Blog Posts in 2005

  • Lawsuits Minute Factor in Calculating Malpractice Insurance Rates

    Yet another study proving that skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates have only a tenuous relationship with malpractice lawsuits. The study, performed by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights , considered industry reported loses to actual payouts over a 8 year period from 1986 to 1994. The reported loses totalled nearly 40 billion, while the actual payouts were only 26.7 billion, a 31 ...
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  • Vioxx Federal Retrial Set for February

    Judge Eldon Fallon, the presiding judge in the federal Vioxx litigation, set the Vioxx retrial for February 6 in New Orleans. The last trial, held in Houston, ended in mistrial after the jury could not come to an unanimous verdict after 18 hours of deliberation. Plaintiffs in the February trial will be able to present evidence of the recent New England Journal of Medicine report that Merck ...
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  • Writers for Medical Journal Paid by Drug Industry

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal details the disturbing, if not frightening, practice of trusted scientific journals to publish research studies written by ghostwriters working for pharmaceutical companies. Not only are the writers in the employ of drug companies, but also the articles are published under the bylines of prominent academics. In short, we have drug companies writing ...
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  • Victims Under Attack: New Vaccine Legislation Shields Drug Companies From Liability

    New legislation pushed in the wake of the avian flu scare includes a provision that shields vaccine manufactures from liability for injuries caused by the vaccines. No doubt the bird flu is scary, however why the current Administration seeks to punish victims of vaccine side effects is even more frightening. The bill protects vaccine manufacturers from lawsuits, even where there is gross ...
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  • New Study Supports Vioxx, Celebrex Heart Attack Risk

    A recent study study performed by a Danish University supports the link between Cox-2 inhibitors and heart attacks. Taking Cox-2’s and high doses of NSAID’s after suffering a heart attack raised the risk of death as much as 5 times. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association. The study showed people taking 25mg of Vioxx had a 5.03 ties greater risk of dying. ...
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  • Major Medical Errors to be Reported Starting 2008

    The Illinois General Assembly passed a law which will require all major medical errors, called “never events”, to be publically reported. The law requires all Illinois hospitals and surgery centers to publically admit if they commit any of 24 types of “never events.” Some of these events include: performing the wrong surgical procedure; leaving a foreign object in someone’s body; or discharging an ...
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  • First Federal Vioxx Suit Ends in Mistrial

    The first federal Vioxx lawsuit ended today in a mistrial . U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon declared a mistrial after the jury could not reach a required unanimous verdict after 18 hours of deliberations. The nine person jury recessed on Saturday with five votes for the Plaintiff and four for Merck. Judge Fallon that the jury deliberated for a reasonable amount of time and entered the ...
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  • Guidant Settles First Civil Suit

    Guidant, the second-largest maker of defibrillators, agreed to settle a lawsuit over the death of a 21-year-old man who used a company-made heart device that failed, said a lawyer representing the man’s family. The agreement with the family of Joshua Oukrop, who died in Utah on March 14, 2005, may be the first civil settlement related to Guidant’s recall of 109,000 heart defibrillators. ‘The only ...
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  • Senate Asbestos Victim Fund Found Inadequate

    “An economic consultant yesterday said a Senate proposal for a $140 billion trust fund to compensate asbestos victims is inadequate. The fund might need $300 billion to $695 billion over 50 years to cover the claims of workers suffering lung cancer or other illnesses caused by asbestos, according to a private study done by Bates White LLC, an economic consulting group. ‘I did not expect to find ...
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  • Round Two for Merck in New Jersey Set

    Judge Higbee set a Jan. 30 trial date for the next New Jersey lawsuit against Merck & Co. over its once-popular painkiller Vioxx. After a daylong closed-door hearing with lawyers, Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee narrowed the list of potential cases to go to trial on that date to seven. In each, the plaintiffs are New Jersey residents who suffered heart attacks after taking the drug for 18 months ...
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  • Wisconsin Governor Vetoes Medical Malpractice Bill

    On Friday, Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle vetoed the state legislature’s attempt to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice actions. The bill is very similar to the one passed in Illinois only months ago. Earlier this year the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the state’s medical malpractice bill enacted in 1995. The court found that the law created two classes of victims: people with less ...
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  • Study Finds Many Cancer Tests Misinterpreted

    A review of cancer diagnoses from pathology tests at four hospitals found that up to 11.8% were in error, according to a study slated to appear in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Cancer. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said because of the variety of detection methods used, they couldn’t pinpoint the cause of misdiagnoses. They recommended standardizing tests and ...
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  • Manufacturer of OTC Eye-Drops Forced to Pull Products From Market

    The FDA announced today that MBI Distributing, also known as Molecular Biologics, will cease production of all their products due to manufacturing deficiencies and other violations. MBI produces many over-the-counter (OTC) drugs including Oxydrops, Bright Eyes, Bright Eyes II, Clarity Vision for Life, Visitein, and Can-C, as well as several pain relieving drugs. The deficiencies at MBI’s plant ...
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  • Increased Incidence of Liver Failure With Tylenol Use

    The liver toxicity of acetaminophen has been known for years, however a recent study shows that liver damage caused by the drug is on the rise. The damage is caused by an overdose of the drug, and the number of unintentional overdoses is increasing. Acetominophen is found in a variety of pain relievers and cold remedies. The active ingredient in Tylenol, the drug is also found in a variety of ...
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  • U.S. Leads the Way in Medical Errors

    A recent study performed by the Commonwealth Fund , a non-for profit organization focused on independent research for health care issues, indicated errors occurring in over 30% of patients treated. U.S. patients participating in the study also reported the highest rate of disorganized care. Even more disturbing is the fact that U.S. healthcare costs are amongst the highest in the world. Many of ...
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