Recently I had the opportunity to address the court on behalf of a 28-year-old victim whose images of childhood sexual abuse were among those discovered on the computer of child porn trader Michael D Meister.
On December 20 Meister was sentenced in Federal Court to seven years in prison for collecting and sharing child pornography. But it was also ruled that Meister, who has high-risk multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, would be allowed to remain free during appeal.
Early December 2013 was the first time Pope Francis publicly discussed the issue of sex abuse by clergy. In a meeting with Dutch Bishops he expressed sympathy for victims.
“I promise compassion and prayer for every victim of sexual abuse and their families,” the Pope told the prelates in remarks prepared in French.
There has been an increase in filings in product liability lawsuits against Stryker Orthopedics over the Rejuvenate and ABG II modular neck hip implants. These hip implants were recalled on July 6, 2012. The Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II were not strictly speaking metal on metal implants because they have a polyethylene on metal interface between the cup and the ball. However, these implant are causing injuries to the hip tissue from metallosis just like the metal on metal implants such as the DePuy ASR, the Wright Converse and the Biomet Magnum.
Since the FDA approved the blood-thinner Pradaxa in 2010 the drug has
come under scrutiny for adverse bleeding events. In the United States the
drug has exceeded $2 billion in sales. But out of the 850,000 patients it has
been prescribed to it has also been linked to more than 1,000 deaths.
When it was first approved, Pradaxa was the first in a new category of
replacements for Warfarin (Coumadin), the decades-old drug used to prevent
strokes in people with a heart-rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation.
Patients prescribed Warfarin needed to be monitored closely, undergoing
frequent blood tests to ensure the drug was working. Pradaxa required
no monitoring and in early tests it appeared to be better than Warfarin at
A recent study has provided new evidence that widely prescribed testosterone drugs Androgel and Axiron – advertised as a way to help men improve a low sex drive and reclaim diminished energy – might increase the risk of heart attacks.
The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles; the National Institutes of Health; and Consolidated Research, was published last week in the online journal PLoS One. The study provides compelling evidence that testosterone is being overprescribed to American men and that pharmaceutical companies continue to aggressively market the drug in spite of dangerous side effects associated with it.
Januvia and Byetta are two of the most popular drugs on the market prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. But ever since their introduction reports of dangerous side effects including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer have surfaced. These reports spurred concerns of whether the drugs risks outweigh their effectiveness and have led to numerous lawsuits being filed against the drug makers.
This week the American Diabetes Association (ADA) called for a new evaluation of the clinical data on many of the popular drugs used to control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. These drugs include Merck & Company’s Januvia , Novo Nordisk’s Victoza, Byetta and Onglyza from Bristol-Myers Squibb, and AstraZeneca Plc, among others, and have sales of more than $9 billion annually.
The new evaluation is based on the research of Dr. Peter C. Butler, chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of California, Los Angeles. In his study, and in follow-up studies he found worrisome changes in the pancreases of laboratory rats used in the study that could lead to pancreatic cancer. Based on his studies, both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency have also begun investigations that could lead to new warnings on the drugs, or even to their removal from the market.
Lawsuits over Risperdal continue to move forward. The Arkansas Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in Johnson & Johnson’s request to overturn a verdict and $1.2 billion fine over the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
Oral arguments are set for Feb. 27 in Little Rock for the appeal from Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel successfully sued the companies, claiming they downplayed and hid risks associated with taking Risperdal.
The Risperdal lawsuit in Arkansas accused Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit of concealing the risks associated with the medication. The state also charged that the companies had deceptively marketed Risperdal as being better and safer than competing medications. In 2012, the Arkansas state court judge overseeing the case levied a $5,000 fine against the drug makers for each Risperdal prescription purchased through the state Medicaid program over a 3 ½ year period. The companies were also ordered to pay a fine of $2,500 for each of the more than 4,500 letters Janssen sent to Arkansas doctors to promote the use of Risperdal.