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Iowa Bad Drug & Medical Device Attorney
From time to time, each of us will no doubt need to take prescription medication. Fortunately, when we do, most medications work as advertised. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and some medications can do more harm than good and some of these drugs can cause severe personal injury and, in some cases, even death.
Worse yet, in some circumstances, drug and medical device manufacturers knew their product could lead to adverse outcomes yet they willingly put their medications on the market anyway.
If you believe, or even wonder, you have been injured because of a “bad drug” or faulty medical device, contact one of our Iowa bad drug and medical device lawyer for a free consultation.
As with all of our cases, we handle these bad drug and medical device cases on a contingency which means you pay us nothing until we make a recovery for you. To best serve our clients, in some cases, our Des Moines personal injury law firm may associate with other law firms on your case. In the event that we do, our fees do not change and you still do not pay a dime unless we make a recovery for you.
Just a few of the bad drugs and devices that we are currently considering are: Xarelto, talcum powder and ovarian cancer, transvaginal mesh, Lipitor, testosterone replacement therapy, Viagra, Risperdal, metal-on-metal hip replacement parts, GranuFlo, Mirena, Byetta, Januvia, Janumet, Victoze, power morcellator, Invokana, 3M Bair Hugger, IVC filters, Zofran, and Essure.
Following is a brief overview of the above mentioned drugs and devices.
Bad Drug Cases We Are Currently Considering
Abilify: A widely prescribed antipsychotic medication that has been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression which has been linked to compulsive behaviors such as gambling.
Xarelto: Lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Corp. over the blood thinner Xarelto have been consolidated in Louisiana federal court. Xarelto has been linked to serious side effects including internal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, brain bleed and death. The Xarelto lawsuits come on the heels of the recent $650 million Pradaxa settlement. Researchers linked Pradaxa, also a blood thinning medication, to more than 500 deaths.
Talcum powder and ovarian cancer: As many as 2,200 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed each year may have been caused by regular use of talcum powder. Talc is a mineral made of up various elements including magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is ground to make talcum powder which is used to absorb moisture and is widely available in various products including baby powder and adult products including body and facial powder. Talc products used regularly in the genital area increase the risk of ovarian cancer. A jury recently found consumer health care products manufacturer Johnson & Johnson knew of the cancer risks associated with its talc products but failed to warn consumers.
Transvaginal Mesh: The FDA has issued an updated safety communication warning doctors and patients that the placement of surgical mesh through the vagina to treat pelvic organ prolapse may present greater risk for the patient than other options. This is also called transvaginal mesh. According to the FDA, reported complications from using the mesh include the mesh becoming exposed or protruding out of the vaginal tissue, pain, infection, organ perforation and urinary problems.
Lipitor: a statin drug to treat high cholesterol, was approved by the FDA in 1996 and is one the best-selling prescription medications in the world. Recent studies have found a possible link between Lipitor and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A University of Massachusetts study found a potential link in postmenopausal women, particularly those who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 30. Of the 153,840 women evaluated, more than 10,000 had developed Type 2 diabetes by the end of the study.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT): products for men have been linked to an increased risk of death, heart attack and stroke. Researchers found men who used testosterone therapy were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die after three years of use. A second study found that men had a significant increase in risk of heart attack and stroke in just the first 90 days of testosterone therapy use. Furthermore, men who started the study with clear, unobstructed coronary arteries were just as likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die as men who entered the study with established coronary artery disease. Testosterone therapy, such as the prescription topical treatments Androgel, Testim and Axiron, are used to help boost testosterone levels in men who have a deficiency of the male hormone. Symptoms of low testosterone include decreased libido and low energy.
Viagra: A preliminary study indicates the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil) may increase the risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, analyzed data from nearly 26,000 men, 6 percent of whom had taken Viagra. The men who used Viagra at some point in their lives had about double the risk of developing melanoma compared to men who had never taken the drug. Men who were currently taking Viagra were at an 84 percent greater risk of developing melanoma. We are currently looking at cases involving men who are taking or have taken Viagra and were diagnosed with melanoma.
Risperdal: an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and certain problems caused by bipolar disorder, has been linked to the development of gynecomastia in boys and young men. Gynecomastia is a condition that causes boys to grow breasts. The drug is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement parts: The FDA has ordered a review of all metal-on-metal hip implants due to mounting patient complaints. Problems with the metal-on-metal devices include loosening, fracturing and dislocating of the device caused by inflammation in the joint space. We are investigating all cases involving metal-on-metal hip implants, including the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR XL Acetabular System and the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, recalled in August 2010; the Smith & Nephew R3 Acetabular System, recalled in June 2012; the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck stems, recalled in July 2012; the DePuy Pinnacle, the Zimmer Durom Cup, the Wright Conserve, and the Biomet M2A and M2A-Magnum hip replacement systems, which have not been recalled. Reported problems include pain, swelling and problems walking.
