Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Abbott Ordered to Pay Damages for Depakote

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Dangerous Pharmaceuticals | 0 comments

A St. Louis, Mo. Jury decided that Depakote manufacturer was liable for the birth defects of a 12-year-old plaintiff and came out with hefty damages.

Abbott via its branded drug subsidiary AbbVie lost a verdict for the first time since the risks associated with its anticonvulsant drug Depakote (valproate) became widely known. It is a dangerous precedent for the drug manufacturer, which is currently facing more than 800 Depakote lawsuits.

The plaintiff is 12-year-old Maddison Schmidt, who suffers from a number of birth-related defects including spina bifida. Her mother had been taking Depakote to counteract the symptoms of epilepsy during her pregnancy. Spina bifida is a medical condition wherein the backbone and membranes sheathing the spinal cord does not close completely. This can lead to numerous physical and neurological problems. There is no known cure.

The jury initially made the unanimous decision to award $15 million to the plaintiff for compensatory damages, and then came back 9-to-3 with another $23 million for punitive damages. As claimed in the suit, the drug company downplayed the risks of birth defects in pregnant women taking Depakote.

Abbott representatives continue to insist that the evidence showed both the physician and the child’s mother were aware of the dangers and made an informed decision 12 years ago. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only issued a warning that Depakote may adversely affect cognition development of the fetus in 2011, and birth defects in 2013. It is understandable why the jury would disregard the drug maker’s assertions in light of the fact that it has already been penalized for marketing the drug for off-label uses.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, if you were taking Depakote during your pregnancy and your child was born with birth defects, there may be a causal link.

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Case Studies indicate Other Morcellator Side Effects

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Personal Injury | 0 comments

As if morcellator side effects attorneys didn’t have enough ammunition against power morcellator manufacturers, recent developments have shown clear indications that the laparoscopic medical device may be responsible for more than encouraging cancer growth in patients. Several women have reported side effects other than uterine cancer but still related to the use of morcellators in the uterine area to the Food and Drug administration (FDA). These include but not limited to benign tumor growth, bowel obstruction, and abdominal mass, most of which affected other organs of the body including the bladder, colon, spleen, diaphragm, ovaries and fallopian tubes, requiring additional surgery.

The FDA has been conducting investigations since April into the undisclosed complications that may arise from the use of power morcellators for laparoscopic hysterectories, myomectomies, or other surgeries that involve morcellator use in the uterus. The investigation was prompted by at least a dozen complaints that morcellators increased a patient’s risk of developing cancer. Pending a conclusive finding, the FDA has issued a memo discouraging doctors and hospitals from using power morcellators in qualified patients, and to use alternative methods instead. These latest cases only confirm that the risks associated with the medical device outweigh its benefits, and that the manufacturers should have warned the public about these risks.

Power morcellators are essentially consist of a blade at the end of a gun-like apparatus that is designed to fit into a small abdominal incision to cut up target tissue into small pieces which is then extracted through that same incision. It is often used to remove benign growths in the uterus and to remove the uterus itself. Power morcellator manufacturers are currently facing a growing number of litigants that want to know why they weren’t warned that the laparoscopic device could cause more harm than good.

If you have been seriously harmed from being surgically treated with a power morcellator, you may be able to get compensation for your medical and other expenses. Consult with morcellator side effects attorneys in your state for more information.

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Benicar Linked to Severe Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Angiotensin II or Ang II, which is one kind of protein naturally produced by the human body, has been medically identified as a possible growth factor for the heart. Despite its seeming importance inside the body, Ang II is also said to make the pumping of blood a very hard task for the heart. This specifically happens when Ang II causes the blood vessels to constrict or narrow after it has been released; the effect of this is obviously a rise in one’s blood pressure, a common cause of hypertension, heart attack, stroke and kidney problem.

The introduction of Benicar by the Japanese pharmaceutical Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., and its approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2002 gave doctors what they believed to be the best treatment for high blood pressure. Thus, Benicar became one of the most popular drugs in the US, with at least 11 million prescriptions annually.

Benicar contains olmesartan medoxomil, the drug’s active component; it works by blocking angiotensin II, thus, keeping the blood vessels open or dilated to enable the blood to flow more easily to help maintain the blood pressure low. Olmesartan, which is said to be an effective treatment for hypertension and heart failure, particularly belongs to a group of angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) drugs, which are blood vessel relaxants.

Though the drug can work well in some individuals, it is not same for all those who take it (which includes adults and children six years old and above). This is due to the severe gastrointestinal side effects that research has linked Benicar to, the same research that led the FDA (in April 2014) to order the inclusion of a warning on its label, which will state the risks of significant gastrointestinal side effects that olmesartan medoxomil can cause.

Though side effects imitate Celiac disease (a disease which causes difficulty in digesting food by making the small intestine hypersensitive to gluten) these actually lead to sprue-like enteropathy or villous atrophy (which is characterized by the erosion of the tiny villi found in the intestines; these villi help in the absorption of nutrients). Celiac disease and villous atrophy are both serious problems that can result to chronic diarrhea, intestinal damage and malnutrition. Individuals, who have been affected by these side effects after taking Benicar, have already filed lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, those who have been harmed by harmful drugs have the right to pursue legal action for compensation that will help them afford medical treatment and for other damages resulting from their use.

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