Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough | Injury Law Blog

Decision Reached in Cymbalta® Withdrawal Lawsuit

by Keith Adkins | August 25th, 2015

Cymbalta® is an antidepressant medication known to cause severe withdrawal symptoms among patients who stop taking the drug. Many patients claim they were not properly warned of how common these side effects are, which has led to a Cymbalta withdrawal lawsuit on behalf of about 250 patients against drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company.

One of the first trials stemming from these lawsuits came to an end in early August, and Eli Lilly was cleared of any wrongdoing. The victim claimed that she began taking Cymbalta in 2006 to treat anxiety. When she tried to stop taking the drug in 2012, she experienced sensations of electricity in her body, as well as other symptoms.

The woman filed suit against Eli Lilly, claiming the company failed to warn patients of the prevalence of withdrawal symptoms. The company states only one percent of patients experience these types of side effects, but another study found as many as 44 percent of patients report such adverse effects.

The courts sided with Eli Lilly finding that the drug manufacturer had sufficiently warned patients and doctors of the risks.

This isn’t the end of the legal battle against Cymbalta, though. According to Claims Journal, three other similar cases are expected to be heard this month.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we understand how drug injuries can impact victims’ lives, and our drug injury attorneys are hopeful the decisions reached in these cases help bring closure to victims and their families.

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Cybersecurity Risks Present New Challenges for Medical Device Manufacturers

by Keith Adkins | August 18th, 2015

Many manufacturers of medical devices now design products that can be integrated with wireless technology. While this can be convenient for sending and receiving data, the defective medical device lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain this technology may also compromise the safety and security of the device.

For example, infusion pumps deliver small amounts of medication to patients over an extended period of time. The amount of drug being delivered can be altered wirelessly in certain units, which may present serious safety risks if a unit is ever hacked.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team identified cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the Symbiq Infusion System. This prompted the agency to instruct facilities using the devices to switch to alternative infusion pump systems immediately. The FDA also offered tips on how to safely make the transition to another system.

While no injuries or deaths have been reported , not all problems with defective medical products are discovered before an incident occurs.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we understand the risks defective medical products pose to patients, and we are hopeful the warnings issued regarding the Symbiq Infusion System can prevent patients from serious harm.

 

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New Regulations May Increase Defective Medical Device Injury Risk

by Keith Adkins | August 11th, 2015

Regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are supposed to ensure the safety of all drugs and medical devices in the United States. But the defective medical device lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough point out that a proposed law may do more harm than good.

According to Health News Review, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed last month by the House of Representatives and consists of new regulations that would overhaul the FDA’s pre-market approval process for medications and medical devices. The act would allow companies to submit sources other than clinical trials as evidence of a product safety. This would allow simple case histories to replace hard data and facts as proof that a medical device functions properly.

The new rules would also require all companies marketing “breakthrough technologies” to have products approved for use even faster than current laws allow. Considering the number of recalls on defective medical products approved based on minimal safety evidence, this change could present an increased safety risk to the public.

The 21st Century Cures Act would also allow companies to be able to hire third parties to conduct safety testing on products, which may present serious conflicts of interest.

Promoting the protection of the public’s health and safety is a top priority of the legal staff at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbourgh. That’s why we’re hopeful lawmakers will carefully consider the impact of the 21st Century Cures Act will have on the lives of Americans.

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Power Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits Bring Up Liability Questions

by Keith Adkins | August 4th, 2015

Technological advances in the field of medical devices has led to the development of safer and more efficient procedures, but some of these devices may be putting patients’ health in jeopardy.

Hundreds of power morcellator cancer lawsuits were filed after patients developed cancer after undergoing procedures utilizing the devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that women with uterine fibroids have a 1-in-350 chance of carrying cancerous cells. When the morcellator is used to remove fibroids, these cancerous cells can be released into the body where they can metastasize in a very short period of time. The FDA has called for tighter restrictions on the device, and many patients who developed cancer are now seeking compensation.

