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Smith & Nephew Recalls Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Component

Smith & Nephew Recalls Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Component

Medical device maker, Smith & Nephew, just issued a recall for a metal-on-metal hip implant component, a part of one of its all-metal hip replacement systems.

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Medtronic Infuse Lawsuit Alleges Off-Label Use Cause Painful Complications

Medtronic Infuse Lawsuit Alleges Off-Label Use Cause Painful Complications

A man in Louisiana has filed suit against Medtronic Inc. over injuries allegedly cause by off-label use of its Infuse Bone Graft product. The plaintiff, who received Infuse during transforaminal spinal lumbar fusion surgery, claims that the bone growth protein caused unwanted bone growth along his spine, worsening the back ...

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EMA Seeks Stronger Pradaxa Guidance for Bleeding Side Effects

EMA Seeks Stronger Pradaxa Guidance for Bleeding Side Effects

Regulators in Europe have again asked Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of the blood thinner Pradaxa, to update the drug’s label with additional information regarding Pradaxa bleeding side effects. According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the new guidance should include more specific information on when Pradaxa must not be used, ...

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Study Finds SSRI Antidepressant Side Effects Outweigh Their Benefits

Study Finds SSRI Antidepressant Side Effects Outweigh Their Benefits

A new study is raising more concerns about the safety of commonly used antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake (SSRI) inhibitor antidepressants. Investigators who conducted the study, which is published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, posit that increased knowledge of the negative effects of SSRIs and other antidepressants could reduce ...

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Older Patients Face Heart Attack Risk Following Surgery

Older Hip Implant, Knee Replacement Patients Face Heart Attack Risk Following Surgery

An emerging report reveals that older hip implant and knee replacement patients face increased heart attack risks following surgery. The risk for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was seen in the first two weeks after these surgical procedures.

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Medtronic Infuse Studies Faulted for Downplaying Side Effects

Medtronic Infuse Studies Faulted for Downplaying Side Effects

Medtronic Inc.’s published studies for its Infuse bone graft product may have downplayed serious side effects, according to an analysis published last year in The Spine Journal. The study, which drew on U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) documents and other data sources, suggests that up to half of ...

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Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Division to End Sales of Gynecare Prolift, Three Other Transvaginal Mesh Devices

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Division to End Sales of Gynecare Prolift, Three Other Transvaginal Mesh Devices

Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. division revealed yesterday that it will end sales of its Gynecare Prolift device and three other transvaginal mesh products. The plan to stop selling the four products was set forth in a letter filed by the company in the Ethicon transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigation ...

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Lawsuit Alleges Bi-Lateral DePuy ASR Hip Implant Resulted in Elevated Chromium and Cobalt Levels, Need for Revision Surgery

Lawsuit Alleges Bi-Lateral DePuy ASR Hip Implant Resulted in Elevated Chromium and Cobalt Levels, Need for Revision Surgery

DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent, Johnson & Johnson, continue to be named in lawsuits by metal-on-metal hip replacement recipients who suffered severe injuries, including elevated chromium and cobalt levels, allegedly due to recalled ASR hip implant devices. Most recently, the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP filed suit on ...

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Pennsylvania Health System Proposes Comprehensive Fracking Study

Pennsylvania Health System Proposes Comprehensive Fracking Study

A proposed study would examine the health effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) drilling on the people living closest to active natural gas wells.

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Federal DePuy ASR Hip Implant Trials Likely to Start This Year

Federal DePuy ASR Hip Implant Trials Likely to Start This Year

It looks as though the first trials in the DePuy ASR hip implant multidistrict litigation could begin sometime later this year. According to a report from Bloomberg News, during a status conference held yesterday in Florida, attorneys for both plaintiffs and the defense told U.S. District Judge David Katz that ...

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Study: Artificial Sweeteners May Raise Blood Sugar, Promote Obesity

A new study involving artificial sweeteners has found that the additives may be making Americans fatter.

The study revealed that artificial sweeteners may trigger “dramatic” blood sugar disturbances in people and mice. This appears to happen because of the way in which the sweetening additives alter the gut’s bacterial populations, or microbiota, according to the National Post. The microbiota are an intricate ecosystem of bacteria and microorganisms that live in the gut.

The study, conducted by scientists in Israel, was released Wednesday by the journal, Nature. The research calls for a reassessment of the use of artificial sweeteners, which are one of the most widely used food additives globally, wrote the National Post. Continue reading

Posted in Defective Products, Food Products |

Study Finds No Evidence of Effectiveness and Safety of Newer Joint Replacement Devices

In light of the failure of articular surface replacement and large head size metal-on-metal joint replacement devices, scientists, doctors, and health policy professionals have highlighted the need for a more thorough and evidence-based introduction of joint replacement devices and for the development of an infrastructure for timely evaluation of these devices.

In a recently published study in the BMJ, a group of researchers, led by Dr. Marc J. Nieuwenhuijse, systematically evaluated the evidence concerning the introduction of five innovative, relatively recent, and already widely implemented devices used in total joint replacement. The research team evaluated comparative data from clinical trials, observational studies, and large national arthroplasty registries to study effectiveness and safety of the new devices versus existing, well proven, comparable devices. The five technologies reviewed are ceramic-on-ceramic bearings, modular femoral necks, and uncemented monoblock (not metal-on-metal) acetabular cups in total hip replacement, and high flexion implants and gender-specific implants in total knee replacement. Continue reading

Posted in Defective Medical Devices, Metal Hip Implants |

Expert Witness in Chantix Case Seeks Pfizer Documents

An expert witness in the multidistrict litigation over Chantix (varenicline), a smoking cessation drug, has moved to unseal court records in advance of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meeting to consider whether the drug should carry a warning about suicide risk.

