From the Blog

39 Pennsylvania Hospitals Fined for Preventable Mistakes

February 11th, 2015

A few months ago we wrote about a program called Leapfrog, whose goal is to assign letter grades to the country’s hospitals in an effort to establish their safety in a quantifiable, easily understandable way. Writing for PennLive, David Wenner reports that the Affordable Care Act included a similar measure—called the Hospital-Acquired Condition Program—and the…

Drug Companies Spend Millions Marketing Redundant and Potentially Dangerous Treatments

February 4th, 2015

The investigative journalism website ProPublica, in conjunction with the New York Times medical blog The Upshot, recently published an article analyzing drug companies’ spending over the past five months in order to ascertain what drugs and medical devices they were promoting most heavily. The answer, it turns out, are medications that are not particularly cutting…

Further FDA Failures: Diabetes Medications

January 28th, 2015

When it comes to regulation, there are many areas in which the FDA could improve its practices—compounding pharmacies, energy drinks, herbal dietary products, generic drugs, testosterone supplements, plastic water bottles, and cancer treatments—but we can now add diabetes medication like Januvia, Byetta, and Victoza to this list as well. According to a new investigative study…

Caps on Damages Keep Wisconsin Family from Suing GM, Potentially Saving Lives

January 21st, 2015

In 2006, eighteen-year-old Natasha Weigel was killed (along with a close friend) when the Chevrolet Cobalt she was driving left the roadway and struck several trees. It was clear immediately that the vehicle’s air bags did not deploy as they were supposed to, but the subsequent police investigation suggested that the car’s ignition switch had…

Contamination Rampant in Meat Processing Plants

January 14th, 2015

What do pharmaceuticals, automobiles, reusable plastic water bottles, and roller coasters have in common? All are manufactured or operated under conditions that are inadequately regulated by the federal government, whose job it is to protect consumers from corporations valuing their bottom lines above individuals’ safety. As the New York Times reported in mid-December, we may…

Pharmacy Linked to Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Faces Criminal Charges

January 7th, 2015

Back in October 2012, this blog began covering a fungal meningitis outbreak originating in Massachusetts that eventually killed sixty-four people and injured over 750 more across twenty states. Authorities traced the debilitating outbreak to the New England Compounding Center, a pharmaceutical company that provided personalized medications for medical professionals throughout the country. In the ensuing…

Caps on Non-Economic Damages Disproportionately Affect Women, Children, Seniors

December 31st, 2014

Last week’s post ended with a tentative prediction that over the next few years we will see a push at the national level to enact caps on damages in civil cases. To explain it simply, a cap on damages is the equivalent of denying a plaintiff the full measure of his or her damages in…

New Congress Expected to Take Aim at Asbestos Victims

December 24th, 2014

Now that the dust has settled after this year’s midterm elections—in which thirty-three Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for grabs—both the House and the Senate will be in the hands of Republicans (for the first time since 2006). Beginning in just weeks, we can expect to see…

Generic Drugmaker Makes Potentially Dangerous Product, Sues FDA for Slowing Its Sale

December 17th, 2014

This blog has been covering issues related to generic drugs—warning labels, FDA oversight, and legal immunity—for more than a year, but this industry is nothing if not persistent. One of the largest manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals in the world—Ranbaxy Laboratories, with net revenue of $2 billion in 2012—has provided material that lends itself to an…

$15 Million Herbalife Settlement Raises Questions about Dietary Supplement Regulation

December 10th, 2014

In the past few months, this blog has explored ways in which class action lawsuits and FDA regulation affect the lives of everyday Americans. Today we will discuss the corporation Herbalife—which sells “nutrition, weight-management, energy and fitness, and personal care products”—in a story that combines both of these topics, adding to the mix an active…

 
 
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