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Dangerous Drugs Archives | Farah & Farah

Cisson Mesh Case Tests Georgia’s Tort Reform Laws

By Farah & Farah on May 3, 2017

It must have come as good news for Donna Cisson. 

In August 2013, after a four-week trial, the jury believed her injuries were caused by a Bard Avaulta transvaginal mesh permanently implanted in her pelvic area. 

The jury awarded her $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1,750,000 in punitive damages.

Punitive damages are designed to send a clear message to the company – stop your bad behavior!

Shortly after the compensation was announced, it became clear Ms. Cisson would never see the majority of the punitive damage award.

That’s because she is a resident of Georgia.

Enacted as part of the Tort Reform Act of 1987, Georgia’s statutes now require that 75% of any punitive damage award be turned over to the state of Georgia. 

That is something the jury couldn’t possibly have known.

Cisson’s lawyers argued that the money grab amounted to an unconstitutional taking. They lost that argument when the state of Georgia prevailed in defending the law’s constitutionality in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Instead, the State Treasury of Georgia received $782,140.24, a nice windfall, minus the costs of litigation and attorney’s fees. 

In the last 30 years, a dozen state have enacted some form of split-recovery as the laws are known. Georgia has one of the highest split-recovery rates.

This is the first time in a decade that Georgia’s split-recovery laws have been enacted.

The only upside is that the plaintiff’s compensation for injury is not taxable, whereas punitive damages are.

Tort reform is pushed by industries such as asbestos and tobacco, insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Its intention is to curtail your right to have a civil court listen to your grievances and render a decision.

What person would face the rigors of trial if they would only receive about 10% of any punitive damage? 

At least on the surface, the enactment of tort reform is said to encourage both sides to settle their differences in some sort of post-verdict negotiation.   

That in itself is a slap in the face of our jury system which remedies civil injustice using 12 impartial citizens to listen to both sides of an argument and decide which position holds the most weight.   

Trying to modify the jury system and circumvent the wisdom of American citizens who listened to the evidence, undercuts the judicial system we rely on that is guaranteed by our Constitution.

Questions Arise About Brain Supplements

By Farah & Farah on February 22, 2017

It’s a good idea to ask questions about supplements. After all, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the industry other than to clamp down on outrageous claims of muscle strength, sexual enhancement or heart health.

Brain boosters are the latest type of supplement that promise to keep your brain agile into your later years when Alzheimer’s disease threatens to wipe out memory and cognitive function. But are the benefits believable?

What is believable is that the supplement industry has enjoyed a ten-fold increase in the number of brain-boosting supplements marketed in the U.S. in the last twenty years.

According to Fair Warning, health product retailer GNC lists 354 products on its website with the word “brain.”

Sparked by the claims made by Quincy Bioscience of Madison, Wis. the makers of Prevagen, the Federal Trade Commission and New York State authorities sued the maker alleging the company makes false and unsubstantiated claims. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman believes the aggressive marketing is fraud that targets a vulnerable group – older Americans. A bottle of Prevagen can run as high as $69.

Prevagen’s ads say its key ingredient, the protein apoaequorin, was originally discovered in a rare jelly fish. In truth, the company makes the ingredient in a lab to save the cost of harvesting from jellyfish.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says a supplement must be a food or all-natural, not made in a lab. Otherwise it is an unapproved drug. 

The Federal Trade Commission, in its complaint, believes there is no scientific truth that Prevagen will improve memory. It points to the company’s own clinical study that “failed to show a statistically significant improvement” in the treatment group when compared to a placebo group.

Quincy says the allegations are unfounded and points to its double-blind placebo-controlled study on brain performance.

The General Accounting Office is exploring whether brain supplement marketing claims are true.

Where does all this leave the consumer?

It may come down to who do you trust? Many consumers see supplements as a low-cost alternatives to drugs with fewer side effects and believe the FDA may be doing the bidding of the pharmaceutical industry which would love to market its own version of Prevagen for profit.

If vulnerable Americans were really being served, our regulators might require further proof of the claims made by the $37 billion a year dietary supplement business, rather than file actions to shut them down. 

Consumers should be suspicious of exaggerated or unrealistic claims whether made by the supplement industry or the pharmaceutical giants.

We’ve seen far too many examples of the FDA as a toothless tiger that has not done its due diligence to make sure that products on the shelf, whether a drug or supplement, are safe and effective.

Xarelto Lawsuits Allege Devastating Side Effects

By on October 21, 2015

FL Avandia Lawsuit SettlementThere are almost 2,000 current lawsuits against Xarelto pending in state and federal courts. Plaintiffs in these cases claim that they’ve suffered devastating injuries as a result of taking the anticoagulant Xarelto. Problems people have reported include blood clots, stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, and heart attacks. Xarelto has been linked to nearly 700 potential adverse events since it entered the marketplace.

