of some recent large settlements: