Monthly Archives: March 2010

Avandia Faces Lawsuit from a California County

Santa Clara County in California has filed a civil lawsuit against the manufacturer of diabetes drug Avandia. GlaxoSmithKline is the defendant in the lawsuit which seeks damages from all Santa Clara County Avandia users who were mislead by GlaxoSmithKline. The suit alleges GSK failed to warn potential consumers of the associated risks of heart attacks that studies have shown are attributable to Avandia.
Avandia has been dogged by controversy and studies linking it to an increased risk of heart attacks in those Type 2 diabetes patients who are prescribed the drug. During the third quarter of 2009, Avandia was linked to 304 deaths. Two FDA doctors, Dr. David Graham and Dr. Kate Gelperin, have called for an Avandia recall after the doctors reviewed scientific research linking the drug to higher heart attack risk. GlaxoSmithKline officials have fought recall efforts and continue to insist the cardiac risk link is bogus. The problem with Avandia began in 2007 after a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist link Avandia with heart attacks. Since that time, Avandia’s manufacturer has tried to prop its $3.2 billion diabetes drug.
According to county offiicals, the lawsuit seeks treble damages since GlaxoSmithKline’s marketing campaign targeted diabetics who are recognized as disabled by the State of California.

Court Allows Paxil Suicide Lawsuit to Move Forward

It’s been a little less than a year since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Wyeth v. Levine, yet that decision led the 7th Circuit to rule in favor of 23 year old Patricia Mason’s family who sued GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil after she committed suicide.
In its unanimous ruling, the appellate court ruled that the drug company had not met the standard of “clear evidence” set in the Levine case whereby the FDA would have rejected the change in the drug’s labeling to warn about the potential side effects of Paxil which included suicide.
This is the second pro-consumer court decision that deals with the controversial notion of preemption which preempts lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers if the drug or device had received pre-market approval from the FDA.

Raytheon Says It Will Take 78 Years to Clean Up Toxic Plume in St. Petersburg

That’s not a typo. Raytheon’s consultant Arcadis estimates that it will take 78 years for the defense contractor to clean up the toxic mess it caused in St. Petersburg’s Azalea neighborhood. 78 years is generational damage. This is simply not acceptable. If Raytheon expects to be regarded as a good corporate citizen it can’t expect the good people of St. Petersburg’s Azalea neighborhood to sit idly by and accept their consultant’s conclusion that it will take 78 years to clean up this mess.
Of course, as Mark Douglas, the Channel 8 reporter who first broke the story points out, the Raytheon mess would still be a secret if the news channel hadn’t uncovered the problem in the first place. This is an outrageous situation in which a large corporation is allowed to operation with impunity while innocent citizens suffer the consequences of their behavior.

Delaware Pediatrician Abuse Case Eerily Familiar

The circumstances surrounding the arrest and subsequent revelations of sexual abuse concerning Delaware pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley is all too familiar to this writer. What I’ve seen and experienced helping survivors of priest sexual abuse over the years is sadly similar to what I’m reading about the pediatrician. Dr. Bradley was in a position of special trust among parents, colleagues, and law enforcement. That special trust allowed Bradley to continue sexually abusing kids for decades in spite of the fact that there were suspicions about him for years. Bradley, like the Catholic priest abusers, groomed his victims. He was very popular and appeared to be generally good with children. He had a thriving practice. The possibility that he could be a monster abusing the community’s children was unthinkable. Essentially, he was an iconic figure in the town.
And that’s part of the problem. Institutional figures-whether they be teachers, police officers, clergy, doctors, or lawyers-are not above the law. They are human beings who’ve been given a special trust in society. However, that does not mean they should be treated with a blind faith or the sense that they are infallible. Because of their special role in our community, these people should be held to a higher standard of accountability. If this were the case, perhaps Dr. Bradley would have been arrested years ago when the first child complained that the doctor had touched him/her or kissed him/her.