Blog

Big Pharma Enters the Movie Business

Those of us who litigate prescription drug cases have always known that the advertizing done by drug companies borders on the fictional, especially in light of the limited oversight that the resource strapped FDA can muster. But now Glaxo, the maker of the over-the-counter fat-blocking drug Alli, has entered into negotiations with the non-profit group Creative Coalition to finance and produce a hard hitting documentary about eating, ostensibly to educate Americans about the causes and dangers of obesity.

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FDA Announces New Effort to Seek Higher Test Data on Medical Devices

The New York Times reports today that the FDA, in a long overdue move, will require stricter test data from the manufacturers of medical devices used in humans. The Agency has long been under fire from Consumer groups and members of Congress who cite increasing problems in recent years with such devices as heart defibrillators, pacemakers and cardiac stents. These groups contend the problems with these devices should have been identified much earlier in the clinical testing phase so they could be remedied, or, at the very least, so doctors and their patients could be properly warned about potential negative effects. Some of these problems have lead to deaths in the patients who have used them. Other patients were required to undergo surgery to remove the defective devices and have them replaced.

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Public Database and New Method Proposed to Enhance Drug Safety for Consumers

In a recent study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine several authors propose a new way of monitoring drugs that could increase the margin of safety for consumers. Utilizing internal documents from the Vioxx litigation, Dr. Joseph S. Ross of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York and others set out a method of analyzing clinical studies and post-marketing surveillance data that showed had Merck utilized their method, the cardiovascular risk of Vioxx would have been known two years before Merck withdrew the drug from the US market.

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Separating Medical Malpractice Reform Myth from Health Care Debate

As thousands of Americans descended on the National Mall this past Saturday to protest President Barack Obamas health care agenda, the rallying cry for tort reform was again a popular theme. Who can forget the so-called medical malpractice crisis in New Jersey back in 2004, when hundreds of doctors in their white coats picketed outside the Statehouse in Trenton.

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GHOSTWRITING IN MEDICAL JOURNALS MAKES THE NEWS---AGAIN

In my blog post of August 5 I detailed a story about how drug maker Wyeth paid professional, non-physician ghostwriters to formulate articles that were then published by medical journals that doctors read to keep up with the latest changes in medical practice, including new information about prescription drugs.

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Marc Weingarten Gives Back to High School Civics Class

The lawyers at the Locks Law Firm are mindful of the importance of giving back to the communities where they live and work. Partner Marc P. Weingarten has shown his dedication to the community by teaching a class in high school civics. Marc participated this past academic year in a program called Advancing Civics Education. This unique program is a joint effort of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the School District of Philadelphia. It is designed to place attorneys and judges in Philadelphia public school classrooms to teach a civics course.

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Marc Weingarten Active in International Lecturing

Partner Marc P. Weingarten has been extremely active in lecturing internationally to various groups of lawyers and asbestos victims. Last November, he lectured at the Occupational Disease Conference of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) in Manchester, England. Marc spoke to them about Lung Cancer Attribution Without Asbestosis.

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DRUG COMPANY MARKETING MAGIC: PROFIT OVER PATIENTS

In another exhibition of corporate greed over public good in the pharmaceutical sector, a recently released document (available here) reveals Forest Laboratories extensive effort to market its drug Lexapro to doctors. So whats the rub? Lexapro is much more expensive than other drugs in its class used to treat the same condition---depression---but has never been shown to work any better than older drugs that cost a fraction of what Lexapro does.

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PFIZER TO PAY 2.3 BILLION DOLLARS TO SETTLE ILLEGAL MARKETING CASE

Yesterday the pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer agreed to pay 2.3 billion dollars to settle civil and criminal lawsuits that alleged it illegally marketed Bextra, its arthritis drug, which has since been withdrawn from the market due to concerns that it caused severe skin reactions and contributed to clotting event, including heart attacks and strokes. Pfizer, which is in the midst of a deal to acquire the pharmaceutical manufacturer Wyeth, agreed to this settlement ending the litigation that stemmed form the illegal marketing accusations.

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Marc Weingarten Receives Prestigious "Jackass Penguin Award"

Locks Law Partner Marc P. Weingarten was recently awarded the most prestigious international award given by the American Association of Justice (AAJ), the national organization of plaintiff trial lawyers. At the Annual Convention of AAJ in San Francisco in July, Marc received the 2009 Jackass Penguin Award from the International Relations Committee and the International Practice Section of AAJ.

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