What’s BIA-ALCL? Rare Cancer Deaths Tied to Breast Implants

The FDA has linked BIA-ALCL deaths to a breast implants.

In 1997, The World Health Organization first made the link between the rare cancer and breast implants, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) occurs in a capsule of tissue that develops around the implant. The cancer typically surfaces around ten-year following the breast implantation. BIA-ALCL

The FDA was quoted this week saying that “…the available information suggests women with breast implants have a very low, but increased risk of ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants.”

Women that have both silicone and saline-filled breast implants have been affected by ALCL.

The FDA says, it has received 359 reports of the lymphoma.

One recent study determined that 3.3 out of every 100,000 women with textured breast implants will develop BIA-ALCL. The textured breast implant variety seem to have the highest occurence of the cancer diagnosis according to FDA and the Australian government.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, you may be entitled to compensation due to your pain and suffering. Let the Medical Claim Legal team help you through the process.

Lupron

Lupron, a Drug Used to Delay Puberty, Causes Problems in Women

Lupron was injected in thousands of women in an effort to inhibit puberty or increase height.

More than 10,000 adverse event reports have been filed with the FDA based on the experiences of women who’ve taken Lupron. The reports describe a variety of symptoms experienced by those who took the drug to grow taller or delay puberty. Lupron

Lupron, currently manufactured by AbbVie, is an injection designed to reduce testosterone in men or estrogen in women. The drug is also approved for use by men with prostate cancer.

The experiences of the women that used the drugs are varied but complex. Many women reported experiencing symptoms and conditions linked to older, even elderly people. According to the FDA reports:

A 20-year-old was diagnosed with osteopenia, a thinning of the bones. A 26-year-old in Massachusetts needed a total hip replacement. One 25-year-old woman from Pennsylvania has osteoporosis and a cracked spine. In Wisconsin, another woman in her 20’s  has chronic pain and degenerative disc disease.

Other women described depression and anxiety.

Additionally, the FDA is reviewing deadly seizures caused by the use of Lupron and similar drugs.

The drug has had success in the marketplace. In 2015, the drug-maker reportedly brought in $826 million in sales.

Tecfidera

MS Drug Tecfidera Label Update Discloses Risk for Liver Injury

The Tecfidera label now reflects a possible side effect of liver injury.

Tecfidera, Biogen Inc’s multiple sclerosis (MS) drug,  has received label updates to  disclose a potential liver injury that could require hospitalization. Tecfidera

The world’s best selling oral MS drug experienced sales of $1.03 billion in the third quarter and accounts for about a third of the pharmaceutical company’s revenue.

Biogen reports that only 14 instances of liver injury have occurred around the 230,000 patients who have taken Tecfidera.

This isn’t the first time Tecfidera has had the spotlight. Just last week,  Biogen Inc. announced a settlement of a patient infringement lawsuit for $1.25 billion concerning the multiple sclerosis drug.

The label updates mention that abnormalities are resolved after use of  Tecfidera ends. A few cases required that the user be hospitalized. None of the cases have led to serious conditions including liver failure, liver transplant, or death.

Software

Medical Device Software Vulnerabilities a Huge Concern

Software vulnerabilities of medical devices may be difficult for health sector officials and manufacturers to manage.

As we reported last week, St. Jude implemented software updates that could protect pacemakers and other medical devices from being compromised by hackers. Oxycontin

Unfortunately, new information suggested that the public is not completely in the clear.

“Software is never perfect and all systems still will have these flaws,” says Joshua Corman, director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council and an expert on medical device security. “The question is how gracefully and collaboratively and quickly and safely can we respond to these flaws.”

In late 2016, there were reports that the Merlin@home transmitter used in monitoring certain St. Jude Medical implant devices could be hacked. These hacks could lead to deadly consequences for  the patient.

MedSec, a cybersecurity firm,  initially found the problems in the St. Jude devices. After which they “tipped off”- the activist investment firm Muddy Waters, which publicized the flaws and advised clients to bet against the health care firm’s stock.

Ever since the US government and St. Jude confirmed the one flaw, the VA has been “taking steps to be sure all our patients and providers are aware of this issue and take appropriate actions to be sure that all our patients get the update for their monitor,” said Merritt Raitt, acting director of the VA National Cardiac Device Surveillance Program.

Oxycontin

OxyContin Manufacturer Sued Following Epidemic

The city of Everett, Washington has filed a “first-of-its-kind lawsuit” against Perdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin.

Everett, Washington is a place where addiction to heroin and other opioids is officially considered an epidemic. Now, the city  has filed a “first-of-its-kind lawsuit” against the manufacturer of OxyContin. Citing gross negligence, the city claims that when Perdue Pharma marketed OxyContin as a  less-addictive alternative to other pain medication, they did the public a disservice.

The city wants the manufacturer to start paying to repair damages done to the coOxycontinmmunity harmed by the epidemic. Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said “we are going to go at them, and we are going to go at them hard.”

Officials claim that at the height of the epidemic, OxyContin was a factor in more than half of the crimes committed in Snohomish County.

In an LA Times article it was noted that “those drawn to the pills included young people and professionals who saw the painkiller as more fashionable and less dangerous than street drugs.

Many became addicted and lost their homes, jobs and families. After Purdue reformulated OxyContin in 2010 to make it harder to abuse, addicts moved en masse to heroin, which has a similar effect.”

Experts have mixed opinions about Everett’s chances of recovering money.

Coca-cola

Consumer Group Suing Coca-Cola Due to Sugary Soda Risks

Lawsuit claims Coca-Cola misled consumers on sugary soda health risks.

