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Xarelto lawsuit, Chicago personal injury lawyersWith nearly two billion dollars in sales in the United States last year, Xarelto is now considered a best seller among the category of drugs meant to replace the age-old anticoagulant, warfarin. And why not? After all, Xarelto users are not forced to follow the same diet restrictions and monitoring needed as their warfarin counterparts. Plus, patients only have to take Xarelto once daily. But, then again (as is often the case) not everything is quite as it seems.

Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of Xarelto, are currently facing more than 5,000 lawsuits from patients and their families; 500 of those involve Xarelto patient deaths. Their attorneys say that the company knew their drug was dangerous, and that the company intentionally deceived doctors, patients, and even medical journals. Of course, the manufacturers continue to defend their drug, saying it is safer than its competitor, but recent documents suggest that the claims against them may actually hold some truth.

Clinical Trials Under Fire

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drug shortages, Chicago medical malpractice attorneyIf two people you knew were in a life or death situation and you could only save one, who would you choose? This is the decision that doctors, surgeons, and anesthesiologists are making each and every day, but it is not for the reason you might think. Medicine shortages – everything from antibiotics to cancer drugs – are creating questionable practices and muddy ethical reasoning in the healthcare industry. So much so that ethicists and patient advocate groups have started to crop up with the hope of making the decision process “easier” and preventing malpractice cases.

Where Have All the Drugs Gone?

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, more than 150 drugs and therapeutics are in short demand. Some are allegedly due to problems in manufacturing. Others are said to be because of federal safety crackdowns on drug makers that have made it more difficult to meet public demand. And still others are said to be due to the increasing cost of the drugs themselves. Whatever the case or reason, it is creating a serious safety problem for patients.

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Bayer Yaz settlement, Chicago defective drugs lawyerAccording to plaintiffs in the case against Bayer, the makers of the drospierenone-containing Yaz and Yasmin, and Barr Laboratories makers of the generic form, Ocella, the drugs have caused arterial clots that resulted in life-threatening complications, including stroke and heart attack.

Recently, Bayer agreed to pay $56.9 million to establish a settlement program for those claims, but if fewer than 97.5 percent of the eligible plaintiffs fail to participate, they will be able to withdraw. It is not clear at this time if the manufacturers of Ocella will contribute to the settlement, or, if so, how much.

Court documents originally contained 12,000 files, all with multiple plaintiffs, making it the largest multidistrict litigation in the nation at its height. But the defendants reportedly argued that some of the plaintiffs had duplicate claims, and that others had never taken drospierenone-containing birth control. By February, they had boiled it down to just 3,400 claims. Some of the cases dismissed were remanded to their home district to be dismissed, settled, or tried. The first is set to begin trial in late July.

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viagra melanoma warning, Illinois defective drugs attorneyEvery medication has side effects, but some drugs are released to the public so quickly that some of them may be unknown. This makes them dangerous and defective drugs, and in some instances, deadly. A new study, published in the journal of American Medical Association, suggests that this may very well be the case with the popular erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra.

Study Examines Viagra for Melanoma Risk

Viagra was the first drug manufactured for erectile dysfunction, and at the time the study started, it was the only one in existence. Researchers on the study opted to examine it for its potential to increase melanoma risks because both the drug and the cancer block the enzyme phosphodiesterase within the body’s cells.

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coumadin blood thinner, Chicago nursing home neglect lawyerWhen you place a family member in a nursing home or other long-term facility, you expect them to be treated with care. Unfortunately, it does not always work out this way. Mistakes, negligence, and accidents do happen. But when it happens with medications, the implications can be severe, maybe even deadly.

The “Most Dangerous Drug in America”

Coumadin, a commonly prescribed anticoagulant, was originally used as a rat and mouse killer. In the 1950s, it became a breakthrough drug for humans with clotting disorders, arrhythmias, and deep vein thrombosis. Indeed, it can be a life-saving drug when used correctly. But there are some serious dangers with Coumadin, particularly for geriatric patients.

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Zofran congenital heart defects, Chicago prescription drug defect lawyerParents want their infants and children to be healthy and thrive. It can be a devastating blow when they find out their child may or will have a life-long condition that may be life threatening. Congenital heart defects are heart problems that develop before the child is born and are often referred to as a hole in the heart.  Congenital heart defects can lead to heart failure, high blood pressure, infection, or other problems from the moment they are born or later on in life. In some cases, the congenital heart defect is caused by defective drugs, such as Zofran.

Zofran is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for use as an anti-nausea medication for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. It has not been approved, or ever tested or studied, as an anti-nausea drug for pregnant women. This has not stopped GlaxoSmithKline from marketing Zofran for “off-label” use to hospitals and consumers as an anti-nausea medication for pregnant women with severe morning sickness, according to a report from the Department of Justice.

A mother from Oakland, California, filed a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, stating they knew about the negative side effects Zofran caused during the prenatal stages of growth in infants and still marketed the drug to pregnant women. She alleged that the use of Zofran during her pregnancy caused her son’s supraventricular tachycardia, a serious heart defect. Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) causes the heart to beat too fast or irregularly. It causes an insufficient about of blood supply throughout the body. SVT is treated with medication, surgery, or a combination of both and in the future may cause heart failure.

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Zofran and pregnancy, Chicago product liability lawyerMany pregnant women experience morning sickness during their pregnancies. Some experience nausea so severe they are unable to function. Most of those women may have been prescribed a drug called Zofran to help with their morning sickness. The problem with Zofran is that it is has not been labeled for use in pregnant women. It is supposed to be used for cancer patients. So why is GlaxoSmithKline allowing their product to be prescribed to women who are pregnant if they have not tested the effects of Zofran on pregnant women? It is medical malpractice to allow their defective drug to continue to be prescribed for uses it is not approved for.

Separate studies have shown a possible link to the use of Zofran in pregnant women in their first trimester and birth defects in their children. Multiple lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline stated Zofran caused birth defects or wrongful deaths after using the drug, that the company marketed the drug to pregnant women without approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and produced a defective drug. The FDA approved the drug for use in cancer patients during and after treatments and surgeries. It has not been tested for side effects in pregnant women.

This is not the first time Zofran and GlaxoSmithKline have been the subject of a lawsuit for illegal promotion of drugs. The company paid $3 billion as part of the legal settlement in 2012 after federal charges were brought against the company. The company is now being sued by families for specific allegations in relation to the use and misrepresentation of their marketing for Zofran.

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Xarelto side effects, drug makers, Chicago product liability attorneyDrug manufacturers have to put drugs through testing before they are approved for use by consumers. But what happens when adverse side effects start appearing in patients using the drug because information given to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was incomplete? Eventually the drug may be pulled off the shelf, but patients who used the drug become a statistic to be used for further tests. Patients should not be another defective drug product liability statistic for pharmaceutical companies.

study by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices revealed that drug manufacturers often do not file complete, basic reports about adverse side effects with the FDA. Just over 50 percent of the reports filed did not meet the basic reporting standard, which should contain age, gender, and an event date.

Throughout the years, “blockbuster drugs” have been approved by the FDA, and then later pulled off the shelves, but not before the cost of lives or life-altering side effects were paid. A blockbuster drug is one that:

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