UPDATE: Since we first published this post (7/24/11), we reviewed the states in which we’ve received complaints regarding Propecia–some of which have had lawsuits filed. Forty-six US states have now been represented by Propecia complaints. The states shown in blue above are those that have seen complaints since the original post was published, below.
This whole Propecia sexual dysfunction thing got me wondering if there were any patterns (male pattern baldness aside) to where guys were experiencing the most negative Propecia sexual side effects, allegedly brought on by Propecia for hair loss treatment.
Being a data geek at heart, I took a look at where all these guys have been coming from—thinking that surely they’d hover around image-conscious L.A. or Miami—or in more major metro employment hotbeds where one might be concerned about age discrimination upon walking into an interview with a receding hairline—places like New York City or Boston or Chicago.
But it seems Propecia and its reported not-so-nice sexual side effects don’t discriminate—or at least not obviously so. Take a look above—the gray states are those from which LawyersandSettlements.com has received comments and complaints from guys sharing their Propecia sex problem stories. There’s no readily discernible pattern as to where guys who’ve taken Propecia and experienced sexual problems live. Propecia problems, it seems, have been happening allover. (And no, Hawaii and Alaska aren’t here, nor have I included Canada—but we’ve heard complaints from each).
To be clear, we’re not talking a low-key kind of sexual not-in-the-mood thing. These are guys who allege the mind is willing, wanting and very in the mood, but the body is not, shall we say, ramping up to support the mood. Alleged Propecia sexual side effects include a wide range of sexual dysfunction: erectile dysfunction, inability to ejaculate, low sperm count—leading to inability to conceive, and yes, even lack of sexual desire. Not the things a virile young (or older) man wants to be dealing with as he’s in the prime of his dating years or trying to start a family or just trying to remain intimate with his wife.
And, I don’t think I need to tell you that the situation doesn’t only affect the guys here—there’s that “other half” who’s involved. After a while, a Propecia victim may find himself absent-mindedly humming a Doors’ medley that started nicely enough with “Light my Fire” (as in, “C’mon baby…”) and ended with the more frustrating “Don’t you love her as she’s walking out the door”…as for some women, walking out will be exactly what they do.
My fear is that the above map is only the beginning as more men begin to come forward and share their stories. It takes guts to admit one’s short-comings and to reveal sexual inadequacy vs. dancing around it or remaining in denial about it takes a set of you know what—particularly when it’s as a result of trying to overcome another ego-deflator: hair loss. But if you’re in a state of sexual dysfunction and you think it’s a result of Propecia side effects, better to be in a state that’s complaining vs. a state of denial. Get some help.
Funny thing happened on the way to the fountain of youth: the road was littered with lotions and potions, Botox and fillers, false claims and false tits—and, of course, facelifts. Even vaginal rejuvenation. Everything a gal could want for trying to hold onto what nature will ultimately take away—regardless of whether a false veneer of youth is gotten and paid for, or not. But left in dust behind every woman of the desperately-clutching-to-twenty-nine set was someone who did not have such readily available magic…such opportunity: the common, and aging, man (well, Bruce Jenner and David Hasselhoff plastic surgery rumors aside.)
Ah, but the conundrum was worse than imagined. Never mind that men may have felt excluded from the pulled face and tummy tucked echelons of society. Another quandary was rearing its ugly head, tucked away in the offices, cubes and conference rooms of Big Pharma: the very product that could tout itself as the male fountain of youth had only limited reach.
The product? Testosterone.
Ok, there’s little doubt that the current debate over low-testosterone has given rise to the broader issue of need vs. want. Medical necessity vs. vanity.
Is this something I truly need, or am I just being sold a bill of goods…nothing more than a well-marketed lie?
The pharmaceutical industry (aka Big Pharma) takes up a huge footprint in American commerce. Pharmaceuticals have helped us live longer, free of disease. Ongoing research—and the treatments that follow—has succeeded in elevating our lives and collective life expectancy well beyond the point at which our forefathers checked out for good.
But where will all this end? And will Big Pharma remain unsatisfied until they have a pill for every small, niggling thing that emerges as the natural process of aging?
Need to get up several times at night to go to the bathroom? There’s a pill for that. Wrinkles? There’s Botox for that. A middle-aged man with flagging energy? There’s a testosterone topical gel for that…
It seems—at least through the lens of the pharma co’s—the fountain of youth can, and should, be found at your friendly, neighborhood drug store.
