MedTruth Weekly 

August 9, 2017

MedTruth Weekly is an update on consumer safety campaigns, covering regulations, settlements, studies, legislation and more.

 

Talcum Powder

Legal Developments

Expert Testifies About Talcum Powder Toxicity In First California Trial

In California, the first talcum powder trial has kicked off in the Los Angeles Superior Court. At the trial, a toxicology expert who testified on behalf of the plaintiff argued talcum powder particles can cause chronic inflammation, which may lead to ovarian cancer.

Eva Echeverria, a 63-year-old California woman, used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products in her feminine hygiene routine for decades. More than 3,000 talcum powder lawsuits are taking place in Missouri, Delaware and New Jersey. Settlements have ranged from $55 million to $110 million.


Xarelto

Regulations

ISMP Links Blood Thinner Xarelto To More than 15,000 Adverse Events In 2016

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), a nonprofit organization devoted to safe medication use, analyzed injuries and deaths linked to blood thinners. Published in the annual QuarterWatch, the organization reported on adverse events found in the Food and Drug Administration FAERS database. 

ISMP found nearly 22,000 blood thinner injury reports last year. The majority of reports stem from internal bleeding injuries, with 3,018 resulting in death. Overall, Xarelto was linked to 15,043 adverse events, which accounts for 68 percent of all adverse events in 2016.


Vaginal Mesh

Drugs Abroad

U.K. Vaginal Mesh Report Recommends More Informed Physician-Patient Consultations 

A vaginal mesh side effect report released from National Health Services (NHS) England recommends increasing communication between doctors and patients. The report calls for more informed patient consultations, hiring specialists to address clinical problems and recording complications to help the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) better understand the risks linked to vaginal mesh. 

Vaginal mesh, used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, has been extremely controversial for causing thousands of side effects. An advocacy organization, known as the Mesh Oversight Group, also argues that physicians must warn patients about the dangers of the device.  


Nexium

Studies

Study Shows Acid Reflux Medications May Increase Death Risk Over Time

A study published in the medical journal BMJ Open analyzed records of how millions of veterans used heartburn medication for six years. Heartburn medications, also known as proton-pump inhibitors, are used by 15 million Americans to treat the effects of chronic acid reflux.

The researchers concluded heartburn medications could raise the risk of death by 25 percent. As time passes, the likelihood of death continues to increase. The researchers cautioned against the long-term use of PPIs like Nexium, Prilosec, Zegerid and Protonix. 


Taxotere

Legal Developments

Taxotere Bellwether Trials Scheduled To Begin September 2018

On July 21, federal courts released a Case Management Order to set the schedule for the first Taxotere bellwether trial. Taxotere, most commonly used to treat breast cancer, is a chemotherapy drug that may cause permanent hair loss, also known as alopecia. 

More than 1,200 Taxotere alopecia cases, filed by cancer survivors experiencing permanent hair loss, are pending in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. The trial, which begins in September 2018, may set the standard for future Taxotere hair loss cases. 

 

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