A lawsuit filed in Houston federal court in August claims that at least 15 gas stations scattered throughout the Houston area have been selling pills packaged as over-the-counter "sexual enhancement" supplements that actually contain a number of prescription drugs. Although the pills are marketed with statements like "all natural," "no harmful synthetic chemicals," and "no prescription necessary," the lawsuit alleges that independent lab testing has detected drugs including sildenafil, tadalafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, and dapoxetine-otherwise known as Viagra, Cialis, Priligy, and Westoxetin, respectively.
A botched knockoff of the drug Tri-Moxi (which is often injected into a patient's eye during cataract surgery) has caused at least 68 people in the Dallas area to suffer partial blindness or worse within days or weeks of being injected in the eye during routine cataract surgery. The original inventors of Tri-Moxi, Imprimis, have maintained that the original formula is safe. The alleged purpose of Tri-Moxi is to prevent swelling, infection, and dryness of the operated eye.
In late July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that several pharmaceutical companies have initiated recalls of the popular blood pressure drug valsartan after discovering that the medication is contaminated with a potentially carcinogenic chemical.
Zofran (ondansetron) is an antinausea drug originally developed to help cancer patients with the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The drug works by preventing a certain type of nerve receptor from sending signals that the brain interprets as nausea. As doctors started noticing how effective it was, they began to prescribe it to pregnant patients for morning sickness "off-label," which means that the Food and Drug Administration never approved it for that use. It became the most commonly prescribed morning-sickness treatment in America, but now hundreds of mothers are filing lawsuits against Zofran's manufacturers, claiming that it caused severe birth defects, including heart defects, cleft palates and lips, kidney malformations, skull deformities, and club foot.
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer were recently ordered by a Philadelphia court to pay $27.8 million in damages to an Indiana couple. The pharmaceutical companies failed to sufficiently warn patients of the risk of internal bleeding associated with the drug, Xarelto. This judgment marks the first lawsuit loss over Xarelto. Johnson & Johnson and Bayer have been cleared of liability in the previous three federal trails that involved the drug.
Stewart Dolin, a 57-year-old Chicago lawyer, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of an oncoming train. He had started paroxetine, the generic form of Paxil, five days before his death. His wife, Wendy Dolin, sued the original manufacturer of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, claiming the company failed to sufficiently warn of the risks associated with the drug.
Recently, the FDA posted a voluntary recall from Raritan Pharmaceuticals of homeopathic children's remedies containing belladonna extract. Belladonna, also known as "deadly nightshade," is a plant traditionally used in herbal remedies that can be poisonous, and even fatal, if consumed in a sufficiently large dose. The recall affects the following Raritan products: Kids Relief Homeopathic Ear Relief Oral Liquid, CVS Homeopathic Kids' Ear Relief Liquid, and CVS Homeopathic Infants' Teething Tablet.
Well over half a million people die every year as a result of drug resistant antimicrobials, with as many as 2 million being infected in the United States alone. Last week, a group of normally competing pharmaceutical companies came together to put together a plan for reducing drug resistance in the coming years. Some of these companies pledged to cut the environmental footprint made by antibiotic production, while others said they'd share surveillance data, improve access to antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics, and some pledged to look into new methods of research and development.
The FDA has announced the voluntary recall for Reliable Drug Pharmacy compounding products due to mislabeling. Many of these products have been distributed to medical professionals, patients, and veterinarians in California, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Michigan. As a result, this group has been put on alert to check their supplies for any products labeled as Reliable Drug or Reliable Compounding Pharmacy.