On the testosterone front, there is fierce debate. And with good reason. Testosterone supplementation, originally approved for conditions such as hypogonadism (undescended testes) and extremely low levels of testosterone (or no testosterone at all), is and has been for decades a legitimate treatment for men suffering from low testosterone.
Like any and every drug on the market, there are testosterone side effects. Testosterone can spur the production of red blood cells, and in some cases a level of testosterone that is too high can lead to cardiovascular issues such as testosterone stroke or testosterone heart attack. But drugs, medical devices and treatments are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on the mantra that so long as a drug’s benefits outweigh the potential risks for the intended constituency of patients, then the drug is appropriate for the market.
Manufacturers are always lauding their drugs as ‘safe and effective.’ But the FDA talks only in terms of ratios involving benefit v. risk. The risk of side effects is an unspoken given.
Thus, testosterone. For patients with hypogonadism or otherwise extremely low levels of testosterone, the benefits of supplementation to elevate quality of life can be profound, and well worth the risks.
Testosterone supplementation does have its place. But should it be used to treat the natural symptoms of simply getting older?
Most people not associated with pharmaceutical companies that stand to make huge profits through the identification of new markets, would probably agree that it should not. But that doesn’t stop an already-wealthy industry from the need and greed to be richer still, by way of a limitless quest for new markets in order to flog products well beyond the uses for which they were approved in the first place.
You don’t have to stretch too far to imagine that some marketing whizzes in a Big Pharma back room—their own testosterone racing—sniffed around for new testosterone markets and came upon a Venn diagram showing the sweet spot where age-induced Low-T intersects with an ever-growing baby boomer population. The solution! There it was! The Low-T Low Hanging Fruit! Yes, indeed there was a broader market to be tapped that could deliver broader market saturation: the aging boomer whose energy is flagging, breasts are sagging (probably caused by another drug), overweight, a bit lethargic, and not quite as prolific in the bedroom as they used to be. Tough to get to the arena for that late-night pickup hockey game, when you’re falling asleep after dinner…The storyboards were already starting to fly off the pads of the wannabe Art Directors!
But what’s even better than identifying that hypothetical sweet spot in a marketing plan? Finding the reality that…men actually CARE about this stuff now. Suddenly they’re not satisfied with slowing down at middle age. Self-improvement suddenly matters, and the pursuit of the Fountain of Youth is no longer reserved for women.
That’s right. Let’s tell the men we have their back, with products that can boost their energy, help them lose weight, help them think more clearly, and return them to hero status in the bedroom.
Next thing you know ‘Low-T’ (as marketing catchphrase) was born. And now Low-T has become ‘A Thing’.
A testosterone lawsuit recently filed by a plaintiff who succumbed to flashy marketing and at 61 was hospitalized with blood clots, zeroes in on the origins of the Low-T phenomenon, insights gleaned from a revealing expose appearing in The New York Times last fall.
‘Selling That New Man Feeling’ (New York Times, 11/23/13) paints a vivid picture of just how we got here—and how plaintiff Roger Gibby found himself in the hospital with blood clots in his legs and lungs.
“None of the testosterone products have indications for weight loss, increasing energy or improving mood,” said Andrea Fischer, a spokeswoman for the FDA, in comments published in The New York Times. In other words, testosterone products were never intended for anything other than hypogonadism and extremely low levels of testosterone that required medical intervention.
And yet this incredible market has risen like a Phoenix—with annual sales in the billions of dollars—built on a foundation of male vanity, intensive advertising, dubious need and a $40,000 questionnaire jotted down within 20 minutes on toilet paper during a bathroom break.
Dr. John E. Morley, director of endocrinology and geriatrics at St. Louis University School of Medicine who has previous ties to the pharmaceutical industry through paid speaking engagements, was asked by Organon BioSciences, a Dutch pharmaceutical company, to come up with a screening questionnaire that highlighted symptoms common to older men with low testosterone. He was told to keep it short and make it somewhat sexy.
In exchange for 20 minutes in the bathroom, Morley’s employer received a $40,000 research grant. And those 20 minutes in the bathroom has gone on to become an online staple now known as the ‘Is It Low-T Quiz.’
Dr. Morley admitted to The New York Times that it wasn’t his best work. ‘I have no trouble calling it a crappy questionnaire,” Morley told The Times. “It is not ideal.”
That quiz is now utilized by many of the biggest manufacturers of testosterone supplements. The idea is to attempt a self-diagnosis of ‘Low-T’ online, then bring that to your doctor to lobby for testosterone supplementation. And many doctors have bought into the idea of testosterone as a viable method for restoring sagging energy levels.
