John J. Wright

Information Technology Resources

Fungal Meningitis – Modern Sword of Damocles

Posted by on Jun 1, 2013

It is difficult to wrap one’s head around the fact that the medication wrapped in those impressive-looking sterile wrappers may be as dangerous as swallowing a handful of razors. Most people take it for granted that the companies responsible for manufacturing and packaging drugs and medications do so with strict adherence to cleanliness. But the fact is not all companies are so conscientious, especially if no one is keeping an eye on them.

This is the case of New England Compounding Center (NECC) based in Framingham, Massachusetts which was responsible for the public health crisis of 2012 that has kept fungal meningitis lawyers busy. NECC manufactured batches of epidural steroid injections slated for alleviating chronic back and joint pain that were tainted with fungus. Upon investigation, the reprehensible state of NECC facilities explained how such contamination could have happened. As of December 2012, 400 cases have been filed by fungal meningitis lawyers against NECC, which has also declared bankruptcy in light of these events.

Strictly speaking, NECC is not a drug manufacturing company which normally produces bulk medications for distribution. NECC is a compounding pharmacy which is licensed to make up drugs based on the specifications stated in a prescription to meet the needs of an individual patient. As such, the NECC is not subjected to the rules and regulations imposed on drug manufacturing companies, such as site inspections. This regulatory loophole allowed NECC to operate as they wished, which has led to the deaths of 51 patients and serious illness of 730 people in the 23 states including New York where the tainted batches were distributed, and the numbers continue to rise.

The worst aspect of the outbreak is the delay in presenting. Patients given the tainted shots did not exhibit symptoms until several months after, and when it did, doctors could not figure out what was wrong. When the truth finally dawned, it hardly helped matters because there was no protocol in place for such an unlikely happening. As a result, victims did not get the treatment they needed in a timely manner, and most of those who survived the initial infection and who have already been given a clean bill of health continue to develop abscesses and related medical conditions that keep them popping in and out of the hospital like a Jack-in-the-box. For many victims, the costs of treatment, loss of income, and pain and suffering has become very high.

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What to do when you are prescribed a Defective Drug

Posted by on May 27, 2013

Drugs and medications prescribed by doctors are supposed to help treat or at least alleviate the symptoms of diseases and medical conditions, and in most cases they do. But once in a while, you come across a drug that may be defective or have side effects that may not surface immediately or isn’t easily identified as a side-effect of a particular drug. Just because a drug is being widely used doesn’t mean it is safe. The plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits probably never thought they would need defective drug lawyers either.

Some of the more recent cases of defective drugs discovered involve brands that were once touted as “miracle” drugs and were used by millions of people. These include heart medication Pradaxa, birth control pill Yasmin and diabetes management drug Actos. Most of the cases against these defective drugs are based on allegations of insufficient testing, mislabeling, or failing to warn physicians and patients about all possible side effects.

To prevent or at least minimize the risk of being adversely affected by defective drugs, it is important to have the right information. Keep abreast with the latest updates from the Food and Drug Administration as well as the legal news, recalls, safety alerts and new studies.

If you believe that you may be taking a defective drug, follow these tips to cover your bases whatever happens:

  • See your doctor immediately with your concerns/beliefs/knowledge. Describe what side effects you have been experiencing and ask if it is possible a certain drug is responsible.
  • Continue taking the medication as prescribed until the doctor tells you to stop.
  • Even if your doctor tells you to stop, keep all the remaining drugs, including the box and product inserts as well as the prescription and receipts if possible. These may be needed as evidence if you are eligible to claim compensation for personal injury.
  • Keep whatever medical records and notes you have, especially those that deal with the suspected defective drug
  • Read the product inserts that come with your medication; it explains possible side effects, contraindications and recommended dosage. If the side effects you are experiencing are not included in the insert, this may also be a basis for a defective drug lawsuit

If you have been injured because you were given a defective drug, the pharmaceutical company is liable for all your medical and personal expenses and costs. Defective drugs lawyers would know how to get it done.

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