The consumer-advocacy group, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) asserts that Coca-Cola has misled consumers about the health risks of sugary drinks such as soda. Coca-Cola

In 2015, it was revealed that the corporate giant had heavily funded and been involved in the operation of the research group Global Energy Balance Network. Coca-Cola aimed to help establish the group as a “reputable scientific source to counter “public health extremists.” The company has starkly tried to avoid claims that their products are unhealthy.

It is based on these findings that the lawsuit claims that, “for years, [the] defendants have engaged in a pattern of deception to mislead and confuse the public (and governmental entities that bear responsibility for the public health) about the scientific consensus that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

The industry group, American Beverage Association (ABA) is the co-defendant in the lawsuit. The ABA continues to argue that obesity is a “complex condition.” Further asserting that as obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise, that soda consumption is dropping.

CSPI wants the ABA and Coca-Cola to make some changes. They want marketing to disclose the health risks of sugary drinks, while stopping ads directed at children. They also want the groups to disclose file “indicating the potential health implications.” Plus, the CSPI would like for Coca-Cola and the ABA to fund a public health campaign.

The ABA said in a statement that “America’s beverage companies know we have an important role to play in addressing our nation’s health challenges. That’s why we’re engaging with health groups and community organizations to drive a reduction in the sugar and calories Americans get from beverages.”

Coca-Cola has called the suit “legally and factually meritless.”

Infuse bone graft

Infuse Bone Graft Lawsuit Gets New Life

A lawsuit accusing Medtronics of covering up negative side effects of its Infuse bone graft has been revived by an appeals court.

A lawsuit accusing Medtronic of misleading shareholders by concealing the adverse effects of its Infuse bone graft, has been revived by the The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Infuse bone graft has been used in more than 1 million surgeries. In 2002, the FDA approved the Infuse bone graft for use in specific types of spinal fusion surgeries. The Infuse bone grafts variety are “synthetic, concentrated proteins…mixed with collagen from cows and injected into the spine to alleviate pain.”

The Spine Journal found, in 2011, that the risks of the product had been understated by medical professionals.

In 2012, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee stated that Medtronic, Inc., the manufacturer of the Infuse bone graft, had paid doctors hundreds of millions of dollars to write favorable articles and manipulate studies on the popular product.

In 2013, Medtronic shareholders sued the company claiming that the company’s stock had been inflated due to these unethical activities. As the truth about the product emerged, they have alleged hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

In 2014, Medtronic agreed to settle its Infuse bone graft lawsuit for $22 million that involves 950 people. Around 2,300 surgeons had used Medtronic products in the US prior to any serious side effects being reported.

An earlier decision in the case judged that shareholders had waited too long before seeking legal action. As 2016 came to a close an appeals court found that the case could still be brought forward.

The case will now be returned to the lower court for further proceedings.

Powdered medical gloves

Powdered Medical Gloves Banned By the FDA

The use of most powdered medical gloves has been banned by the FDA.

For only the second time in history the FDA has banned a medical device. Powdered medical gloves seem to pose adverse risks.Powdered medical gloves

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that powdered medical gloves (powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove) “present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury.” This has led to a new rule banning these products from use, effective January 18, 2017.

One group has called the ban “18 years too late.” Nearly 20 years ago, in 1998, the advocacy group Public Citizen, filed the first of several citizen’s petition calling on FDA to ban powdered gloves.

After the ban was proposed by the FDA, Public Citizen responded saying that “when a medical product, drug or, in this case device, has unique serious risks but no unique benefit, it should be banned. The FDA’s statement that “we … only take this action when we feel it’s necessary to protect the public health” ignores overwhelming evidence going back almost two decades about the necessity to do so.”

Back in March of 2016, the FDA had prosed the powdered medical gloves citing evidence that they were a  danger to  patients, risks included airway and wound inflammation, post-surgical adhesions and allergic reactions.

Powdered gloves aim to make the removal of gloves easier for medical professionals. So, the FDA had to determine whether the ease of use outweighed the risks.

The rules not that powder is fine when used in the manufacturing process, but should not be a part of the finished product. The rule from the FDA “encourages manufacturers to ensure finished non-powdered gloves have as little powder as possible.”

 

If you believe that you or a loved one might have suffered from the medical use of powdered gloves, let the Medical Claim Legal Team help.

Adverse event

FDA Complaints Just Got Transparent: Adverse Event Now Public

Data from the Center for Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Adverse Event Reporting System can be useful in litigation and beyond.

Thanks to a new service, consumers might be little bit safer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the Center for Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) database will be made public. The CAERS is a database that includes reports about harm and product complaints submitted to the FDA.

The new database can be accessed by consumers, researchers, industry pros and attorneys. The boon helps individuals learn more about products and their potential or previous harm to individuals.

Perhaps more importantly, industry professionals now have access to data with transparency.  The co-founder of Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, a group that monitors concerns about food safety, Michael Jacobson sees this as a victory.

“If somebody, like a poison-control center, has concerns, they can go and see if there happen to be some reports,” Jacobson said told Bloomberg.

Lawyers and companies, will find this information particularly useful. Some of the information can help with litigation. The information will certainly be mined by parties who could use reports to file lawsuits against manufacturers or retailers.

The CAERS  data will help the FDA and other experts monitor and study trends in “adverse event reports” that could signal a genuine safety issue with a product.

FDA provides raw data extracted from the CAERS database. The files include data from January 2004 through March 2016, including:

  • demographic and administrative information and the CAERS report ID number;
  • product information from the case reports;
  • symptom information from the reports;
  • patient outcome information from the reports.

For  those who may have experienced any type of adverse effects from food, drugs, or cosmetics, further evidence to support your claim might be available for you through the CAERS data.

See if the Medical Claim Legal team can help you along the way.