That’s not what testosterone supplements were approved for. But then, doctors have the legal, moral and ethical authority to circumvent FDA approval parameters and prescribe products for use off-label.
Here’s the question: have doctors bought into the hype, in the same fashion as their sagging, flagging male patients searching for that fountain of youth?
There is little doubt that manufacturers of testosterone supplements identified a market and exploit it for all its worth. In its statement of position, the Gibby Low-T lawsuit picked up on the naming of two AbbVie executives by Medical Marketing & Media as “the all-star large pharma marketing team of the year,” for 2013. The New York Times noted that the plaudits were for promotions involving AndroGel and unbranded efforts to advance Low-T.
“It didn’t hurt that baby boomers have proven less than shy about availing themselves of any product that they believe will increase their quality of life,” an article in the magazine said. AbbVie’s unbranded site DriveForFive.com, was lauded for encouraging men to have regular checkups and to ask their doctors about five tests, among them checks for cholesterol, blood pressure—and testosterone.
AbbVie takes the high road, officially stating that all it’s doing is making men aware of the potential for low testosterone, the potential benefits of testosterone supplementation, and the importance of starting a dialogue with their doctor on the issue.
But even the availability of the on-line screening quiz, dubbed ADAM, flies in the face of a position maintained by The Endocrine Society, which recommends against screening of the general population for Low-T. The Society makes the point that testosterone levels in most men fluctuate a great deal depending on several factors, from sleep levels to stress, or time proximity to the latest meal consumed. Even the time of day, or if a favorite sports team is losing, can affect testosterone levels.
As such, a single testosterone reading may not indicate a problem. But that hasn’t stopped Big Pharma from advancing Low-T to status of ‘A Thing’ that brings in billions of dollars each year. And one study says that men have bought into it so conclusively, a full 25 percent of men who were given testosterone prescriptions did not have the requisite blood work to back that need up.
Hence, the suggestion that doctors have bought into it, too.
This has fueled the debate between those who believe testosterone is not the pariah many make it out to be, vs. the anti-testosterone camp who want supplements banned.
Both sides have points. For some men, testosterone supplementation is both necessary and a godsend. And as has been historically the case prior to the recent creation of the ‘Low-T’ phenomenon, testosterone supplementation as a response to a real medical condition such as hypogonadism, or extremely low levels of testosterone based on sound medical testing and diagnosis, is indeed appropriate.
Just as there are risks associate with advanced levels of testosterone, so too are there risks associated with seriously low levels.
However, helping to fuel the debate over testosterone side effects on the too-high side, is the proliferation of the Low-T market that suggests there are a lot of men out there having been persuaded to adopt testosterone supplementation in the absence of sound, medical need.
And that puts them at risk for testosterone stroke, or testosterone heart attack, needlessly—perhaps all because Big Pharma saw a market with potential dollar signs, and went to work…
Proponents of testosterone as a means to foster men’s health have found fault with some studies—and one in particular—that paint testosterone supplementation as a villain.
There have also been accusations of fear-mongering levied against the media and anti-testosterone advocates, who are accused of needlessly inflating worry and blowing the issue out of proportion.
In contrast, there are those who accuse the testosterone industry and pro-testosterone advocates of ‘disease-mongering,’ by promoting a need—a problem—that doesn’t really exist for the general population.
In so doing, testosterone is flying back and forth unabated, as tensions continue to rise amid a debate that tries to differentiate between the natural processes of aging vs. the wisdom to intervene needlessly in such a natural process.
Medical need is one thing. Exploiting a potential market is quite another.
What is the need, really? And do we put our faith in an industry, with already deep pockets and looking to make them deeper, that tries to convince us that we need this stuff?
I don’t think so. I’ll take the unbiased, unvarnished opinion of my doctor who stands to reap no reward other than the realization of a healthy patient who thinks it’s okay to grow old gracefully. But I’ll be damned if I’ll give money to a pharmaceutical company claiming to have my best interest at heart, because they don’t. They have a conflict. If they convince me I need testosterone, they make a buck.
A long time ago I was taking a business course, and the course lead asked of the room, the reason why people go into business. To fulfill a dream? To help your fellow man? To make the world a better place? To leave behind a legacy?
Nope. All wrong answers.
The reason—is to make money. Profit. That’s it. Everything else is secondary.
