Report on Medicare/Medicaid Overbilling and Fraud in 2007 Focuses on Nursing Homes/Rehab Centers, Pharmaceuticals and Boutique Hospitals

Americas Watchdog and its Corporate Whistleblower Center have just released the results of its third annual study focused on Medicare & Medicaid fraud. The report continues to show widespread Medicare/Medicaid billing abuse and fraud involving all aspects of health care.

The Corporate Whistle Blower Center has just reported its 2007 year end findings on the state of Medicare/Medicaid over billing/fraud … Read the rest

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys’ Motions Challenging Vioxx Settlement Cloud Issues as January 15, 2008 Deadline to Register Approaches

Pursuant to the terms of the $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement, January 15, 2008 is the deadline for all plaintiffs with a Vioxx-related case to register — whether or not their injuries would necessarily qualify for the settlement payout. This preliminary step will establish how many cases Merck, the manufacturer of Vioxx, faces. Those that don’t qualify for the settlement … Read the rest

Drug Makers Fail To Disclose Zetia’s Serious Health Risks

Drug makers Merck and Schering-Plough never published the results of studies regarding Zetia, an anti-hyperlipidemic drug often prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. The studies raise issues about Zetias effect on the liver. Enhance, one research study of Zetia, was completed in April of 2006.

The results of Enhance have recently been discovered. The study contains information about Zetias risks on … Read the rest

Off-Label Marketing of Fentora Leads to $425 Million Penalty

On September 27, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the risk of potentially fatal overdoses with Fentora, a narcotic painkiller manufactured by Cephalon. The action came less than two weeks after the company sent a letter to doctors notifying them of three drug-related deaths. Cephalon has just recently agreed to settle the U.S. Justice Department … Read the rest

Heart Surgery Drug Trasylol Withdrawn from Market

The German pharmaceutical company, Bayer AG, announced that it will withdraw Trasylol, its controversial drug used for heart surgery, from the market. The withdrawal was due in part to a study performed in Canada which suggested that Trasylol increased rates of death.

The New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study it conducted finding that Trasylol increased … Read the rest

“Stop-Smoking” Drug Chantix May Have Caused Psychotic and Suicidal Behavior Leading to Death of Musician

Concerns have surfaced that Chantix, the stop-smoking drug manufactured by Pfizer, may have led to musician Carter Albrecht’s bizarre and tragic death on September 5, 2007. That rare psychotic and suicidal behavior are possible side effects of Chantix is mentioned in extreme fine print of the original box insert. However, large-print, pharmacy handouts given to users of the drug warning … Read the rest

FDA Warns Off-Label Prescription of Painkiller Fentora Can Cause Death and Life-Threatening Side Effects

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning today about the risk of potentially fatal overdoses with Fentora, a narcotic painkiller manufactured by Cephalon. The action comes less than two weeks after the company sent a letter to doctors notifying them of three drug-related deaths.

The FDA has received reports of death and life-threatening side effects in patients who have … Read the rest

FDA’s Rule Pre-empting State Law Failure-to-Warn Claim is Rejected

On July 3rd, the Vioxx multidistrict litigation court held that the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA)’s rule preempting state products liability law suits against drug companies in failure-to-warn claims is not persuasive. The court also stated that FDA cannot assume that Congress intended to override the long-standing presumption against preempting state law.

The court’s ruling is a victory for consumers … Read the rest

Drug Companies Will Be Forced To List Gifts Made To Doctors If Legislation Passes

On June 27th, a Senate hearing was held regarding the pharmaceutical industry’s routine practice of promoting and marketing drugs and medical devices by showering doctors with gifts. Drug companies which attempt to persuade doctors to prescribe their drugs provide doctors with meals at high-priced restaurants, stock options, sponsorships for educational programs, drug samples, tickets to sporting events and Broadway … Read the rest

Avandia, a Drug for Diabetes, Another Vioxx?

Reminiscent of Vioxx, which Merck pulled off the market in 2004 after it was shown to cause heart attacks in some patients, an analysis to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Avandia, a widely used pill to treat adult-onset, or Type 2, diabetes, raises the risk of heart attack by 43 percent.

Over a seven-year … Read the rest