Xarelto’s manufacturers, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer AG, claim that their drug is effective and safe. With all the current lawsuits pending nationwide, they are doubling down on their support for the drug by citing one specific study. In their official press release, Johnson & Johnson mentioned a five-year study that showed patterns of major bleeding happened at low rates. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dangerous Drugs

FDA Issues Warning about Invokana

By on June 3, 2015

Florida Pharmaceutical LitigationRecently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a public health advisory concerning a SGLT2 inhibitor diabetes drug, Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana. According to the warning, the drugs have been connected with ketoacidosis, a condition which can cause organ failure or death through excessive levels of acid in the bloodstream, as well as heart attacks and stroke.

This is not the first time the drug Invokana has been associated with health risks. On May 21, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) released a report on Invokana’s connection with kidney failure. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dangerous Drugs

Testosterone Replacement Drugs Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Attacks

By on February 26, 2014

low testosterone therapy dangersIn recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has touted a variety of drugs used to treat men with low testosterone, offering relief from symptoms such as depression, fatigue, loss of libido, and decreased muscle mass. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved numerous skin patches, topical gels, and injections used in testosterone replacement therapy for men with abnormally low testosterone, research has found that the drugs are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

As a result, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has lobbied the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immediately add a black box warning label – the most serious warning issued by the FDA – to the product labels of the previously approved testosterone drugs.

One study found that 43 percent of men taking testosterone replacement drugs did not, in fact, suffer from low testosterone levels. It is not surprising that the annual prescriptions for “low T” doubled in the past four years, as marketing campaigns for many testosterone products sell the drugs as a sort of fountain of youth that reverses the natural decline of testosterone production in men over the age of 40. Read the rest »

Posted in: Dangerous Drugs

FDA Issues Warning About Supplements That Contain Dangerous Drugs

By on June 24, 2013

Product liability attorney Eddie Farah has warned about so called “all natural” diet supplements that contain undeclared prescription drugs in previous blogs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the same strict oversight power over supplements and herbal products that it has over prescription drugs, so supplements are not vetted as thoroughly before they reach the marketplace.

As a result, undeclared and dangerous prescription drugs can make their way into allegedly “all natural” supplements — which can lead to adverse drug interactions.

NBC News recently reported that a supplement called “Fat Zero” claimed to be an all-natural method for losing weight. However, the FDA revealed that the product was anything but “all-natural” and contained a prescription drug called sibutramine — a drug known to substantially increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate. It was considered so dangerous it was pulled off the U.S. market in 2010.

Read the rest »

Health Officials Warn Of Infections Tied To Tennessee Compounding Pharmacy

By on May 28, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating whether a steroid pain-killing drug manufactured at a Tennessee-based compounding pharmacy is responsible for infections suffered by seven patients who received injections of the drug.

The rate of infections, so far, pall before last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak tied to contaminated injectable steroids manufactured at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. However, these latest infections appear to be linked to drugs that contain methylprednisolone acetate — the same drug involved in last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 55 people and sickened over 740 nationwide. Read the rest »

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case on Generic Drug Manufacturer Liability

By on March 11, 2013

In what has been deemed as a case that can have serious repercussions for those on both sides of the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the question of whether generic drug makers can be held liable for injuries caused by the drugs they manufacture.

The case stems from a 2010 verdict issued by a jury in a lower court in New Hampshire. A New Hampshire woman was awarded $21 million in damages for side effects she suffered after taking the generic drug sulindac — a non-steroidal pain reliever. It was a particularly gruesome injury, as the woman suffered a rare side effect that caused two-thirds of her skin to slough off, rendered her legally blind, and permanently damaged her lungs and esophagus. Read the rest »

When It Comes to Online Drug Purchases, The FDA Says ‘Let The Buyer Beware’

By Eddie Farah on October 3, 2012

Internet Pharmacy Dangers
Shopping online has revolutionized the way we purchase products. While inexpensive and convenient might be just fine when it comes to purchasing a book or a vacuum cleaner, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that cheap and easy might not be the best criteria for purchasing drugs from online pharmacies.

The online prescription drug market is huge: according to the FDA, 1 in 4 internet users have purchased prescription drugs online. Shockingly, 30 percent of those purchasers had no idea how to verify whether the online pharmacy they were purchasing from was legitimate. Even scarier: only 3 percent of online pharmacies meet state and federal laws. Read the rest »

New Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Atypical Bone Fractures

By on May 29, 2012

A new study done by Swiss researchers suggests that popular osteoporosis drugs (bisphosphonates) may pose a risk for unusual fractures. The study looked at 477 patients who were 50 and older and who had been hospitalized with subtrochanteric or femoral shaft fractures at the University Hospitals of Geneva.

Out of the 477 patients with fractures, thirty-nine patients with atypical fractures were identified. Researchers found that of the patients who had atypical fractures, 82 percent had been treated with bisphosphonates. Read the rest »

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The attorneys of Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida have experience with personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, social security, injury and negligence lawsuits. Eddie Farah and our team of Jacksonville attorneys are proud to represent working people and families throughout the country.

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