It’s enough to get my testosterone racing—what little I have left…
Dialysis Death Lawsuit Update. The lawsuits continue against Fresenius Medical Care, the maker of Granuflo and Naturalyte. This week, they found themselves facing a wrongful death class action lawsuit filed by the widow of Earin Blossom. The potential class action, filed in the Northern District of California, alleges the makers of Granuflo and Naturalyte, and their subsidiaries “failed to exercise reasonable care in manufacturing and selling defective dialysis products known as Granuflo and and Naturalyte.”
Tina Nunn, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself, her late husband, and those similarly situated, alleges that the dialysates caused fatal complications and sudden death, and caused her husband to incur substantial medical expenses prior to his death.
According to court documents, Earin Blossom began hemodialysis treatments in November 2010. During the course of those treatments, which took place three times a week at a Fresenius dialysis clinic in Fremont, he received both Granuflo and Naturalyte additives. Then, on April 6, 2011, just a few hours after completing a dialysis treatment at the clinic, Blossom suffered a massive heart attack and died.
The lawsuit alleges that Blossom’s metabolic alkalosis, cardiac arrest and subsequent demise were a direct and proximate result of his use of Granuflo and/or Naturalyte. The lawsuit also claims that the defendant knew its products resulted in excess bicarbonate levels in patients, often leading to metabolic alkalosis, a dangerous condition associated with heightened risks for heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death.
Both Fresenius Medical Care products—Naturalyte and GranuFlo—are used in the treatment of acute and chronic renal failure during hemodialysis. The concentrate is formulated to be used with a three-stream hemodialysis machine, which is calibrated for acid and bicarbonate concentrates, according to the FDA safety recall initiated in March 2012. The recalled Naturalyte Liquid Acid Concentrate and Naturalyte GranuFlo (powder) Acid Concentrate was manufactured and distributed from January 2008 through June 2012.
An internal memo issued by Fresenius on November 4, 2011 warns that the GranuFlo and NaturaLyte products could lead to a greater risk of cardiac arrest and other heart problems. The memo, which was anonymously leaked to the FDA earlier this year, warned doctors working in Fresenius dialysis centers only that 941 dialysis patients suffered cardiac arrest in 2010 from GranuFlo use. Dangerously high biocarbonate levels would put their patients at a risk of cardiac arrest up to six times higher than that of patients using competing products.
Auto Workers Get $6M. And justice for all…all employees that is—and in this particular case it takes the form a $6 million settlement of a California labor law class action lawsuit alleging discrimination and unfair dismissal. Brought by former employees of Freemont-based New United Motors Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), California’s last auto plant, the lawsuit, alleged that employees who were on disability at the time of the plant closure, were denied the severance benefits.
Specifically, the NUMMI workers’ lawsuit alleged that employees who were on disability in the period between October and the plant’s closure on April 1st did not receive benefits and services offered to employees who were not on disability during that same period. Those benefits and services included a severance package including a base payout with an additional retention bonus determined by years worked at the plant. The plant employees working between October 1st and April 1st were also offered transitional services, including access to a one-stop center, career and educational fairs, and skills assessments.
The plaintiffs also claimed that they, being on leave due to their disabilities and/or NUMMI’s refusal to accommodate their disabilities, were unjustly denied the bonus enhancement and transitional services. Further, the workers alleged in their complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that they were physically capable of returning to work during the severance period, but were denied reinstatement. The EEOC issued “right to sue” letters to several NUMMI workers, while retaining the right to continue its investigation.
While the EEOC charges were pending, a group of former employees filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs filed claims for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Fair Employment and Housing act, the Unfair Business Practices Act, and California’s Public Policies.
The plaintiffs sought reformation of the severance agreement, restitution, lost compensation and other employment benefits and compensatory and punitive damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs for the defendants’ violations of their rights. Defendants named in the suit included New United Motors Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales. A class certification was later granted. Prior to the EEOC’s filing its own lawsuit, the matter was resolved via settlement for $6 million. As a part of the settlement, NUMMI entered into a conciliation agreement with the EEOC.
Floxed But Not Fleeced? Last—but certainly not least—the 900lb gorilla—Bayer—reached a partial settlement in an antitrust class action lawsuit involving the prescription antibiotic Cipro. The lawsuit claims Bayer Corporation, Barr Laboratories, Inc., Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and The Rugby Group, Inc. violated antitrust and consumer protection laws by agreeing not to compete with each other, and by keeping lower-cost generic versions of Cipro off the market. This settlement is with Bayer Corporation only; the case against the other manufacturers continues.
