Monthly Archives: October 2013

Low Testosterone And Middle Aged Men

Middle Age Men Facing Low T Crisis of Epidemic Proportions
Or are they?
According to an October 15, 2013 New York Times article, low testosterone levels, or Low T, in men are basically an invented condition. Dr. Joel Finkelstein, an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, told the New York Times that there was “no such disease” as low T. Once used for older men with hormonal deficiencies caused by medical problems, the Low T gels are now being sold ‘as a lifestyle product’. Furthermore, the article states that Low T is rarely the cause of erectile dysfunction.
The article goes on to state that Dr. Eric Topol, Cardiologist and Chief Academic Officer at Scripps Health in San Diego was alarmed at the number of his patients who use underarm roll-on testosterone medications, stating that the medications come with a high risk of coronary artery disease and possible side effect of an enlarged prostrate.
If doctors are alarmed and there is a risk of an enlarged prostate, along with a high risk of heart disease, then why are millions of men using testosterone gels? The simple truth is that pharmaceutical companies invest enormous amounts of energy, money and time into learning the psychology of consumers. Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars parlaying the results of their research into strategies for direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising, called DTCPA by the FDA. Whether we are in our car, or on our phones, computers or televisions, DTCPA soaks the market from almost any electronic device. Not one lobe of our cerebral cortex is forgotten. We are enticed visually, seduced orally, and lured through our own imaginations to conjure pictures of material and sexual success, and suddenly, “Hey Doc! I think I have that!”
Costs for some of these overpriced medications can amount to $400 – $500 month, usually picked up in part, by insurance companies. That may sound good for us in the short-term, but what are we actually paying for? In this case, it is a well-funded psychological warfare designed to keep us addicted to a commercially created illness, as well as an increase overall to our already overpriced healthcare costs.
Some of the adverse effects of testosterone gels do not only include the prescribed user, but children who come in contact with the gels. Medical literature in the Journal of Pediatric and Endocrinology and Metabolism, chronicles two incidents of a 21-month-old boy and 4-year-old girl who grew pubic hair and had other adult-related physical reactions.
Morry B. Smulevitz, Director of Communications for Lilly, stated that low testosterone was a “recognized clinical condition with signs and symptoms that could impact millions of patients.” The article does not identify Smulevitz as a medical professional, nor does it indicate where the clinical data he refers to originated. I guess we’re just supposed to ignore the medical professionals from Harvard and Scripps, and take his word for it.

DePuy Hip Replacement Implant Lawsuit Settlement
In August Bloomberg news reported that Johnson & Johnson was reportedly considering a $3 billion settlement regarding more than 11,000 DePuy ASR hip lawsuits. Bloomberg went on to report that the settlement offer would depend on the outcome of a series of ASR trials that were to take place this Fall.
Since that initial report, events have unfolded that lead me to believe that Johnson & Johnson is strongly considering a settlement.
The first trial in the federal consolidation was scheduled to begin on Sept. 24 in Cleveland, Ohio. U.S. District judge David Katz granted a 90 day delay to allow more time for pre-trial processes and scheduling for expert witnesses. In my experience Federal Judges are reluctant to grant delays over witness scheduling conflicts. The more likely reason is that a realistic settlement offer from Johnson & Johnson is on the horizon and more time is needed for negotiations.
In California on October 1, Johnson & Johnson settled with a plaintiff for an undisclosed sum. This settlement happened before the start of 2000 cases that were consolidated and to be heard before Judge Richard Kramer in San Francisco.
On October 8, another ASR suit was deemed resolved by the Bergen County District Dourt in New Jersey and removed from the trial calendar
In Las Vegas last year three DePuy ASR cases were settled before verdict
Only two ASR cases have gone to trial. In the first trial Johnson & Johnson lost an $8.3 million verdict. A California jury awarded damages to a Montana prison guard and ruled that J&J’s DePuy Orthopedics division designed of the device was defective.
Six weeks later a Chicago jury ruled for DePuy and rejected a defective design claim by an Illinois nurse.
It was though that the win in Chicago would help prolong DePuy’s strategy of proceeding on a case-by-case basis in an effort to avoid any type of settlement. But since the Chicago trial DePuy has quietly settled a handful of cases and had a major trial delayed.
I think that the DePuy is leveraging the Chicago verdict in a few individual settlements, while at the same time trying to negotiate a larger class action settlement. Any further rulings against them would weaken their negotiating platform so it is their best interest to delay any trials before a settlement can be reached.
The ASR is part of the largest medical device failure in history, and Johnson & Johnson needs to be held accountable and take responsibility for the pain and the suffering they have caused. The time has come for them to settle this horrible tragedy and help the people they have harmed.

