The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the number of deaths possibly associated with the drug heparin, made from pig intestines, had risen to 21 from 4. The reported number of those suffering adverse reactions increased from approximately 350 to 455. Both increases have been reported within just a 2 week time period. But the F.D.A. cautioned that many of those patients were already seriously ill and that the drug might not have caused their deaths.
Officials described the linkage of heparin to the additional 17 deaths as more tenuous than the 4 initially reported. Federal drug regulators said … Read the rest
When patients are considering treatment options, there is often”blind faith” in the doctor’s recommendations, as he is viewed as a concerned, educated and neutral provider. Perhaps, this view is nave. In reality, doctors are often financially motivated in the varying courses of treatment offered. Instead of acting as neutral gatekeepers of potentially harmful drugs and procedures and “neutral scientists “investigating a procedure’s safety, at times they are in actuality financially motivated advocates for the same.
For instance, Dr. Joseph E. Zigler, a well known spine specialist, and an advocate of Prodisc, an artificial spinal disk for the lower back, has … Read the rest
The 8th annual national MEDMARX(R) Data Report released last month by the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) revealed that more than 1,400 commonly used drugs are involved in errors linked to drug names that look alike or sound alike. USP’s review revealed a near doubling since 2004 of the pairs of drug names that look or sound alike, from 1,750 pairs to 3,170 pairs.
According to findings in the MEDMARX report, 1.4% of the errors resulted in patient harm, including seven errors that may have caused or contributed to patient deaths. Medication errors are often the basis of medical malpractice cases.… Read the rest
In what appears to be the first reported New York decision enforcing anti-predatory lending provisions of section 6-L of the New York Banking Law, a Supreme Court Justice in Staten Island has ordered a hearing to assess damages against a bank following a series of violations of the law. In LaSalle Band v. Shearon, 100255/07, the lender moved for summary judgment in its foreclosure action. But not only did Hon. Joseph J. Maltese deny the motion, he searched the record, found three separate violations of the anti-predatory Banking Law, and granted the borrower summary judgment on his counter claims … Read the rest
Chattem, Inc. announced February 8, 2008, that it is initiating a voluntary nationwide recall of its Icy Hot Heat Therapy products, including consumer “samples” that were included on a limited promotional basis in cartons of its 3 oz. Aspercreme product. Chattem is recalling these products because it has received some consumer reports of first, second and third degree burns as well as skin irritation resulting from consumer use or possible misuse of these products.
Consumers who have the Icy Hot products under recall should immediately stop using the products, discard them, and/or return them to Chattem. All lots and all … Read the rest
Since Baxter International announced recently that it was suspending sales of its multidose vials of heparin after four patients died and 350 suffered complications including allergic reactions, many of them serious and potentially life-threatening, significant concerns have arisen as to the effectiveness of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of imported drugs. Baxter bought the active ingredient for heparin, which is derived from an enzyme in pig intestines, from Scientific Protein Laboratories, which produces heparin’s active ingredient in its factory in Changzhou, China.
Scientific Protein moved production to China three years ago because the country is the world’s largest … Read the rest
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on February 1, 2008, issued a Public Health Advisory to alert health care providers, patients, and caregivers to new safety warnings concerning Chantix (varenicline), a prescription medication used to help patients stop smoking.
Serious neuropsychiatric symptoms have occurred in patients taking Chantix. These symptoms include changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and attempted and completed suicide. Chantix has been suggested as being a possibly significant contributing factor to the bizarre and tragic death of musician Carter Albrecht on September 5, 2007.
The FDA action adds credibility to the belief that Chantix … Read the rest
New York City’s final 2007 traffic fatality data, released on January 28, 2008, shows that fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in New York City have dropped to the lowest level since records started being kept in 1910: 271 traffic fatalities citywide, down more than 30% since 2001.
There were also an all-time low 136 pedestrian deaths last year-13% fewer than previous lows in both 2004 and 2005. Since 1990 pedestrian fatalities in NYC have decreased by 62%. Prior to 1950, pedestrians accounted for of all traffic fatalities. Since then, the percentage has decreased to only .
NYC Fatal Accident History … Read the rest
New York’s legislative leaders, at the request of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, have introduced a new and comprehensive bill known as the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) that establishes vital protections against sexual predators so that users of the Internet can more safely surf the Web.
e-STOP would require sex offenders to register their email addresses, instant message screen names and any other online identifiers, and would give access to that information to online social networking companies. Those sites would then be able to pre-screen and block access by convicted sex offenders.
According to the … Read the rest
Subpoenas were issued to Myspace by a federal grand jury last month. The subpoenas issued are connected to the suicide of Megan Meier, a 13-year-old girl from Missouri. Megan’s suicide is linked to Lori Drew, Drew’s teenage daughter and Ashley Grills, Drew’s former employee who set up a fake online account under the social networking site, MySpace.
Drew, her daughter, and Grills used the identity Josh Evans, a good-looking 16 year-old to befriend Megan. Josh contacted on Megan’s MySpace account one month before her suicide with friendly messages, but the final message to Megan said The world would be a … Read the rest