Monday, March 31, 2008

Philadelphia Lawyers and Personal Injury

If there was one type of law practice that people did not clearly understand it would be personal injury law. The reason for this is that the lawyers who are involved in this practice have been placed in a very dark light by many in the media. But, if you are severely injured in an accident due to someone's gross negligence then you will have only one person to look for help: a quality Philadelphia lawyer who has significant experience in personal injury law. Without the help of such a lawyer the ability to receive just compensation for your injury will not be possible. As such, some of the negative connotations of Philadelphia lawyers who specialize in personal injury law are often unfounded.

The Philadelphia Lawyer – Coining a Phrase

The term Philadelphia lawyer has taken on a colloquialism in our vernacular and some may wonder why. In order to understand why one must look at the definition of the colloquialism and it refers to a lawyer who is highly shrewd and at the top of his field. The origins of this term are not born of recent history but actually date back to the early colonial history of the United States. In the early 1700's Alexander Hamilton won a highly publicized courtroom trial for his client and since the lawyer Hamilton was based out of the city of Philadelphia it become common to refer to top notch lawyers as "Philadelphia lawyers". Perhaps that is Hamilton's most enduring legacy.

Contact Lens Solution & Lens Use

Corneal Transplants Have Resulted from Faulty Eye Solutions

Recent problems with Bausch & Lomb MoistureLoc and AMO (Advanced Medical Optics) Compelte MoisturePLUS solution have resulted in dangerous eye infections and vision loss.

This is information you should know about contact lens use and the dangers of certain solutions that are on the market. Most of the problems have occurred in one-step, multi-purpose solutions. These no-rub solutions have been at the heart of CDC and FDA investigations over blindness and severe eye infections.

Guidelines for soft contact lens use
All contact lens users should follow established guidelines to help reduce the risk for serious eye infections, including Acanthamoeba keratitis. Here are some additional contact lens wearing recommendations:

  • Visit your eye care provider for regular eye examinations.
  • Wear and replace contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by your eye care provider.
  • Remove contact lenses before any activity involving contact with water, including showering, using a hot tub, or swimming. Extended-wear contact lens users should discuss their concerns with their eye care provider.
  • Wash hands with soap and water and dry before handling contact lenses.
  • Clean contact lenses according to the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions from your eye care provider.
  • Use fresh cleaning or disinfecting solution each time lenses are cleaned and stored. Never reuse or top off old solution.
  • Never use saline solution and rewetting drops to disinfect lenses. Neither solution is an effective or approved disinfectant.
  • Store reusable lenses in the proper storage case.
  • Storage cases should be rinsed with sterile contact lens solution (never use tap water) and left open to dry after each use.
  • Replace storage cases at least once every three months.

About Corneal Transplants
The cornea is the front window to the eye. The cornea allows light into the eye and refracts the light rays to help the lens focus on the retina. Corneas must be crystal clear and of the proper curvature.

A cornea may be cloudy because of eye injuries from wounds, sharp objects, burns or chemicals. Corneal infections may be caused by bacteria, viral, or fungal in nature. Severe infection will lead to scarring. Fungal keratitis (also known as fulsarium keratitis) and Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) may lead to corneal scarring.

As with any operation, a corneal transplant has some degree of risk. The success rate is often relative to the cause. Transplants due to scarring of the cornea from infections typically have a lower success rate.

How to contact the FDA if you have an infection from Len Solution: The FDA can be contacted at 800-FDA-0178. MedWatch is on the lookout for these problems and is eager to learn of individuals having eye infection problems from AMO. AK - Acanthamoeba Keratitis is a rare and very dangerours eye infection and needs immediate medical attention. With so many AMO patients suffering this problem, the product has been linked to causing the infections in many users.

Sources:
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
Steen Hall Eye Institute, Louisiana
Anapol Schwartz Attorneys at Law

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Paxil Ruling in Philadelphia Courts

This week a Philadelphia judge ruled that federal law cannot pre-empt a state product liability claim. The first Paxil case, Collins v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline focuses on the alleged failure of the makers of Paxil to warn the pill-taking public about the increased risk of suicide. The judge of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court's Complex Litigation Program, denied a defense motion for summary judgment, ruling that the doctrine of federal pre-emption does not preclude the plaintiffs from arguing that GlaxoSmithKline failed to fulfill its duty to warn users of Paxil of an alleged association between the use of the drug and suicide.

