December 2013

One recent article by ProPublica, a prominent investigative journalism outlet, chronicles a lack of proper government oversight and coordination that “can expose Medicare recipients to potentially unsafe medical treatment and keeps tax dollars flowing to unworthy providers”.

The problem is this: some doctors who are terminated from Medicaid practice due to “inappropriate drug choices [that] endanger patients” and “unchecked devotion to name-brand drugs, instead of generics,” (a practice which unnecessarily bleeds the healthcare system of taxpayer dollars) are still allowed to prescribe drugs under Medicare Part D.

That is, doctors who have been deemed unfit to prescribe medication to certain patients remain allowed to do so for others.

To curb this, US Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) “asked each state Medicaid program to explain its process for terminating doctors and notifying Medicare once it does so” and “sent a letter Friday to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, asking what the agency is doing about such doctors.”

While this problem continues to exist, Jonathan Blum (Principal Deputy Administrator for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) remains “committed to making improvements,” stating “‘We look forward to working with Congress and the HHS Inspector General to continue to protect beneficiaries and taxpayers from Medicare fraud, waste and abuse’”.

Hopefully, closing of loopholes such as this will bring down the total cost of healthcare moving forward.

According to a recent study, flu vaccines may be more effective in women than in men.

MedlinePlus, an online medical encyclopedia curated by the US National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine made the following report:

“Researchers measured immune responses in 53 women and 34 men after they received their seasonal flu vaccination. The women produced a higher immune response in reaction to the vaccine. Testing was then done using different influenza strains and differences in gender-related immune responses were highest for the H3N2 strain.

The researchers say the gender differences are possibly due to a set of genes that may be regulated by testosterone. Men with the highest testosterone levels had the weakest antibody responses to the flu vaccine.

The CDC recommends that everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a seasonal flu vaccine.” (hyperlinks added)

Follow this link to see a video explanation of these findings.  More to come as this story unfolds!

In a 2012 article titled “Prolactin, hyperprolactinaemia and antipsychotic treatment: a review and lessons for treatment of early psychosis.,” medical researchers J Cookson, R Hodgson, and HJ Wildgust explored the association between hyperprolactinemia and antipsychotic use.

Hyperprolactinemia is an ailment characterized by increased blood levels of the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for breast growth and development.  When men or women have hyperprolactinemia, breast growth is often the result.  In men, this breath growth is called gynecomastia.

Cookson et al. (2012) write that “Hyperprolactinaemia is a common side effect of antipsychotics” and “Higher levels of prolactin result from longer exposure to higher doses, especially with older antipsychotics or with risperidone, sulpiride or amisulpride.”  (emphasis added)

“Galactorrhoea, gynaecomastia, menstrual abnormalities and sexual dysfunction including hypogonadism and fertility problems are consequences of raised prolactin, and in the longer-term bone demineralisation.” (emphasis added)

Sadly, the manufacturer of the drug most readily associated with hyperprolactinemia – Risperdal (risperidone), of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., failed time and again to warn users of the risk for male breast growth associated with Risperdal, Risperdal lawsuits are currently being filed across the country.

If you or a loved one used Risperdal and suffered gynecomastia, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation through a Risperdal lawsuit of your own.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Risperdal lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.

A 2011 article by MM Carvalho and C Góis, titled “Hyperprolactinemia in mentally ill patients” aimed to elucidate connections between antipsychotic drug use and hyperprolactinemia, an ailment characterized by increased blood prolactin levels that results in male breast development (gynecomastia).

At the outset of their abstract, the authors make the sad recognition that “Hyperprolactinemia is a common, but neglected, adverse effect of conventional antipschycotics and of some of the atypical antipshycotics. It occurs in almost 42% of men and in 75% of women with schizophrenia who are treated with prolactin-raising antipshycotics, even though it has aroused minimal interest within the scientific community when compared with extra-pyramidal effects.”

Common antipsychotics said to be “frequently associated with the [rise] in prolactin plasma levels” are “risperidone [Risperdal], paliperidone [Invega Sustenna], amisulpride [Solian], and zotepine [Zoleptil, others]”.

As some “atypical” antipsychotics are not associated with increased prolactin levels, thus dubbed “prolactin-sparing antipsychotics,” the authors write “The management of a patient with antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia must be adapted to each patient and it may include a reduction in the dosage of the offending antipsychotic, switching to a prolactin-sparing antipsychotic or the use of a dopamine receptor agonist, such as bromocriptine, cabergoline and amantadine.”

Sadly, due to the fact that the manufacturer of Risperdal (risperidone), Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., failed time and again to adequately inform male users of the risk for gynecomastia associated with Risperdal, Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits have been filed across the country.

