FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Chantix, Which May Become the Subject of Product Liability Suits

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

FDA Warns Public of Contaminated Syringes Manufactured by AM2 PAT, Inc. Containing Heparin and Saline Pre-filled Flush Syringes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on January 25, 2008, a nationwide recall of all lots of heparin and saline pre-filled flush syringes manufactured by AM2 PAT, Inc., of Angier, N.C. Two lots have been found to be contaminated with Serratia marcescens, a bacterium that can cause serious injury or death, and have in fact caused blood infections in patients. These syringes are manufactured by AM2 PAT under the brand names Sierra Pre-filled, Inc. and B. Braun. They are sold in fill sizes of 3mL, 5mL and 10mL and syringe sizes of 6mL and 12mL.

Consumers and health … 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 could still go to court. More than 28,000 of the estimated 60,800 claimants have submitted registration information so far.

But several plaintiffs attorneys have made a motion requesting that the federal judge overseeing the Vioxx settlement, U.S. District Judge Eldon … 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 the liver. Some patients showed elevated liver enzymes and were dropped from the study. Merck and Schering-Plough who have been criticized for not releasing the results of the Enhance study, are said to probably earn around $5 billion from Zetia … Read the rest

F.B.I. Investigating Purported Failure to Test More than 200,000 Used Football Helmets At a Time When More College Players are Sustaining Concussions

The F.B.I. is investigating how it was that more than 200,000 amateur football players in the United States wore used helmets this fall that were returned to the field without proper testing.

The investigation concerns the purported failure of Circle System Inc., of Easton, Pa., in an apparent effort to save on labor and insurance costs, to perform a formal drop-testing procedure in which helmets are subjected to strong forces in different locations on about 2 percent of the helmets they handle as part of a safety protocol mandated by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (Nocsae).… Read the rest

Lead Paint on Toys, Magnets that Perforate Intestines, Beads that Turn into “Date Rape Drug”, and Now Asbestos: What’s Next for Our Children?

As if it was not enough to learn that there is lead paint on toys, that small magnets can come loose from toys and perforate intestines, and that children’s Aqua Dots beads turn into “Date Rape Drug”, now asbestos has been found in a variety of consumer products, including one of this season’s biggest-selling Christmas toys, the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit.

The kit, made in China, is one of several items licensed by CBS after its popular “CSI” science-crime shows. The model has an array of plastic tools, inks and three types of very fine powders — white, … Read the rest

NY Consumer Protection Board Finds Toys With Unsafe Lead Levels Remain on Store Shelves

The state Consumer Protection Board’s (CPB) Safe Toys NY Campaign has found that toys with unsafe lead levels remain on store shelves across the state, Governor Eliot Spitzer announced last week. The CPB, with the help of the Departments of Health (DOH) and Agriculture and Markets, conducted sweeps of more than 2,800 stores looking for recalled products and found approximately 620 recalled toy items still on the shelves.

The CPB launched Safe Toys NY, a massive public awareness campaign, in November to assist consumers in discerning the safety of toys, to educate consumers, inform toy makers and retailers about safety … Read the rest

A Purse Filled with a Pocket Size Cell Phone and a Taser?? (“Don’t Tase Me, Sis”)

Don’t be surprised if one day you’re out somewhere and you hear someone plead, “Don’t tase me, sis!” The manufacturer of Tasers, the controversial stun gun used by police and other law enforcement officials, has started selling a consumer version of this gun known as the “C2.” The C2 can be found at regular sporting good stores, it sells in multiple colors and can be purchased for a rate as low as $299.00. The C2 is marketed for its small size and noted for the fact that it can easily fit in a woman’s purse.

Essentially it seems that the … Read the rest

Energy Drinks Boost More Than Energy: Is There A Failure to Warn?

Downing an energy drink (ie. Red Bull, Full Throttle, Amp and Rush) may boost blood pressure and heart rate as well as energy, posing a particularly significant risk to patients with heart disease, high blood pressure, or in those who consume energy drinks often. This finding was based upon a small study of healthy adults who drank two cans a day of a popular energy drink presented by researchers at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2007 earlier this month. The increases did not reach dangerous levels in the healthy volunteers.

Most energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and … Read the rest

Daily Eater of Popcorn Sues Over Butter-Flavor Chemical Diacetyl, Saying “I Inhaled.”

Exposure to the chemical known as diacetyl, which adds the buttery flavor to popcorn, has been tied to hundreds of cases of workers whose lungs have been damaged or destroyed. When it is heated diacetyl becomes a vapor and when it is inhaled over a long period of time, it can cause various problematic symptoms. Exposure to this chemical can cause one to experience difficulty breathing and exhaling, and one’s lungs can become scarred. The severe form of the disease is called “bronchiolitis obliterans,” also known as “popcorn workers’ lung,” which can be lethal.

In fact, in July of 2005, … Read the rest