Sol H. Weiss, a shareholder of Anapol Schwartz Weiss Cohan Feldman & Smalley and the plaintiffs' attorney in Collins, said he is not aware of any other Pennsylvania common pleas court opinions dealing with the federal pre-emption issue in pharmaceutical cases since the FDA unveiled revisions to its prescription drug labeling requirements in January 2006 and unveiled the "pre-emption preamble," which said that FDA approval of drug labels pre-empts conflicting or contrary state law.

Andrew Bayman, national trial counsel for GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil litigation, is a partner with King & Spalding in Atlanta and that firm's practice group leader for its tort litigation and environmental group. He said he believes this is the first Philadelphia pharmaceutical case addressing the federal pre-emption issue. GlaxoSmithKline is prepared to take the Collins case to trial and present evidence that there were other stressors, along with pre-existing depression that led to the suicide.

Weiss said, “This is a very hot area of litigation because the pharmaceutical companies want a free pass, If these claims are pre-empted, then all these people who are injured won't have a right to recovery.” There are 60 cases pending in the Philadelphia Paxil program.

In the Collins case, the survivors of Bobby R. Collins brought a claim against GlaxoSmithKline, alleging that the Paxil prescribed to Collins for stress-related depression did not have an adequate warning of possible suicidality. Collins committed suicide Feb. 14, 2002.

http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/index.jsp

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Osteoporosis drug Fosamax linked to thigh fractures

March 19, 2008--Researchers report that long-term use of Fosamax is associated with unusual fractures of the thigh bone.

(Fosamax is a bisphosphonate, a class of drugs recommended for post menopausal women and some men for long term use to combat osteoporosis and osteopenia due to aging, menopause, and some medications.)

Fosamax appears to be causing the very problem -- bone fractures -- for which doctors prescribe Fosamax for.

The thigh fractures were low-energy fractures, meaning that they all occurred from a fall from standing height or less, and the bone cracks were in an unusual horizontal pattern. About one-third of women with these types of fractures were on long-term therapy to prevent osteoporosis.
Of these women, two-thirds were taking Fosamax for an average of more than seven years.

These fractures occurred when the women were basically doing nothing.

Fifteen women were included in Lane's analysis. The average time on Fosamax was 5.4 years before they experienced the unusual femur fracture. Of these 15, 10 women had similar, atypical fractures. These women had been taking Fosamax for an average of 7.3 years, while the remaining five had only been on the drug for an average of 2.8 years.

The researchers conclude that there is a potential link between Fosamax (generic-alendronate_ use and low-energy fractures of the femur. The study is published in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Authors acknowledge the limitations of their retrospective analysis and suggest that these findings need to be confirmed in a prospective study.

There are several theories as to how Fosamax could be related to these fractures. One is that the drug slows down the development of new collagen. Another could be because there is slower bone turnover on the medications. That could mean there may be accumulated micro-damage in the bone, making it more susceptible to fracture in certain women.

Women who've been taking this medication for a long time and have test results that suggest low bone turnover, may want to take stop taking the medication for a year but talk to your doctor first.

In January 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to doctors about the possibility of severe bone pain occurring as a result of bisphosphonate therapy. Also, last year Fosamax was implicated in some cases of atrial fibrillation, a serious type of irregular heartbeat. The FDA hasn't found evidence to support the connection of atrial fibrillation and Fosamax…yet.

see: http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080319/fosamax-linked-to-unusual-femur-fractures.htm

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Move over Johnson and Johnson: Another Company Recalls Pain Patch

Actavis, another big pharmaceutical company is recalling its pain patches because of a flaw that could cause patients or caregivers to overdose. The Actavis pain patches have the same defect that Johnson & Johnson Duragesic pain patch have; where there could be a tear in the fold of the pain patch causing the pain gel to leak.

The Actavis patch recall covers 14 lots of patches. Actavis and its former name Abrika Pharmaceuticals is listed on packaging. Do you wonder that perhaps all the pain patches that have the fentanyl pain gel in the reservoir are prone to leakage? It wouldn’t be the first time that this model of pain patch has had the problem. Does one design flaw have a domino effect?

See: http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/mylan-steps-into-pain-patch-void/2008-02-26