If you or a loved one used Risperdal and suffered gynecomastia as a result, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for your undue injury.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Risperdal lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve.

Call today and see how we can help!

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.

In 2012, a study titled “Drug-induced gynecomastia: an evidence-based review.” was published that aimed to clarify which drugs cause gynecomastia, the development of breasts in men.

“Drugs are estimated to cause about 10 – 25% of all cases of gynecomastia. Over the course of several decades, multiple medications have been implicated in the development of gynecomastia mostly in the form of case reports and case series. However, these reports suffer from a multitude of deficiencies, including poor quality of evidence.”

So, the authors reviewed a number of studies that had reported associations between certain drugs and gynecomastia dating back to 1940 and assessed the “quality of evidence” used by those previous researchers to make the connections they did.

In the end, the authors state that “Most of the reported drug-gynecomastia associations were based on poor quality evidence. The drugs definitely associated with the onset of gynecomastia are spironolactone, cimetidine, ketoconazole, hGH, estrogens, hCG, anti-androgens, GnRH analogs and 5-α reductase inhibitors. Medications probably associated with gynecomastia include risperidone, verapamil, nifedipine, omeprazole, alkylating agents, HIV medications (efavirenz), anabolic steroids, alcohol and opioids.”

Due to the fact that Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. failed time and again to warn users its Risperdal (risperidone) antipsychotic had been associated with male breast growth, a number of Risperdal lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used Risperdal and had gynecomastia, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation from the manufacturer.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Risperdal lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the skills, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve.

Call today and see how we can help!

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.

A number of recently-published studies have drawn the connection between use of the antipsychotic Risperdal and gynecomastia, male breast development.  One study researching this connection was published in The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology in 2012, and was titled “Risk of hyperprolactinemia and sexual side effects in males 10-20 years old diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders or disruptive behavior disorder and treated with risperidone.”.

To be clear, hyperprolactinemia is an ailment characterized by elevated blood levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast development and milk production.

This 2012 study observed a group of “10-20-year-old males” with autism spectrum disorders (89 patients) and disruptive behavior disorders (9 patients) who were prescribed Risperdal — called “Group 1,” and compared prolactin levels and prolactin-related side-effects to 47 similarly-aged boys who did not use Risperdal — called “Group 2”.

Results showed that “Hyperprolactinemia was present in 47% of subjects in group 1 but only in 2% of subjects in group 2 (odds ratio 71.9; 95% CI, 7.7; 676.3). Forty-six percent of subjects in group 1 had asymptomatic hyperprolactinemia.”  This means that Risperdal use made patients nearly 72 times as likely to suffer hyperprolactinemia than non-users.

Results also showed that “Gynecomastia and sexual dysfunction were present in 43% and 14% of the subjects in group 1, respectively, compared with 21% and 0% of subjects in group 2”.  That is, male breast enlargement was found to be about twice as common in Risperdal users compared to patients who used no antipsychotic.

Due to the fact that the Risperdal Warning Label grossly understates the risk for gynecomastia associated with moderate-dose Risperdal use, a number of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used Risperdal and suffered male breast enlargement, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Risperdal lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve, even from the largest of pharmaceutical manufacturers.  Call today and see how we can help!

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.

In recent years, a number of scientific studies have been published linking the antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone) with gynecomastia – the development of breasts men.  An article published in a 2006 edition of The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology titled “Risperidone-induced symptomatic hyperprolactinaemia in adolescents.” by L. Holzer et al. addresses this risk.  For clarity, hyperprolactinemia is an ailment characterized by elevated blood levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast development.

The Holzer (2006) team studied ten adolescents suffering from psychosis who were prescribed Risperdal, monitoring prolactin levels and side effects.  The authors state “Among the 10 psychotic adolescents treated with risperidone in our unit, we had 3 cases of gynecomastia in 3 male patients and 2 cases of galactorrhea in 2 female patients. The prolactin blood levels in these cases and in 3 other patients without apparent prolactin-related side effects were all above the normal range (median, 59 ng/mL; range, 30-123 ng/mL). (hyperlink added)

Though the study does not reveal the gender breakdown of the group of ten adolescents, we can still see that at least 3 out of 8 boys using Risperdal suffered gynecomastia.

As such, the authors conclude “risperidone administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia and/or galactorrhea. Given that the long-term effects of antipsychotic drug-induced hyperprolactinemia are not well documented, especially regarding osteopenia, infertility, growth, and pubertal delay, risperidone should be administered with caution to children and adolescents.”

