Florida has joined eight states all suing drugmaker Merck & Co alleging deceptive marketing of the recalled painkiller Vioxx.
The lawsuit claims that while Merck offered Vioxx to the Medicaid program it was hiding the drug’s adverse effects in direct violation of the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum says the state wants to be reimbursed for more than $80 million spent on health programs, such as Florida’s Medicaid program, which included Vioxx as an approved drug. He wants that money back plus interest and he seeks civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. Read the rest »
Alcohol and prescription drugs don’t mix.
Public Citizen has issued its annual “Worst Pills, Best Pills” report and the nonprofit consumer group warns against mixing alcohol with certain medications, even if you are a light drinker. Most patients don’t read the product inserts where this information is sometimes included.
Worst Pills, Best Pills” lists 273 drugs that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol including antibiotics, antidepressants, narcotics and anti-ulcer drugs.
“While the more important alcohol-medication interactions are listed in the table, it is not an exhaustive list,” writes Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the Health Research Group. Patients should also check with a health care professional before taking alcohol with any drug.
There are a few problems patients should know about: Read the rest »
71-year-old Leonel Garza suffered a fatal heart attack in 2001 after a month on the painkiller, Vioxx. In 2006, his widow was awarded a $32 million judgment by a Texas jury.
As often happens, caps on awards exist in Texas so the judge had to cut the award down from $25 million in punitive to $8.73 million. On Wednesday, an appeals court threw out that award too.
The court said that Mrs. Garza didn’t prove that her husband’s pre-existing conditions didn’t cause his heart attack. He had a heart condition and had suffered a previous heart attack. Read the rest »