August 29, 2006

Lawsuits and Rx Drugs: Living in Perfect Harmony

Rx Drug makers faced the most lawsuits of any industry last year. We're not pointing fingers, but the numbers are just nuts.

"Since 2000, more than 65,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against prescription drugmakers" The big four targeted in the last few years: hormone-replacement drug Prempro, birth-control patch Ortho Evra, anti-psychotic Seroquel and anti-seizure drug Neurontin.

Plaintiffs claim drugmakers failed to disclose the drugs' risks and/or failed to properly test them.

A law professor offered his two-cents on the situation: "The lawyers have created almost an assembly-line approach to use ... against an industry that's in tobacco-land in terms of how much people hate it." Ouch. Read [USA Today]

April 05, 2006

Ambien-Taking Sleep Eaters and More

SlotA quick spin through blogland came up with plenty that should get the commentary flowing.

One Smooth Stone, which is written by the staff of the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, is “dedicated to fighting the corporate takeover of our justice system one fact at a time.” We never thought med-mal issues could be intertwined with the recent Dubai Ports fiasco, but indeed they may be, as the blog notes a point made by Molly Ivins on the subject. “This move would place the foreign company out of reach of American courts and make it harder for businesses and consumers hurt by a mix up or mishap at a port from holding the company responsible." Interesting implications...

It seems the doctor’s med-mal lawsuit defense playbook was stolen by the plaintiff’s lawyer. Or that’s what an Atlanta personal injury lawyer writes in his wordy blog. And the five most common defense tactics:

(1) We didn't do it, but...

(2) If we did it, it was an acceptable risk,

(3) However, if we did it, and it wasn't an acceptable risk, then the patient wasn't hurt by it, but...

(4) If the patient was hurt, he wasn't hurt that badly, and finally,

(5) We didn't do it, but even if we did, the patient also contributed too.

Case closed? Can someone comment on this.

We landed at a DC-area malpractice attorney’s blog—it seems the lawblogs were calling us today—and there was mention there of the eerie side effects of Ambien. Since docs are prescribing the sleep-aid it like its candy. And patients are asking for it like its going out of style, we had to mention the reported cases of unconscious eating and cooking that’s being seen in some rare cases. Read Separate from this absurdity, we see a major lawsuit coming down the pike for the sleeping pill makers. Call the sports book in Vegas and check the odds. 3-1, tops.

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You don't say...

  • "This election destroyed a popular Karl Rove myth. The truth is that trial attorneys are winning, attacks on trial attorneys are backfiring and opponents of the civil justice system are losing."

    The CEO of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America said.

  • "We have discovered that virtually all patients are willing to sign a contract in which they agree not to sue their doctors on frivolous grounds."

    Jeffrey Segal, M.D, a board-certified neurosurgeon and the founder and president of Medical Justice Services, Inc., said.

  • "Low-risk obstetrics has been done here for 60 years, but not anymore."

    Carl Hanson, chief operating officer of the county-run Minidoka Memorial Hospital in southern Idaho hospital's, explained as they get out of the baby business. Read

  • "I have children, and I don't know where they're at."

    Rosalinda Elison, a former patient at the UC Irvine Medical Center’s fertility clinic, said after learning that that her eggs and embryos had been stolen and implanted in another woman who then gave birth to twins.

    Read more You Don't Say, here.

Crisis by numbers:

  • $4.6 million

    New York state grants available to expand the use of electronic medical records. Such initiatives have been hailed nationally as a way to cut medication errors, save money and improve patient safety. LINK

  • $700,000

    Amount raised by Fairness and Accountability in Insurance Reform to oppose malpractice limits in Arizona. LINK

  • $450,000

    Amount the Arizona Medical Association says Arizonans for Access to Health Care has raised to decide whether to push for montetary limits on lawsuits. LINK

    Read more CRISIS BY NUMBERS, here.

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