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Recent findings from the Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx), also known as the TAILORx trial, show that chemotherapy is not beneficial to the most commonly found form of breast cancer. Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers found that chemotherapy does not benefit 70 percent of women with estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-egnative, axillary lymph node-negative breast cancer. Hormone therapy combined with chemotherapy is not more beneficial than treating breast cancer with hormone therapy alone. Researchers released this data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting this year in Chicago.

Details of the study

vaginal mesh tragediesBeginning in 2006, researchers conducted this study to examine the effectiveness of hormone therapy alone compared to using both hormone therapy and chemotherapy in treating breast cancer. The study divided women into two groups. The groups were based on the individual woman’s genes that determine their risk of cancer recurrence. This would be determined by a molecular test that examines their tumors. It is known as the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score. The test examines 21 genes associated with breast cancer recurrence. Each participant’s tumors were analyzed using this test. They were each assigned a risk score that was on a scale from 0-100. The higher the score, the higher the recurrence risk. Women who had a score of 0-10 received hormone therapy only. Women who had a score of 26 and above were considered high-risk and given chemotherapy. Women who had a score of 11-25 were randomly assigned to receive just hormone therapy or hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

In October 2018, settlements in the AbbVies AndroGel lawsuits FINALLY appear ready to resolve.  The drug company and plaintiffs lawyers are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a settlement agreement that would resolve thousands of testosterone cases.

Lawsuits had been filed claiming that the makers of Androgel, AbbVie, failed to warn thousands of men about the potential side-effects of the drug. These side-effects include heart attacks, blood clots, stroke, and even sudden death in extraordinary cases. As the litigationandrogel-lawsuit wheels are starting to turn here, AbbVie is trying to gum them up with objections to slow down the process.  You could say everything is going according to plan….

Androgel Lawsuits

If you are reading this you probably already know this but let’s recap where were are. Currently, there are about 7,000 lawsuits against AbbVie percolating around the federal court system. The various suits allege that the makers of Androgel, AbbVie, neglected to warn thousands of men about the serious side effects of the “Low-T” treatment drug. This drug has certainly been a big hit, understandably so considering that it promises men physical enhancement to counteract the forces of aging. But thousands of lawsuits -allege that low-T drugs can lead to heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or other injuries, prompting men across the U.S. to sue AbbVie and the other manufacturers for not being adequately warned of the risks.

That really is what this is about.  No one — at least not many people — are calling for a low-T recall.  The risk might outweigh the benefit for some although probably not many of us.  It is about giving patients and doctors a choice. Tell us what can happen and let us make the call.  They are giving this warning now.  They should have given it to us before.  That is what these lawsuits are about.

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The gadolinium contrast class action lawsuits took a hit last week when the MDL Panel denied class certification which would have consolidated all of the federal court cases under one roof.  But I’m convinced there will be an MDL class action in the gadolinium contrast cases in the next year.  These deposition disease cases are still heating up in spite of this setback.

If you are a victim or a lawyer getting calls from clients, here are 7 things you need to know about the gadolinium contrast litigation.

  1. What are GBCAs?

  1. What is Zostavax?

Zostavax is a single shot vaccine that helps prevent herpes zoster, also known as the shingles. It is a weakened live form of the virus, meant to train the immune system to fight it off. Zostavax is primarily meant for individuals 50 years and older. Developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck & Company, the FDA approved it in 2006. It is a stronger version of Varivax, another shingles’ vaccine also developed by Merck.

  1. What are the shingles?

The Washington Post wrote an article Monday underscoring fact that is well-known to lawyers handling malpractice cases in Maryland: doctors struggle to accurately read tests that determine medical conditions. Unfortunately for patients, this can have serious long-term consequences.

Most of these errors do not lead to malpractice cases because they show false positives.  Sometimes these are malpractice cases because the unnecessary test is the harm — we tried that very case in Baltimore County last year and our client received a $1.45 million verdict.

Below are a few examples that I think really highlight the consequences of this problem.  Each of these following examples and studies highlights the need for us to find a path to help doctors to improve their ability to assess tests more accurately.

Earlier this month the FDA announced a major recall of prescription blood pressure and heart drugs which contain the active ingredient valsartan.  You can expect a large number of valsartan lawsuits to follow.

Valsartan is an active ingredient that is widely used in a number of brand name and generic drugs used to treat hypertension and heart failure.  It was recently discovered that when valsartan is manufactured in a certain way it can contain a dangerous impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA).

NMDA is a known human carcinogen.  The valsartan medications containing the dangerous NMDA impurity have been linked to a specific pharmaceutical ingredient distributed by a Chinese company — Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals.  Zhejiang Huahai was manufacturing the contaminated valsartan component and selling it to several U.S. pharmaceutical companies including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Solco Healthcare.  Zhejiang Huahai discovered NMDA impurities in its product which eventually led to the FDA recall.

A recently published California-based survey on mothers found that health care providers do not usually listen to mothers about their birth preferences. Even worse, these providers seem to listen to black women the least. This suggests that black women in America do not receive the same quality of care as their white counterparts. A University of Virginia study seems to cement this case. It concluded that racial biases among white health care professionals are directly related to the standard of care provided to black patients.

I’m writing about this because this problem flows into medical malpractice cases where the victims are disporportionately black.

Results of the California Survey

In Oakland County, Michigan, a jury awarded a $130 million settlement on behalf of a boy suffering from cerebral palsy. The jury found two medical technicians liable for causing the child’s severe and permanent brain damage that resulted in cerebral palsy. The $130 million incident was one of the largest jury settlements in Michigan history.

The Facts of the Case

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the boy and his mother in 2016. The child was 2 months old when the injury occurred in 2006. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the child requires help getting in and out of the bathtub. The boy’s mother is a full-time caregiver for her son.  These are tough cases.  You can hear about 1,000 of them but every time it is like you are hearing the facts for the first time.  It is heartbreaking.

In August 2018, the FDA warned that sodium-glucosecotransporter-2 (SLGT2) inhibitors such as Invokana can cause a rare but serious infection that could result in an amputation of the genital area.

This is a big deal because Invokana is a commonly used diabetes medication. The list of diabetes drugs that have let patients down is long.  The money in these drugs is unreal.  To make the most money, you need to rush your product on the market without fully testing the drug.  That is the biggest problem.

Long before the FDA got involved, I have been looking at potential Invokana lawsuits.  These are the 11 questions victims have about Invokana and the Invokana litigation.

This post is about a large verdict in Georgia after an awful circumcision mishap caused a boy serious and permanent injuries.  In this post, I talk about this tragic case and I also take a deep dive into the statute of limitations in Georgia in birth injury cases.

The Big Verdict

A jury in Clayton County, Georgia awarded a mother and her four-year-old son $31 million for a circumcision gone wrong. This incidence of malpractice took place at an OB/GYN and pediatric clinic.This is a big verdict for the most common surgical procedure in the country and one that is rarely the subject of a malpractice lawsuit.