So, who is responsible for covering the expenses associated with power morcellator cancer? Is the manufacturer of the device to blame? Is the FDA responsible for failing to warn the public about the dangers of the device, or should the doctor who used the device be considered at fault?

One Texas lawmaker stated in the Dallas Observer that the doctor should be held liable. Still others say the manufacturer should have conducted further testing to ensure patient safety.

A petition was started calling for the lawmaker to explain his stance.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our defective product lawyers are hopeful this debate can be useful in determining who is to blame for the hundreds of injuries associated with power morcellators.

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Drug Injury Risks Associated With NSAIDS and Acetaminophen

by Keith Adkins | July 28th, 2015

It’s estimated that more than 30 million Americans use over-the-counter pain relievers on a regular basis. That’s why the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough feel it’s so important for patients to know that taking these products may be putting their health at risk.

NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of pain relievers that work by blocking and reducing enzymes that promote pain and inflammation. NSAID drugs include ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, and Aleve.

Taking these drugs can increase a patient’s chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Because of these risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently called for more detailed warning labels to be placed on NSAID packaging.

Acetaminophen
Since some patients choose to avoid NSAIDs due to cardiac risks, acetaminophen is often used as an alternative. Our acetaminophen injury lawyers explain medications containing this drug can present risks to users too.

Research has shown that taking too much acetaminophen or using the drug while under the influence of alcohol can significantly increase the chances of liver damage.

Talk With Your Doctor

The best way to avoid an over-the-counter pain reliever injury is to speak with your physician about any concerns you may have before beginning to take the medication.

We hope this information can help to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.

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Antibiotic Side Effects Can Be Serious

by Keith Adkins | July 21st, 2015

Antibiotics are commonly used to treat bacterial and fungal infections. However, the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough point out that certain antibiotics can put patients at risk of serious injury.

There are several different classes of antibiotics, and each presents a unique risk. The drug Diflucan® has been linked to physical abnormalities in children born to mothers who take the drug while pregnant. Levaquin® has been associated with tendonitis and tendon ruptures, and Zithromax® has been known to result in cardiovascular complications.

Perhaps one of the most recently discovered antibiotic side effect is the risk of a drug-induced liver injuries associated with a class of drugs known as a cephalosporin.

According to Healio, patients using cephalosporin medications can develop a drug-induced liver injury in as little as one dose.

Researchers from The Johns Hopkins University examined the cases of more than 1,200 patients who had suffered drug-induced liver injuries, and they found 41 of the injuries were linked with taking cephalosporin. A total of 19 of those individuals developed the condition after just one dose.

Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough encourages you to discuss the risks of any medication with your doctor or pharmacist prior to taking your first dose. Taking this step can save your life!

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The Risks of Blood Thinner Injuries

by Keith Adkins | July 14th, 2015

Abnormal heart rhythms can signal serious health risks. Patients suffering from this condition have an increased danger of developing blood clots, which can cause a heart attack, stroke, or even death.

Luckily, there are medications on the market—known as blood thinners—that can prevent blood clots. However, these drugs can present increased chances of uncontrollable bleeding events, which has led to blood thinner injury lawsuits. Some of the medications include:

  • Pradaxa®- The 88th best-selling drug in the United States is used to prevent blood clots and is typically prescribed to patients over age 60. More than 2,000 lawsuits have been filed in connection to excessive bleeding patients suffered while taking the drug.
  • Xarelto®- Xarelto is a popular oral prescription blood-thinning drug, but it has no antidote to prevent major bleeding events.
  • Coumadin®- While it is one of the most commonly used blood thinners in the United States, an article from The Washington Post says a large number of uncontrollable bleeding events associated with the drug occur in nursing homes each year.

If you’ve been harmed as the result of taking a blood thinner, the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough want to help. Our legal staff is here to answer your questions—call (866) 589-0257 now.