FYI—neither the case nor the settlement is about the safety or effectiveness of Cipro. Bayer has paid $74 million into a settlement fund that will compensate consumers and third-party payors (Class Members) who paid or reimbursed for Cipro in California between January 8, 1997 and October 31, 2004. Cipro purchasers not eligible for settlement payments include: (1) anyone who received Cipro through the MediCal Prescription Drug Program, (2) anyone who purchased Cipro to resell it, (3) government entities, (4) the manufacturers and related entities being sued, and (5) all purchasers of Cipro who paid a flat co-payment and who would have paid the same co-payment for a generic version under their health insurance policy.
Individual payments will be based on the total number of valid claims filed and how much the Class Member paid or reimbursed for Cipro. Attorneys’ fees not to exceed one-third of the fund, litigation costs, and other fees and expenses will be deducted prior to distribution. Full details about the settlement can be found in the Settlement Agreement, which is available at www.CiproSettlement.com.
Class Members must submit a claim form by March 31, 2014 in order to get a payment. The claim form and instructions on how to submit, together with complete details of the settlement are available at www.CiproSettlement.com.
Ok Folks, That’s all for this week. Have a good one—see you at the bar!
Unpaid Interns Going for Big Payday… or at least their day in court. A former unpaid intern at Atlantic Records claims the record company required him to work full-time over eight months without pay, often 10 hours a day, according to a proposed employment class-action law suit filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Of note, the Atlantic Records class action is the first unpaid internship lawsuit to be filed against a music industry business, according to lawyers involved in lawsuit; the class action alleges that Atlantic Records and its parent, Warner Music Group Corp, violated New York State Labor law by requiring the intern, Justin Henry, of Brooklyn, to work full time without pay.
Henry was an intern in 2007 for Atlantic engaged in filing, faxing, answering phones and fetching lunch for paid employees, according to the suit. He alleges his internship existed solely for the benefit of Atlantic Records, and that he received no training or mentorship. Sadly, we’ve heard this before.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law, unpaid internships must exist for training purposes and employers may derive “no immediate advantage” from the work provided by interns.
So, Henry is seeking to recover unpaid minimum wages ($7.15 per hour) and overtime, as well as attorney’s fees.
Plastic Pay at McDonald’s? No stranger to employment lawsuits, McDonald’s is facing a potential employment class action, with a new twist. The lawsuit was filed by an employee in Pennsylvania who alleges she was issued with a fee-loaded Chase Bank Debit card, instead of a paycheck. Yes, really.
Natalie Gunshannon, a 27-year old single mother, worked at McDonalds in Luzerne County, PA, at an hourly rate of $7.44 from April 24 through May 15. When she received her first paycheck, it was not a check at all but rather a JP Morgan Chase debit card which would cost her $1.50 for ATM withdrawals, $5 for over-the-counter cash withdrawals, $1 per balance inquiry, 75 cents per online bill payment, and $15 for a lost or stolen card. Nice. I wonder who thought this one up.
When Gunshannon asked if she could be paid by check she was allegedly told that the debit card was the only option. Furthermore, her future earnings would be deposited into the debit card account and she could access her money from there. “McDonald’s does not provide a choice for hourly employees to receive their justly earned wages through a bank check, cash or direct deposit,” the lawsuit said. Pennsylvania law states that employees are entitled to have a choice to be paid by check or cash.
Flonase Settlements Approved. GSK will have to pony up $185 million in two recently approved settlements involving the marketing—or not—of Flonase nasal spray. They were facing two antitrust class actions both of which allege that GSK deliberately prevented generic versions of Flonase nasal spray from going to market.
The Flonase settlements total $185 million, with $150 million designated for reimbursement to people and entities in the US who purchased Flonase directly from GSK at any time from May 19, 2004 until March 6, 2006. For complete information on this settlement, and to download forms, visit flonasedirectsettlement.com The case is, In re Flonase Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-CV-3149, is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
A second class involving those who indirectly purchased Flonase and generic Flonase—will receive reimbursement from a $35 million settlement fund. These class members include anyone who purchased Flonase or generic Flonase for personal, family or household consumption in the United States and its territories from May 18, 2004 through March 31, 2009. Also included in the class is anyone who made co-payments or other partial out-of-pocket payments through their health plans. For complete information on this settlement visit flonasesettlement.com The case is In re Flonase Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 8-cv-3301 and Medical Mutual of Ohio v. GSK, Case No. 12-cv-4212 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Okee dokee—that’s it for this week. A safe and happy weekend to all. See you at the bar!