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, an expert causation witness for the plaintiffs, and Thomas Moore, a drug-safety researcher, called for the unsealing of thousands of Pfizer Inc. internal documents, National Law Journal reports. Both wrote about how smoking cessation treatments like Chantix are associated with a higher incidence of depression, suicide and violence toward other people. The two experts “want to ensure the public debate about the psychiatric side effects of Chantix includes a balanced scientific record, which was examined in depth in the Chantix litigation,” according to court documents.  The FDA meeting is scheduled for Oct. 16. Continue reading

Posted in Chantix, Pharmaceuticals |

Exxon’s Attempt to De-Certify Class Action Lawsuit is Countered

Exxon Mobil’s attempt to de-certify the class action status of a couple’s lawsuit should be denied, the couple’s attorney argued. According to Arkansas Democrat Gazette, a federal judge granted class action status to the lawsuit, which was filed over an oil spill in Mayflower. Exxon Mobil has petitioned to appeal this decision. Continue reading

Posted in Legal News |

FDA Continues to Express Concern Regarding e-Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the exact health effects of e-cigarettes remain unknown. E-cigarettes provide a different nicotine delivery system that, instead of providing smoke, provides vapor.

Not unexpectedly, the makers of e-cigarettes argue that their products are safer than traditional cigarettes; however, the FDA has questions concerning the fairly new nicotine products, according to Daily News Journal. “While e-cigarette aerosol may contain fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke, studies evaluating whether e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes are inconclusive,” the FDA indicated in a recent report. The agency also questioned claims that e-cigarettes may be of help in smoking cessation, indicating in the report that, “No e-cigarette has been approved by FDA as a cessation aid.” Continue reading

Posted in Defective Products, Health Concerns |

Portico TAVR Heart Device Implants Halted Over Safety Concerns

Device maker St. Jude Medical has halted implantation of the Portico transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) over safety concerns that surfaced in U.S. clinical trials.

The Portico TAVR device is intended for patients with severe aortic stenosis (narrowing) who are at high risk for open-heart valve replacement surgery or who cannot have surgery. In an email to Medscape, the company confirmed that it had halted implantation worldwide while evaluating “recent cases of reduced valve leaflet mobility that were reported from a small number of CT scans performed approximately 30 days after implant in the U.S. IDE [investigational device exemption] study.” Continue reading

Posted in Defective Medical Devices |

DePuy Executive Questioned about Pinnacle Hip Implant Safety Studies in Bellwether Trial

On Monday, a DePuy executive was questioned about whether or not the company properly analyzed the dangers of the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant. According to Reuters, Depuy worldwide vice president of clinical research Pamela Plouhar took the stand in the bellwether trial.

There are over 6,000 Pinnacle lawsuits consolidated in Dallas federal court. The first to go to trial was filed on behalf of a 58-year old Montana woman who received two metal-on-metal versions of the Pinnacle hip implant in 2009. Her lawsuit, filed in 2012, alleges that the defective devices released cobalt into her bloodstream and caused it to jump up to 85 times the normal level. Continue reading

Posted in Legal News |

Newer Joint Replacement Systems May Offer No Benefit

According to a systematic review published online September 9th in the BMJ, there is no evidence to support the use of 5 newer joint replacement devices compared to analogous products that have been on the market longer. In fact, the risk of undergoing revision surgery is higher with some of the newer systems.

The study was led by Marc J. Nieuwenhuijse, MD, PhD from the Patient Centered Comparative Effectiveness Program and US Food and Drug Administration Medical Device Epidemiology Science and Infrastructure Center, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, City; the Department of Orthopaedics, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; and the Office of Surveillance and Biometrics, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD. He and his colleagues wrote that “[N]ew technologies are being introduced to the commercial market without sufficient high quality evidence for improved benefit over existing, well proven, and safe alternative implant solutions…[T]he status quo regarding the introduction of new device technologies is not acceptable.” Continue reading

Posted in Legal News |

Nineteen Deaths Linked to GM Ignition Switch Defect

Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney overseeing the General Motors compensation fund, has so far linked 19 deaths to a serious flaw with the ignition switches, a higher number than the 13 deaths GM had acknowledged in crashes resulting from the switch problem.

The fund has received 125 death claims and 320 injury claims in the five weeks it has been operating. Feinberg has found 31 claims eligible for compensation, CNN Money reports. Continue reading

Posted in Accident, Defective Products, Motor Vehicles, Product Recalls, Recalled Vehicles |

Fracking Workers Exposed to High Levels of Benzene, Study Finds

Workers at hydraulic fracturing – fracking – oil and gas sites are routinely exposed to high levels of benzene, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The agency, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends that workers limit their benzene exposure to an average of 0.1 of a part per million during their shift. But when the researchers measured airborne benzene workers would be exposed to when they opened hatches on tanks at well sites, 15 of 17 samples exceeded that amount, the Los Angeles Times reports. Benzene levels at the wells “reached concentrations that, depending on the length of exposure, potentially pose health risks for workers,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Workers must open the hatches one to four times per hour to inspect and measure the contents. Continue reading

Posted in Benzene, Health Concerns, Hydraulic Fracturing / Fracking |

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