GranuFlo – GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte®: are products used in the dialysis process. On June 27, 2012, the FDA issued a Class 1 recall of GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte®. A Class 1 recall is the most serious FDA recall, reserved for situations in which the FDA deems “there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death. Use of these dialysis products has been linked to an increased risk of cardiopulmonary arrest and sudden cardiac death. The manufacturer, Fresenius Medical Care, was aware of the dangers and injuries associated with these products but failed to warn patients and doctors until 2012. We are currently investigating death claims as well as claims of heart attack, cardiopulmonary arrest or any other serious injury.
Mirena: Mirena® is an IUD that was originally approved by the FDA as an intrauterine contraceptive. It was later approved as a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding. It works by slowly releasing a low dose of levonorgestrel (a synthetic progestin hormone) directly into the uterus. Serious adverse side effects and potentially life-threatening complications have been reported following the implantation of the device. These complications include organ perforation, migration of the IUD to outside the uterus, expulsion of the IUD, and embedment in the uterus, among others.
Byetta, Januvia, Janumet and Victoza: are drugs from a class known as incretin mimetics that are used to treat Type 2 diabetes. The FDA approved Byetta in 2005, Januvia in 2006, Janumet in 2007 and Victoza in 2010. These drugs have been prescribed to millions of people in the United States. Since approving the medications, the FDA has issued several warnings about links between Byetta, Januvia, Janumet and Victoza to complications related to pancreatic diseases. Recent studies have linked these drugs to acute pancreatitis and increased risk of pancreatic cancer. We are currently investigating claims of thyroid cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Power Morcellator: In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged doctors to stop using a medical device called a power morcellator, because studies showed the device may spread cancer. An estimated 1 in 350 women develops uterine sarcoma – a type of uterine cancer – after undergoing a morcellator procedure. Morcellators are typically used to grind away uterine growths such as fibroid tumors, and in hysterectomies. They became popular as a less invasive surgical alternative. The FDA conducted a formal review of the devices in July and announced that its concerns with the morcellator were confirmed. During this time, Johnson & Johnson announced it would stop selling the surgical tools.
Invokana: Approved in March 2013, Invokana (canagliflozin) is an SGLT2 Inhibitor used to treat adults with Type 2 diabetes, manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. SGLT2 inhibitors work by preventing high blood sugar by helping the patient’s kidneys remove excess sugar through their urine. In May 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning the drug has been lined to cases of ketoacidosis, a serious condition where there is too much acid in the blood. Complications of diabetic ketoacidosis include difficulty breathing, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion and unusual fatigue or sleepiness. The condition can lead to diabetic coma and/or death.
3M Bair Hugger: The 3M Bair Hugger is a force hot air warming blanket, used primarily to help maintain a patient’s body temperature during surgery. The 3M Bair Hugger pushes warm air through a flexible hose into a blanket draped over a patient. However, warming blankets can recirculate contaminated air over a patient’s body, including over an open surgical site. This may result in infections like MRSA or sepsis. In particular, patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery are at risk of infections deep in the joint, which is very difficult to treat. Complications from these infections include hospitalization, implant revision surgery, limited mobility, permanent disability, amputation and death.
IVC Filters: Retrievable IVC filters are wire devices implanted in the vena cava, the body’s largest vein, to stop blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs. These devices are used when blood thinners are not an option. Manufacturers include Bard, Cook and Johnson & Johnson. While permanent IVC filters have been used since the 1960s with almost no reports of failure, retrievable IVC filters were introduced in 2003, promoted for use in bariatric surgery, trauma surgery and orthopedic surgery. Risks associated with the retrievable IVC filters include migration, fracture and perforation, leading to embolism, organ damage and wrongful death.
Zofran: Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Zofran (ondansetron) was approved to treat nausea during chemotherapy and following surgery. Zofran (ondansetron) works by blocking serotonin in the areas of the brain that trigger nausea and vomiting. Between 2002 and 2004, GSK began promoting Zofran off-label for the treatment of morning sickness during pregnancy, despite the fact the drug has not been approved for pregnant women and there have been no well controlled studies in pregnant women. The FDA has received nearly 500 reports of birth defects linked to Zofran. Birth defect risks include cleft palate and septal heart defects.
Essure: Essure is a permanent birth control device manufactured by Bayer Health care. The device consists of two small nickel alloy coils, which are implanted through the vagina into the fallopian tubes. Scar tissue forms around the coils, preventing sperm from reaching the eggs. Since its approval in 2002, 750,000 Essure devices have been implanted. Adverse events reported with Essure include migration, leading to perforation of the fallopian tube or uterine wall or embedment in other organs, often requiring hysterectomy or surgical removal; allergic reactions; severe pain; and infection.