Blog

Drug Maker Pays Ghostwriting Firm to Write Medical Textbook

As reported in todays New York Times Smith Kline Beecham (now Glaxo) utilized the services of professional medical ghostwriters Scientific Therapeutics Information located in Springfield, New Jersey to develop a timeline, outline and content for a medical textbook. The 269 page text, Recognition and Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Psychopharmacology Handbook for Primary Care used to teach doctors how to treat psychiatric disorders with drugs has as its official authors two prominent medical authors. But an acknowledgment in the preface of the book for an unrestricted educational grant from SKB raised the investigative ire of lawyers suing Glaxo for damages related to its anti-depressant blockbuster drug Paxil.

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Alcoa - Fair Labor Standards Act

On September 15, 2010, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York granted conditional certification in a Fair Labor Standards Act action brought by Locks Law Firm against Alcoa, Inc. on behalf of certain present and former employees of Alcoas Massena West plant in Massena, New York.

The Court also appointed Andrew P. Bell, a partner of Locks Law Firm and lead counsel in this action, as a Collective Action Counsel. On September 23, 2010 and as authorized and directed by the Court, Locks Law Firm mailed out Notices and Consents to the 263 present and former employees of Alcoas Massena West facility affected by this action.

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Johnson & Johnsons DePuy Orthopedic Unit Pulls Hip Implants from Market

The hits just keep coming for drug giant J&J who recently issued recalls for some its most popular and profitable products like Childrens Tylenol, and just last week, its Acuvue contact lenses had to be pulled from the Asian and European markets. Yesterday, J&Js DePuy Orthopedic division recalled the ASR XL Acetabular System, a hip socket used in traditional hip replacement, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, a partial hip replacement that involves placing a metal cap on the ball of the femur, a method intended to preserve more bone.

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Harvard Medical School Says No to Big Pharma and Device Manufacturer Money

Further to my June 24 blog and as reported in the The Boston Globe, Harvard Medical School has joined the ranks of medical educational facilities that have enacted new, tough conflict-of interest rules affecting the payment of educators and others by Big Pharma and Medical Device manufacturers.

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Doctors Debate Role of Industry Money In Funding Physician Education

Lawyers who bring claims for persons hurt by defective medical devices and drugs have long known that both industries provide significant funds---to the tune of 1.2 billion dollars---to finance continuing legal education for doctors. We also know that pharmaceutical and medical device companies sponsor educational programs for doctors that highlight their products with paid though leaders ---physicians hand-picked by industry---as presenters at these programs. But some doctors and medical schools are finally saying enough is enough---no more industry money.

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New Jersey residents can sue foreign companies in state court, high court rules

Partners Jonathan Miller and Michael Galpern were recently interviewed by Trial magazine of the American Association for Justice for their role in the recent Nicastro v. McIntyre Machinery victory. The full text of the article is found below:

March 4, 2010
New Jersey residents can sue foreign companies in state court, high court rules

Carmel Sileo

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that a foreign manufacturer can be sued in New Jersey state court for selling dangerous products there. In affirming an intermediate court decision, the states highest court held that a foreign manufacturer that places a defective product in the stream of commerce through a distribution scheme that targets a national market, which includes New Jersey, may be subject to the in personam jurisdiction of a New Jersey court in a product liability action. (Nicastro v. McIntyre Machinery, 2010 WL 343563 (N.J. Feb. 2, 2010).)

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No Clear Wins in Med Mal Reform

Locks Law Partner Steven P. Knowlton was recently published in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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Hospital Acquired Infections Cost Lives and Money

Patients in hospitals expect to be competently treated for their medical problems. They expect their broken bones to be mended, their surgeries to be successful, their infections and diseases cured. Parents expect that their children will be made well, and families expect their loved ones pain to be ameliorated. The last thing patients expect is for the hospital to make them sicker, or cause them to die.

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NJ Supreme Court Victory - Stream of Commerce Theory for Personal Jurisdiction

Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court recognized the reality of the globalization of commerce and gave protection to New Jersey residents from injuries caused by products manufactured by foreign manufacturers. In NiCastro v. McIntyre, the Court held that a foreign manufacturer who manufactures a machine that injures a New Jersey resident will be subject to jurisdiction in the state courts of New Jersey if the manufacturer knew or should have known through its distribution scheme that its products were being sold in New Jersey. This is a major victory for the people and manufacturers of New Jersey, for it ensures that foreign companies will not escape having to face their share of responsibility for injuries occurring in New Jersey. Jonathan Miller and Michael Galpern, partners with Locks Law Firm, briefed the appeal on behalf of the Association of Trial Lawyers - New Jersey, now known as the New Jersey Association for Justice. Mr. Miller argued before the Court that it should recognize the reality of globalization, which it did.

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Under Obama Administration, FDA Broadens Consumer Protections

Readers of beauty magazines are familiar with the articles and advertisements that feature physicians touting the magical results that come from using various products to correct conditions ranging from cellulite to droopy underarm skin, from yellow teeth to wrinkles. In response to escalating complaints from consumers, the FDA has launched a new effort to rein in the more extravagant claims---especially when the claims involve doctor-pitchmen or pitch-women, and the products are drugs.

The New York Times today reports that in a shot across the beauty and the doctor medical bow, FDA has issued a warning to a well known dermatologist and clinical researcher in Miami Beach alleging that she improperly advocated the use of an as yet unapproved drug she promoted for the treatment of wrinkles. Dr. Leslie Baumann was issued a warning letter advising the doctor that she engaged in promotion of an unapproved drug, which is a violation of FDA policy. Unfortunately, Dr. Baumann is rather the rule than the exception in an industry where media exposure is critical for both the sales of such products and to expand the clientele of the doctors that use them.

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