Reports have been released showing legendary pop star Prince, died of an overdose of the painkiller Fentanyl. The drug, which can be found on the black market, is more than 100 times more potent than morphine, making it the strongest opioid available.
“Fentanyl is a very dangerous opioid, whether you’re taking it as a prescription or you’re mixing it with black-market heroin,” said addiction specialist Andrew Kolodny, executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, in a USA Today article.
“Celebrity overdoses are just the tip of the iceberg of an epidemic,” Kolodny said. “Many of these deaths are occurring in people who are not your typical drug abuser. They are suffering from chronic pain and they are becoming addicted to legitimately prescribed medication.”
Prince’s death is just one in an increasing trend of opioid-related fatalities in America. According to a CDC report, Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids. The alarming growth of opioid addictions and deaths has even been a topic in the presidential race, and continues to be a major topic in politics as a whole.
One startling point made in a Washington Post article is that so many people are dying of drug overdoses that it’s easing the shortage of donated organs. While there are many factors, whether accidental or intentional, that contribute to the number of overdoses in this country, there must be more effort put in to stop this growing epidemic.
In the past year, google searches containing the word “opioid” have increased continuously, and they grew even more when Prince’s death was linked to the painkillers. The awareness of the problem has grown across the country, however a solution has not been found. Hopefully there can be a solution to rehabilitate addicts, and prevent future overdoses from occurring.
Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin, are facing some increased scrutiny from the FDA over their marketing of the popular painkiller. Since the release of OxyContin, the packaging has always said “12-hour relief” however in some patients the effects of the drug begin to wear off after about eight hours. This leads to many patients having to take more pills each day than what they were originally prescribed. Opioid addiction is increasing across the country and Purdue is being blamed as one of the leading causes.
In a large-scale investigation of the pharmaceutical company by the LA Times, it was revealed that they knew the effects of OxyContin did not always last 12 hours. The main reasoning for the company’s false advertising was because the 12-hour relief claim gave the drug a large competitive advantage over other, less expensive drugs. In the late 1990’s, doctors began prescribing OxyContin at shorter intervals so Purdue sent a team of sales executives all across the country to convince doctors to stick with the 12-hour doses. According to the LA Times report, More than half of long-term OxyContin users are on doses that public health officials consider dangerously high, according to an analysis of nationwide prescription data conducted for The Times.
In a statement released by Purdue the company had this to say, “Nearly a decade ago, the FDA cited a lack of clinical evidence when it formally rejected the ‘fundamental premise’ that patients receiving OxyContin at intervals more frequent than twice-daily are at increased risk of ‘side effects and serious adverse reactions.’ In doing so, the agency reinforced the twice-daily labeling for OxyContin. The LAT omitted the findings of this report from its story.”
This story will be one that continues to develop and as news comes out, lawsuits may follow. The entire medical world will be following these developments as it could change the market for painkillers in the United States and other countries as well.
Addiction to painkillers, and other opioid drugs, is a serious problem in the state of West Virginia. According to a CBS News report, West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation. Each year doctors write the equivalent of one painkiller prescription for every man, woman and child in this state of 1.8 million people. The painkiller problem has become so severe that state legislature has stepped in to make changes, and has led to the addicts suing doctors.
More than 30 addicts have sued their doctors for enabling their addiction. Many of these patients suffered from work related injuries and had to rely on painkillers in order to continue working.
Patients are not the only ones filing lawsuits regarding this subject. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has filed a lawsuit against McKesson Corporation, a prescription drug distributor, for allegedly failing to identify, detect, report and help stop the flood of suspicious drug orders into the state.
According to a CBS San Francisco article, The DEA, along with six states, sued McKesson (a San Francisco based company) in 2008 for supplying hundreds of suspicious hydrocodone orders to rogue pharmacies. McKesson settled, paying more than $13 million in fines and agreeing to closely monitor their pill supply.
In research of McKesson’s involvement in West Virginia, it shows that more than 100 million doses of opioids to a state where the population is 1.8 million. This egregious amount of drugs being sent to a state that has the most overdose related deaths in the country is what has put the company in hot water. McKesson could face tens of millions in legal fees, but for a company that makes over a billion dollars that is simply pocket change.
Hopefully the changes made by the legislation in West Virginia can help the addicts recover and find the treatment they need.
Johnson & Johnson is back in the news, although it is not they type of news they would like to hear. The company is entrenched in a pelvic mesh lawsuit that has already seen over 100 cases settled in the past year, and faces over 30,000 more cases that have yet to be heard. While the exact settlement numbers have not been released by Johnson & Johnson, it is speculated that the company could lose millions.
What is the Reason for the Lawsuits?
The pelvic mesh lawsuits are flooding in from patients all over the country who have experienced severe side effects from the mesh. The claims are being made that Johnson & Johnson did not properly market the products, failing to cite the side effects that were caused by the product.
In a report by the Associated Press, Attorneys General Bob Ferguson of Washington and Kamala Harris of California accused the New Jersey-based health care giant of neglecting to tell patients and doctors about the risks and occurrences of dire, sometimes irreversible complications. Those include urinary dysfunction, loss of sexual function, constipation and severe pain. These side effects can make everyday activities such as walking up and down stairs, laying down, or exercising extremely painful.
In a Reuters article, it is stated that Johnson & Johnson sold more than 787,000 pelvic mesh devices in the United States from 2008 until 2014, including more than 42,000 in California. Also in that article, the Food and Drug Administration said it was reclassifying mesh used to treat pelvic organ prolapse trans-vaginally from class II, or moderate risk, to class III, for high-risk devices, which will require manufacturers to submit extensive data to establish the devices’ safety. Hopefully this increased scrutiny by the FDA will prevent something like this from happening again in the future.