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Zoloft® Injury Lawyers Discuss Antidepressant Health Risks

by Keith Adkins | July 7th, 2015

Antidepressants, such as Zoloft®, can effectively treat a number of mental health disorders and diseases. However, the Zoloft injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough explain that patients on the medication should know it may pose serious health risks.

Birth Defects

Numerous studies have indicated that pregnant women should not take Zoloft because of the risks of certain birth defects, which can include cleft lips and palates, as well as a condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension. Children may also suffer from omphalocele, a condition in which organs grow outside of the body.

Cholesterol Buildup in Arteries

Unborn children aren’t the only ones who can be affected by taking Zoloft, though. According to Pharmaceutical Processing, new research indicates that taking Zoloft® may increase the buildup of plaque in a patient’s arteries by as much as six times more than someone who hasn’t taken the drug.

Get the Help You Need

If you or a loved one were harmed by Zoloft, our drug injury lawyers are here to help you understand your rights.

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Fentanyl Patch Side Effects Threaten Patient Safety

by Keith Adkins | June 30th, 2015

Painkiller overdoses are one of the leading causes of accidental drug injury and death in the United States today. One of the most common drugs involved in these incidents is a powerful narcotic painkiller known as Fentanyl. In fact, the painkiller is known to be involved in more than 1,000 U.S. deaths per year.

The drug is administered by placing a sticky patch containing the drug to the skin. The drug is then absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. The only way to determine the dosage is to adjust the size of the patch. Fentanyl patch side effects can include nausea, decreases in respiration, slowed heart rate, and death.

Despite these risks, drug manufacturers continue to market dosages of the drug. According to Pharmacy Times, one maker of the medication—Mylan, Inc.—recently announced it would begin distributing three new dosages of the drug. Currently, the drug is dispensed in 12 mcg/hr, 25 mcg/hr, 50 mcg/hr, 75 mcg/hr, and 100 mcg/hr dosages. Now, patients and doctors will have 37.5 mcg/hr, 62.5 mcg/hr, and 87.5 mcg/hr options as well.

With Fentanyl so readily available, some communities are experiencing an epidemic of drug overdoses linked to the medication. This has forced some Canadian cities to adopt policies that require patients taking Fentanyl to return used patches to their pharmacist before new ones can be distributed.

Our drug injury attorneys at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are aware of the serious dangers that Fentanyl can pose. That’s why we’re hopeful more steps are taken to keep patients safe.

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Defective Medical Device Attorneys Discuss Risks of Bone and Joint Replacement

by Keith Adkins | June 23rd, 2015

Bone and joint implants revolutionized the way many medical conditions are treated, but many of these devices can put a patient’s health in danger. That’s why the defective medical device attorneys at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough would like to raise awareness about a few of the implants on the market today.

Knee Implants

As Americans live longer and exercise more later in life, cases of chronic knee pain have risen. This has led to a rise in the number of knee replacement surgeries performed in the U.S. each year. Patients may not realize that these devices have been known to fail in the past, resulting in the need for revision surgery. Some of the issues that have been reported include inflammation, swelling, chronic pain, and bowing.

Hip Replacement

The recall of millions of hip replacement devices is likely one of the highest profile defective medical device cases of the past decade. Many of the recalled devices were designed using metal parts that could rub together, causing heavy friction. This, in turn, resulted in metal being released into the patient’s body.

The side effects of hip replacement failure include pain, swelling, and a condition known as metallosis. Many patients harmed by these devices filed hip recall lawsuits to seek compensation for their injuries.

Counterfeit Spinal Implants

One of the latest cases of defective bone or joint replacement devices involves counterfeit spinal implants. An article from Al Jazeera America says the company that manufactured the faulty parts, Spinal Solutions, used both counterfeit and genuine parts to build the spinal implants. Now, doctors and hospitals across the nation are coming under fire for using the non-approved parts.

Get Help Now

If you’ve been harmed as the result of using a defective medical device, you have rights—contact our 24/7 legal staff to learn how you can protect them.

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