Going Organic Leads to Going to Hospital? Heads-up anyone who bought Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix: A woman who alleges she fell ill with a hepatitis A infection and was hospitalized after eating this product has filed a lawsuit against Oregon-based Townsend Farms.
According to the food poisoning lawsuit, plaintiff Karen Echard purchased and consumed Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend in the Phoenix area in April of 2013. Attorneys allege that she fell ill with symptoms of hepatitis A infection, including fever, chills, nausea, abdominal pains and jaundice during an illness that started on May 21.
The Organic Frozen Berry Seed Mix class action states that Karen sought medical treatment for her illness on more than one occasion and was hospitalized for 5 days. Her attorneys allege that Karen, a healthcare practitioner and student, fears she will lose her job and be forced to discontinue her schoolwork due to her illness, as she continues to experience the effects of her hepatitis A infection. The Townsend Farms lawsuit asks for damages including physical injury, medical and medical-related expenses, wage and lost earning capacity damages.
On June 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that at least 61 people from 7 states had fallen ill with hepatitis A infections in a “Multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A infections potentially associated with ‘Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend’ frozen berry and pomegranate mix.”
Lipitor Diabetes Link Looking at Lawsuit. Lipitor is making news—this time it all about what the anti-cholesterol drug shouldn’t be doing—allegedly. Pfizer, the maker of Lipitor (atorvastatin) is facing a mounting number of these personal injury lawsuits, alleging the drug causes diabetes. In fact, several of the initial Lipitor diabetes lawsuits have just been green lit for a Multi-district litigation—or MDL.
The Lipitor lawsuits allege that Pfizer has failed to adequately warn consumers of the risk for developing diabetes associated with the statin. In 2012 Pfizer updated the Lipitor labeling to include warnings of increased risk for diabetes, however, the lawsuits contend that this was insufficient.
Lipitor belongs to a class of drugs called statins, which are used to lower cholesterol by reducing blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, a contributing factor in heart disease. A study (Culver AL, Ockene IS, Balasubramanian R, et al. “Statin Use and Risk of Diabetes Mellitus in Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative.” Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012,172(2): pp.144-152.), completed in 2012, as part of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) found an association between the statin class of medications and the development of type 2 diabetes in women, particularly post-menopausal women.
Among the most recent Lipitor diabetes lawsuits filed is that of Margaret Clark, filed in the US District of South Carolina, this April. She contends she was prescribed Lipitor in 2002 to address her risk for heart disease. At the time, according to her lawsuit, she was considered a healthy weight. However, in February 2012, Clark was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Clark’s lawsuit alleges Pfizer knew or should have known that there was a connection between Lipitor and diabetes before it was made publically available in 1997. Instead, the warning was only added to the product labeling in February 2012, after the FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products requested that a warning be provided for consumers and the medical community.
According to the lawsuit, the warning did not actually mention type 2 diabetes, but rather stated “Increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including LIPITOR.”
The Lipitor lawsuit also states “Until the February 2012 label change, Lipitor’s label never warned patients of any potential relation between changes in blood sugar levels and taking Lipitor.” And, “Despite the February 2012 label change, Lipitor’s label continues to fail to warn consumers of the serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes per se when using Lipitor.”
Crest Toothpaste, er, Crestfallen? A preliminary settlement has been reached in the consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against Procter & Gamble Co (P&G). The lawsuit alleges the company falsely advertised the benefits of its Crest Sensitivity Treatment & Protection toothpaste. Specifically, the Crest lawsuit, entitled, Edward Rossi v. The Procter & Gamble Co., Case No. 11-07238 (JLL) (MAH), U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, claims P&G engaged in misleading and deceptive advertising and marketing of its Crest Sensitivity Toothpaste.
The tentative Crest toothpaste settlement, if approved, could include anyone in the US who purchased Crest Sensitivity Treatment & Protection toothpaste between February 2011 and March 2013. If you purchased this toothpaste between those dates, you may be eligible to claim a full or partial refund from the settlement. If approved, potential class members must submit a valid claim form and proof of purchase in order to receive damages. Class members with with proof of purchase will be able to claim a full refund of the purchase price they paid. Those without documentation will receive a refund of $4. Only one tube of Crest Sensitivity toothpaste will be refunded.
Valid claim forms and any supporting documents must be postmarked no later than August 19, 2013. Detailed claims filing instructions are provided below.
A Final Fairness Hearing will be held on September 12, 2013.
For complete details on filing a claim, and to download forms, visit: http://www.sensitivitytoothpastesettlement.com
Okee dokee—that’s it for this week—happy and safe weekend to you all—see you at the bar!