Blog Posts in June, 2005

  • Health Care Costs Show No Signs of Slowing

    A study recently released by the Center for Studying Health System Change indicated that health care costs increased again in 2004. The increase itself is not as alarming as the fact that costs rose 2.9% quicker than the country’s overall economic growth rate. As a result, more and more citizens will be unable to keep up with the increasing costs of health insurance, ultimately having to go ...
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  • Merck Meddled With Vioxx in 2000

    The Vioxx litigation turned up another damning document against Merck. The documents from 2000 indicate that Merck scientists were formulating another version of Vioxx that did not have cardiovascular risks. Remember that this is the same time the Merck and its 3000 salespeople were aggressively denying any such risk. It begs the question: if there was not a risk, why were they trying to make it ...
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  • FDA Withholds Studies From the Public

    A recent observational study performed with data from a UK general practice database found a similar increase in risk of heart attack between Vioxx, Celebrex, and naproxen. The study is found in the most recent addition of the British Medical Journal . While this came as no surprise, an editorial written by Dr. Peter Juni revealed some disturbing information about attempts to acquire information ...
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  • Drug Companies Shop for Testing Facilities Yielding Favorable Results

    It is hard to believe, but about 70 percent of the financing for clinical drug trials in the US comes from the drug companies themselves. These funds generally go to American Universities for the actual testing to be performed. However, drug companies will select those Universities whose testing standards allow for consistent results showing the drugs safety and efficacy. These companies look for ...
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  • Guidant Defibrillators Recalled

    The FDA recently recalled the following defibrillators manufactured by Guidant : PRIZM 2 DR, Model 1861, manufactured on or before April 16, 2002 CONTAK RENEWAL, Model H135, manufactured on or before August 26, 2004 CONTAK RENEWAL 2, Model H155, manufactured on or before August 26, 2004 These devices were placed into heart patients who suffered from life threatening arrhythmias. Reports indicate ...
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  • Disturbing Statistics on Medical Errors

    As Governor Blagojevich prepares to sign the recently passed medical malpractice reform bill , I thought it helpful to consider some national statistics on doctor and hospital error: *3% or more of hospital patients are hurt by medical error. *1 in 300 patients die from such mistakes. In U.S. aviation only 1 in 5 million flights ends in a deadly accident. *24% of people say they or a family member ...
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  • FDA Cannot Keep Up With Drug Ads That Go Too Far

    It is impossible to watch television nowadays and not see an advertisement for a prescription drug. Most of these commercials indicate relief that is unproven, exaggerate positive results, or fail to warn of serious side effects. The FDA monitors these ads, but with a woefully understaffed department and minimal budget. Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen sums the problem up in a recent article ...
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  • FDA Issues Warning on Cox-2 Inhibitors and NSAIDs

    The FDA announced today that they are requiring a boxed warning be placed on all Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) including all Cox-2 inhibitors . The warning notifies patients of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks. The FDA warning includes popular over-the-counter NSAIDs , such as Aleve, Advil and Motrin. This warning comes with little surprise, as indicators of a ...
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  • Recent Study Contradicts FDA on Crestor Risks

    Just last March the FDA rebuffed pleas by consumer groups to pull Crestor off the market. However a study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation indicates a 2 to 8 fold increase in risk of kidney damage and muscle problems over other cholesterol lowering drugs. The safety of Crestor has been closely watched since its approval in 2003. Early indications that the drug ...
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  • Eli Lilly Agrees to Zyprexa Settlement

    Eli Lilly agreed to settle about 8,000 Zyprexa cases claiming the drug caused hyperglycemia and other blood sugar disorders in its users. The drug was improperly labeled prior to September, 2003, and failed to warn of these side effects. Eli Lilly set up a settlement trust of $690 million and will continue to defend those cases not involved in the settlement. Zyprexa is part of a class of drugs ...
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  • First Viagra Lawsuit Filed in Texas

    A man suffering from blindness caused by non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) sued Pfizer today claiming that Viagra use caused his condition. Reports of many cases of this condition have sprung up among Viagra users across the country. The Reuters report states: James Thompson filed the civil suit against Pfizer in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on ...
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  • More Studies Proving No Link Between Lawsuits and Doctors Premiums

    Here are links to more studies which prove that those behind damage caps are lying to consumers and victims of medical negligence. Dartmouth Study Kaiser Family Foundation Study Study of Washington D.C. malpractice awards
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  • Medical Journals Corrupted by Drug Company Dependence

    Dr. Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal and current chief executive of UnitedHealth Europe, recently expressed his concern over the number of articles printed in scholarly journals funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Smith states: Unlike advertisements, trials are seen by readers as the highest form of evidence, he says. Trials funded by drug companies rarely produce ...
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  • Vioxx Critics Threatened by Merck

    An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that a Harvard Professor lecturing in 2000 on the potential dangers of Vioxx received a call from Merck telling him to stop. Professor Lee Simon got a call from Louis M. Sherwood, at the time a senior vice president with Merck & Co., regarding the Professor’s belief that Vioxx caused more strokes than rival drugs. The article explains To ...
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  • FDA Nationwide Recall of Children's Tylenol

    Today the FDA released notice of a nationwide recall of Children’s Tylenol Meltaways 80mg dose, Children’s Tylenol Softchews 80mg dose, and Jr. Tylenol Meltaways 160mg dose. The recall is due to poor packaging and labeling that may lead to accidental overdose. An overdose of Tylenol (acetaminophen) may cause permanent liver damage.
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  • Illinois Lawmakers Protect Negligent Doctors and Condemn Victims

    This week, the Illinois House and Senate approved a medical malpractice reform bill that includes caps on non-economic damages. The bill will now go to Governor Blagojevich, who is expected to sign the bill into law. This is a catastrophic blow to patients and patients’ rights in Illinois. Not only are the caps alone proven to have no effect on malpractice insurance rates, but the caps only serve ...
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