Invokana is a drug used for treatment of type-2 diabetes that has recently become the topic of many lawsuits in North America. The purpose of the drug is to maintain blood sugar levels in the patient by forcing the kidneys to release excess sugar through urination. This causes more stress on the kidneys than what is typically put on them without the drug. The Invokana lawsuit is growing everyday as more patients have been affected by the drug.
What is the reason for the lawsuits?
According to the FDA there have been 19 filed claims of people who developed blood and kidney infections as a result of Invokana. According to Digital Journal, all of the patients filing the Invokana lawsuit alleged to have required hospitalization and kidney failure treatment with dialysis. The first side effect that can cause serious health issues is an increase in the amount of acid in the blood, as well as Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). These harmful side effects have led to the hospitalization of many Invokana users. Another serious side effect of the drug is Ketoacidosis. In another post by Digital Journal, many patients have filed lawsuits against manufacturers claiming that the drug causes severe side effects and that the companies were negligent in communicating the risks associated with the drugs.
What is Ketoacidosis?
Ketoacidosis is defined by the FDA as “a serious condition in which the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, tiredness, and trouble breathing. Patients should also be alert for signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection, such as a feeling of burning when urinating or the need to urinate often or right away; pain in the lower part of the stomach area or pelvis; fever; or blood in the urine.” If you have experienced symptoms of Ketoacidosis, you should contact a doctor immediately.
A common household item, talcum powder (baby powder) has recently made headlines involving a 72 million dollar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The baby powder lawsuit was filed by the family of a deceased woman who’s ovarian cancer was linked to the use of the product for feminine hygiene.
Common Uses of Baby Powder
Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Alabama was diagnosed with ovarian cancer roughly two years before her death. At the time of her passing in the fall of 2015, she was involved in a 60-person lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, where her son took over as the plaintiff. The lawsuit resulted in the company owing Fox $10 million in actual damages, and $62 million in punitive damages. According to an AP article, the verdict “doesn’t bode well for Johnson & Johnson” as there are over 1,200 still-pending lawsuits and thousands more are expected.
The ingredient talc, in baby powder, had once contained asbestos which was extremely dangerous and there is speculation of some contamination in the product, but modern baby powder is reportedly asbestos-free. Although the modern powder is “safer” there were dozens of women who sued Johnson & Johnson according to USA Today. The cause and effect relationship between the baby powder and ovarian cancer is somewhat inconclusive according to an ABC News article about the subject, but there are thousands of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson regarding this matter.
Why Medical Claim Legal is Right for Your Case
A consultation with our lawyers at Medical Claim Legal is free. We will assure a lawyer with specific training in the consumer protection litigation field is assigned to your case. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that may be linked to the use of baby powder, you deserve compensation. Let us help you start the process towards that claim today.
The worst thing ever would be if the stuff that is supposed to be good for you actually wasn’t good for you–and could actually kill you. While the New York Post isn’t exactly known for their patience, they did decide to use the headline “Your Oatmeal May Be Killing You” after reports came out in the New York Times New York Times stating that testing found traces of “glyphosate in some Quaker Oats oatmeal.” Thus begins the so-called “Oatmeal Lawsuit.”
For those that don’t know, glyphosate is a harmful chemical and can kill you in mass quantities. According to the article in the Times, the chemical was “detected in the oatmeal falls well below the limit set by federal regulators for human consumption….Since oats require less herbicide spray than many other grains, there is less risk of pollutants and groundwater contamination.” The result of this is the “oatmeal lawsuit, “a class-action claim where the plaintiff is seeking $5 million in damages, according to the New York Post. The claim points out that the “100% Natural” claim is actually “‘false, deceptive and misleading,’ because the company uses…glyphosate in processing its oats.”
Obviously this case falls under a number of areas and will be interesting to watch from a product liability and false advertising level. Additionally, the presence of a harmful chemical could bring other agencies and regulatory groups into the mix. This venerable company, founded by Ferdinand Schumacher in Akron, OH in 1850 has certainly been around for awhile and has seen worse–but it certainly can’t exactly help their image and their market share in the ever-growing oatmeal market.
Great, yet scary story this morning about the perils of asbestos–even thirty years after the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which was signed into law in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. It all happened at as the tiles of a flooring surface at the long-demolished Kensington Junior High were being removed. Read more about the project here.
The perils of asbestos removal have long been outlined as a cause for mesothelioma. The story of mesothelioma is a tragic one dating back as far as the 1930s according to some estimates. The product that contributes most to mesothelioma cases is asbestos, which has been used in manufacturing and commerce in America for decades. If you or someone you know were impacted by asbestos and/or mesothelioma, the lawyers in the Medical Claim Legal network have been getting settlements for clients in mesothelioma cases for decades.
While some mesothelioma settlements and verdicts have reached into the millions, but it’s not easy to estimate how much a person will receive prior to filing a claim. Compensation varies on claimant’s diagnosis, medical history, companies sued, where the claim is filed, proof of negligence and other factors.
When asbestos is being removed, there is evidence it can have harmful and potentially life-threatening impact. There have been numerous cases and claims made against the companies in this field. For example, in Missouri a $10 million settlement was fought for by mesothelioma lawyers and awarded to a courthouse employee exposed to the chemical during a renovation project done by the U.S. Engineering.