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Articles Posted in Defective Product

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Photo by A. Kirk
Did Johnson & Johnson fail to warn women of ovarian cancer risks related to the use of its talcum powder products? For years, Johnson & Johnson has marketed its talcum powder products for feminine hygiene. Yet, the company never warned that the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene may be linked to ovarian cancer.

Since the early 1970s, numerous studies have indicated an increase in the risk of ovarian cancer with this use of talcum powder. So, why did Johnson & Johnson not warn consumers? Why did Johnson & Johnson continue to make money marketing these products as safe and effective for women? These are questions being raised by women who have suffered ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder products.

For detailed information, take a look at our page on Talcum Powder Lawsuits located under the Hot Topics section of our firm website. We provide information about talcum powder and the history of its use by Johnson & Johnson. We are happy to answer additional questions as well.

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The nation’s leading business group is mounting a new attack on advertisements run by trial lawyers that tell consumers about the negative side effects from medical drugs and devices.

Let me start — I don’t like modern attorney advertising. Locally in northern Alabama, we have an attorney on television advertising for automobile accident injury cases who refuses to help injured people in court. Think about that —  The lawyer asks for your injury case but won’t go to court when needed! Another Huntsville law firm raised billboards seeking personal injury cases but then added fine print to their website saying they really intend to sign and refer the cases to outside counsel. These lawyers serve themselves, not their clients. When it comes to drugs and medical devices, we even have lawyers running ads who are not licensed in Alabama.

I find most of these ads distasteful. Complaints about them are completely justified. Yet, the Chamber of Commerce’s approach is pure hypocrisy. While attacking television advertisements from lawyers, the Chamber has done nothing to reduce deceptive drug company advertisements. The Chamber is protecting the drug companies who rush deadly and dangerous drugs to market for huge profits. As one attorney noted:

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Our office has closely followed developments related to the diabetes drug Invokana. For more details on the medication and how it works, you can read a report under the Hot Topics section of our firm website. As we discuss on our website, Invokana is a relatively new diabetes drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Yet, in just a few years on the market, the FDA has issued numerous safety communications about the drug.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Kidney damage.
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We are currently investigating claims of permanent hair loss following the use of Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug. Taxotere is one of the most widely used drugs for breast cancer in the United States. For more information on the drug, you can read a detailed report on the Blackwell Law Firm website.

While cancer patients may expect temporary hair loss during chemotherapy treatment, they also expect their hair to regrow once treatment ends. For many patients, hair regrowth is a visible sign of victory over the disease. And, if hair regrowth does not occur, the physical and emotional impacts can be devastating.

Although expected to be temporary, many patients treated by Taxotere suffer permanent hair loss. These women had alternatives to Taxotere treatment. Other drugs provide similar success results. Yet, those other drugs do not leave many patients with permanent alopecia or baldness. For years, Taxotere’s manufacturer failed to warn doctors or patients in the United States of this harm. Patients had no knowledge of the risk and could not make an informed choice between available drugs. Although the manufacturer failed to warn patients, it knew the significant risk of injury. And, it continued to profit from sales to unsuspecting patients.

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Our office has closely followed developments with the diabetes drug Invokana. Invokana is in a class of drugs known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. This is a relatively new class of drugs also including Farxiga, Jardiance, Glyxambi, and Xigduo XR. These drugs treat diabetes by altering kidney function to stop reabsorption of glucose into the patient’s blood stream. We have a page on our firm website discussing these drugs, how they work and their link to diabetic ketoacidosis. Despite being a new drug at the time we published our initial page, Invokana had already been linked to numerous adverse health reports. Since then, even more potential injury risks have emerged. You can read about these developments in several posts on this blog.

In its recent QuarterWatch report, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) calls Invokana a “dangerous gamble.” The ISMP report opens with the following paragraph:

The nation’s gamble in embracing new drugs for long-term use with only short-term clinical testing was most apparent in the rapid acceptance into clinical practice of a new class of oral diabetes drugs called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. There are now three such agents, canagliflozin (INVOKANA), dapagliflozin (FARXIGA), and empagliflozin (JARDIANCE). Since approval, evidence of multiple safety problems has emerged.
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At some point, you just have to ask — What’s next? That’s a good question for the diabetes drug Invokana. At the Blackwell Law Firm we began investigating Invokana when the drug was initially linked to ketoacidosis. If you want to learn the basics about Invokana and its development as a diabetes drug, we have a section devoted to the topic on our firm website. As discussed in that section, ketoacidosis is a serious and potentially fatal build-up of acid in the blood. Symptoms of ketoacidosis can include:

  • Confusion
  • Abdominal Pain
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Invokana continues to be linked to serious health problems. Our office has closely followed developments with the diabetes medication Invokana since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although relatively new to the market, many health injuries are already associated with this drug.

Invokana (canagliflozin) is marketed to treat Type 2 diabetes. The drug is one of a relatively new class of diabetes medications. This class of medications is known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. Other SGLT2 drugs include Jardiance, Farxiga, Glyxambi, and Xigduo XR. These drugs alter kidney function to prevent reabsorption of glucose into the patient’s blood stream. For more detailed information, please read the report on our firm website.

We have watched Invokana closely because of its association with the health problem diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a dangerous adverse health issue suffered by some patients taking Invokana. What is diabetic ketoacidosis? It is a build-up of acid in the blood. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, difficulty breathing and confusion. In May 2015, the FDA issued a safety communication warning patients about the risk of ketoacidosis from Invokana.

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Post-your-best-portrait-shots-for-a-chance-to-win-prizes-300x300It’s been almost two months since my last post. Although not writing here, I have been busy writing – including a number of briefs in an ongoing products’ liability case and a separate case involving a public contract in Alabama. Both cases share a common (and troubling) issue. Both involve serious public issues shrouded in secrecy by confidentiality orders. One case involves a medical device marketed and implanted in women despite huge dangers known by the manufacturer. The other involves a company with a public contract affecting health benefits for thousands of beneficiaries across Alabama.

In the medical device case, patients and their doctors should have access to important information concerning research, testing, and FDA approval. Yet, they do not. Many of these documents are shielded from disclosure by court order. How many women could have been saved from the chronic pain and disabling injuries of this product? Why should any company ever be allowed to implant its devices in people without disclosing the chemicals that comprise it? If only important information had been disclosed.

In the public contract case, Alabama’s citizens should have access to information concerning how a company spends their taxpayer money. Yet, they do not. Why should any company ever be allowed to spend public money in secret? Yet, much of this information is shielded from disclosure by court order.

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Serious Injury? We Can Help.
Consumer health and safety should be the NUMBER ONE GOAL of drug research. Yet, it’s not. The primary goal seems to be greed. Immediate greed for quick and massive profit. For some drug companies that means — conceal bad studies revealing drug dangers, give the FDA just enough positive information to get the drug to market, and then sell as much as possible until the dangers come to light. Because of this, many patients are needlessly injured each year by dangerous and defective drugs that should have never been sold. Often, it’s too late for the families harmed.

Below are just a few recent examples of how drug companies view real research and the documents that explore the safety of their products:

  • Transvaginal Mesh— My office represents numerous women in Huntsville and throughout northern Alabama who suffered injury from mesh products by manufacturers Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Coloplast, and American Medical Systems. These companies marketed their mesh products through a loophole in our law that allows certain dangerous medical devices to be sold prior to proper testing. Basically, the process is turned upside down and sales come before safety testing. Thousands of women suffered serious, and often disabling, injuries after being implanted with these dangerous and defective products. We have worked closely with attorneys in other states. The dedication of the many excellent attorneys representing injured victims of these defective products is the only reason the truth about the dangers is now coming to light. Yet, some manufacturers continue to avoid producing the complete information which the public deserves. On February 4, 2014, the Court hearing the claims against Ethicon, entered an Order saying the following:
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Our firm represents many Alabama clients who suffered serious personal injury from drugs and medical devices. Our current cases in 2013 include claims involving the diabetes drug Actos and transvaginal mesh. If you want to see our current focus on defective products, you can read detailed reports under the Hot Topics section of the Blackwell Law Firm website. When we begin researching a drug or device, I will typically write a report for this section of our website. So, it is regularly updated to include only current topics.

We follow a different philosophy or approach with drug and device cases. Our approach is different than the mass advertising firms you see and hear on television and social media. Those firms typically approach claims by casting a wide net begging for calls. Their approach is to sign-up everything, see what happens, and settle a volume of claims. What is our approach? We focus only on a few products at a time. We know our clients. We work our cases. Why do we limit our approach to only a few products at a time? We want to study these products and gain expertise in their science.

I recently viewed an interesting discussion on an issue important in the medical research. The issue — Why are negative medical tests often concealed or not published? Many consumers (and even doctors) do not realize the extent of research bias. In most cases, your doctor is relying on the directions and warnings approved by the FDA. When the underlying tests are biased (because negative results were omitted), the doctor’s information is not reliable. When it comes to tests, negative results are very important to patient safety.

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