Medical Device Tax Hip Implant Lawsuit Settlement Not Related

Medical Device Tax
Medical device manufacturers scream that the medical device tax of the Affordable Care Act tax is unfair and they are willing to spend what it takes to buy politicians to defeat it. This is legal and is called lobbying. Republicans demanding repeal of the medical device tax state the tax will increase healthcare costs and inhibit new methods and ideas.
Johnson & Johnson, owner of DePuy, a medical device manufacturer, earned a total (pharmaceuticals included) of $2.98 billion for the third quarter, compared with $2.97 billion, in 2012. This is in spite of the 2 percent decline of sales in the medical devices division and lawsuits involving metal on metal hip replacement implants. Johnson & Johnson was reported in the New York Times as stating the reason was due to people being reluctant to undergo elective surgeries.
Despite having made millions in profits, Johnson & Johnson has not lowered healthcare costs. Furthermore, what new technology has been introduced?
According to an article on Medical Device Development posted on the American Heart Association’s website, “Although large medical device companies typically develop successive iterations of existing devices, most new device categories are typically developed by venture-backed start-up companies.”
Medical manufacturers spend very little of their total profits in new technology. Most of the time, they simply piggyback reworked devices on prior approval of similar devices. One could even insinuate that medical device manufacturers expect some devices to fail and are willing to pay the cost of the fallout.
Finding out the actual cost of a medical device may require the services of Sherlock Holmes. According to the New York Times, prices are confidential, many times even to the physicians. Manufacturers lobby medical providers just as they do politicians, except that it is legal to provide gifts to doctors and medical facilities. The incentive of gain is enough for healthcare providers to attempt to use one or more medical device manufacturers exclusively. We may not find out how much the devices cost, but we do know that the market mark-up for the United States is higher than many other countries.
The New York Times stated that with Johnson & Johnson’s profit of $7.2 billion in 2012, the medical device tax would have cost them about $300 million, its research and development investment, $1.7 billion, leaving them a a profit of $5.7 billion. Remember, their profit went up this year.
The New York Times reported that Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sponsored legislation to post online price information for implantable medical devices. This would encourage competition, something currently sadly missing, between manufacturers.
If manufacturers are so worried about the bottom line, perhaps they should stop spending their profits in Washington, stop rushing reconfigured products through the FDA, and start exercising fair commercial practices.

Hip Implant Lawsuit Settlement

Depuy settles New Jersey ASR hip implant lawsuit in New Jersey weeks before October trial date. A New Jersey state court judge released an order on October 8 cancelling the scheduled jury trial.
Last week a California Depuy ASR lawsuit was settled right before trial. Earlier this year Depuy was hit with an 8 million dollar verdict in the first ASR lawsuit to go to trial.
It has been three and a half years since the recall of the ASR. There are 12 thousand lawsuits currently pending against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson.
More Here:
Saunders & Walker P.A. Hip Implant Lawsuit Settlement Center

Hip Replacement Implant Lawsuit Settlement

In what is likely to be the first of potentially many defective hip replacement implant lawsuits across the country, DePuy Orthopaedics ( maker of the Johnson & Johnson DePuy ASR ) has settled a California case ahead of it’s scheduled October 15th trial date.
Link to more information about this hip implant lawsuit settlement: Hip Replacement Lawsuit Settlement
To read more about this settlement and other defective hip implant replacement lawsuit settlements visit our firm’s website at