Due to the fact that the rates at which boys suffer gynecomastia are found by independent researchers to be far greater than the rate of gynecomastia with Risperdal reported by the drug’s manufacturer, hundreds of Risperdal lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used Risperdal and suffered breast enlargement or another Risperdal side effect, contact our team of Risperdal lawyers at the information provided below — you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for your injuries.

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.

According to an article published in a 2013 edition of the French medical journal L’Encephale, risperidone (Risperdal), an antipsychotic medication manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is associated with gynecomastia — breast development in men.

Risperdal and similar antipsychotics are considered “prolactin-raising” drugs, as they tend to result in elevated blood levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast development in humans.  When a patient is found to have high levels of prolactin in the blood, he or she is said to have hyperprolactinemia.

The 2013 L’Encephale study, titled “Antipsychotic-drug-induced hyperprolactinemia: Physiopathology, clinical features and guidance,” cited a study in which it was found that “18% of men and 47% of women treated with antipsychotics for severe mental illness had a prolactin level above the normal range,” and that symptoms of hyperprolactinemia, including “sexual dysfunction, infertility, amenorrhea, gynecomastia [and] galactorrhoea” are “common”.

Sadly, the Risperdal Warning Label only states that 2.3% of male Risperdal users are expected to suffer gynecomastia.  Due to the wide disparity between the risk rate for gynecomastia as stated by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and that reported by independent scientists, a number of Risperdal lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used Risperdal and suffered male breast enlargement or another Risperdal side effect, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation from the manufacturer for your undue injuries.  For more information or a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Risperdal lawyers at your convenience.  We have the compassion, experience, and resources required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help!

(855) 452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our Risperdal Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Risperdal.

Two articles popped up in my inbox today.  The first tells the sad story of a man who died after taking a supplement known as “Stiff Nights.”

“A Kansas City man died last year after taking an unapproved erectile dysfunction drug allegedly labeled as a dietary supplement, a Jackson County lawsuit says.
 

David R. McElwee, 39, suffered a loss of blood pressure, which ultimately led to a fatal heart attack, after taking a product sold under the brand name Stiff Nights, according to the lawsuit filed in August on behalf of his children.

Source: Lawsuit blames man’s death on erectile dysfunction supplement – KansasCity.com

The second is an exposé on the supplement market in today’s issue of USA Today:

Far from an isolated case, a USA TODAY investigation finds that a wide array of dietary supplement companies caught with drug-spiked products are run by people with criminal backgrounds and regulatory run-ins. Consumers buying products from these firms are in some cases entrusting their health and safety to people with rap sheets for crimes involving barbiturates, crack cocaine, Ecstacy and other narcotics, as well as arrests for selling or possessing steroids and human growth hormone. Other supplement company executives have records of fraud, theft, assault, weapons offenses, money laundering or other offenses, the investigation shows.

Source: Makers of tainted supplements have criminal pasts

Both articles show that you should be comfortable with the company that makes any pill you take.

One doctor at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons presented findings in a report titled “The role of acetabular component positioning in the development of Inflammatory Pseudotumors“.

This surgeon, one George A. Grammatopoulos, MRCS notes that “acetabular component orientation is known to influence wear of metal-on-metal hip replacement bearings” and that “Inflammatory pseudotumour (IPT) is a recognised complication following hip-resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA), thought to occur as a response to wear debris.”

This study identified 31 patients with confirmed inflammatory pseudotumors and aimed to determine if the presence of these tumors could be correlated with a certain positioning of the hip replacement system, comparing these results with 60 hip replacement patients who had not developed pseudotumors.

Doctors found that a placement of a 20 degree anteversion and 40 degree inclination was “optimal” and that placements plus or minus 10 degrees of this optimal placement were also associated with a lower rate of pseudotumor development.

The problem is that the manufacturers of many metal-on-metal hip replacement systems have failed to notify patients of these risks at all.  Thankfully, surgeons have found methods to reduce the risk for inflammatory pseudotumors associated with metal-on-metal hip replacements now that they are known to occur, but it would have been best if the manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip replacements had warned patients and surgeons of this possibility in the first place.

Due to this apparent negligence at DePuy Orthopaedics and to the fact that company failed to accurately characterize the rate at which its metal-on-metal ASR hip replacement systems require revision surgery, a recall was issued and a number of lawsuits are currently being filed against DePuy.

If you or a loved one used a DePuy hip replacement system and required reoperation or suffered negative side effects, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation DePuy ASR lawsuit consultation, contact our team of DePuy ASR hip replacement lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve.

Call today and see how we can help!

(855)  452 – 5529

justinian@dangerousdrugs.us

Our DePuy ASR™ / ASR™ XL Hip Replacement Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacements.