August 2009

The FDA is investigating that very question:

FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that it is reviewing new safety information regarding reports of liver-related adverse events in patients taking orlistat. Orlistat is marketed in the United States as a prescription product, Xenical, and as an over-the-counter (OTC) product, Alli. Between 1999 and October 2008, 32 reports of serious liver injury, including 6 cases of liver failure, in patients using orlistat were submitted to FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System. The most commonly reported adverse events described in the 32 reports of serious liver injury were jaundice, weakness, and abdominal pain. FDA is reviewing other data on suspected cases of liver injury submitted by the manufacturers of orlistat, analysis of these data is ongoing and no definite association between liver injury and orlistat has been established at this time. FDA is not advising healthcare professionals to change their prescribing practices with orlistat. Consumers currently taking Xenical should continue to take it as prescribed and those using over-the-counter Alli should continue to use the product as directed.

Source:  http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm180025.htm

On the very first day of the fictional Fentanyl 101 class, you would learn that Duragesic is the original fentanyl patch, and that anything else is a generic.

I’ve launched a new web site that will provide information about fentanyl lawyers & lawsuits, fentanyl side effects, and other noteworthy information about generic fentanyl patches.  My new website won’t have much information about Duragesic fentanyl patches, other than coverage of lawsuits between the manufacturer of Duragesic and its competitors.

If you’ve got any news about fentanyl pain patches, generic or otherwise, let me know and I’ll post it.  If you’d like me to introduce you to a fentanyl lawyer, you should also let me know.

The AM Law Daily was kind enough to post the transcript of Mark Lanier's opening statement in the Neurontin trial that was called off.  I read this passage and had to share it. 

"Please understand, you're not going to have a lot of documents on  this stuff because you will hear David Franklin explain that the people in his job, he was told, "Do not be putting much of this stuff we're doing in writing." As one of the coworkers said, "It just takes one phone call to turn us all in." They're not allowed to leave the slide, the snake oil salesman slide, they're not allowed to leave those presentations with the doctors.

They go to seminars where they're taught how to do this, and they're handed tablets, and across the tablets it says "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury" to remind them what kind of trouble the company can get in if people write stuff down. So any note that they would take they would take understanding ultimately a jury may get to see it one day. So a lot of what was done was done by phone, it was done face-to-face.

Or there was a time where they were taught how to give a fair and balanced presentation on a videotape. And so the videotape plays, and as the videotape plays, the executives stop the videotape, and they say to everybody, "Okay, now, ignore everything you just heard, and let me tell you how we're going to do it. We were required to show you that."

Now, what Lanier says isn't evidence.  But on the other hand, if those "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury" tablets didn't exist, there would have been a mistrial.

If not for product liability lawsuits, we might never know just how corrupt pharmaceutical companies can be.

And the only reason these documents were revealed is because of a product liability lawsuit.

Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known.

Source: Ghostwriters Paid by Wyeth Aided Its Drugs – NYTimes.com