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Vioxx and Bextra Lawsuits Could Tie Up Courts for Years


In September, 2004, pharmaceutical giant Merck voluntarily withdrew its painkilling medication Vioxx from the market. Studies show that Vioxx increases the risk of heart attack and stroke among patients who have used the drug for longer than 18 months. Vioxx, a drug from a family of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors, is one of only a few drugs specifically designed to minimize inflammation while avoiding the stomach disorders long associated with other anti-inflammatory medications. Since its introduction in 1999, Vioxx has been a huge success, and sales of the drug worldwide topped $2.5 billion in 2003. That is certainly a great deal of money, but it pales when compared to the amount that Merck stands to lose through product liability lawsuits, which will soon come to court. As of this writing, several thousand lawsuits have been filed nationally, but attorneys estimate that the total number of lawsuits filed could reach a staggering 100,000.

The Medical Community Changes Its Mind


How many of us have taken aspirin or a similar popular product found at the drug store when we had some type of discomfort? Of course, many of us have and why shouldn't we? Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs; like aspirin and ibuprofen, have generally been considered safe and effective in making an individual feel better.

High Cholesterol Prescription Medications Can Kill You


The World Health Organization declares that heart disease is the number one killer worldwide. High cholesterol is a major contributor of heart disease. In America alone there are nearly 105 million people with high cholesterol.

Protect Yourself Against the Flu Vaccine!


The vaccine industry insists that their vaccines against the flu serve as the key to a healthy winter. Although there has not been a serious flu epidemic for 38 years, their vaccines are prescribed to millions of people each year. You may wonder why perfectly healthy people are injected with a normally harmless bug whose strains mutate from year to year? Although flu vaccines can never be accurate, encouraged by their employers, millions of employees submit to a flu jab each year, trying to avoid the loss of working days.

Bextra Withdrawal Could Be Just the Beginning for Pfizer


The pharmaceutical industry is a tremendously profitable one, as anyone who reads the business pages of their newspaper can see. Although it can take years to develop a new drug and bring it to market, the profits obtained from a breakthrough drug can be staggering. Last year Merck sold about $2.5 billion worth of Vioxx, and Pfizer sold about $1.3 billion worth of Bextra. The profits are huge, but so are the losses if a problem should develop with a pharmaceutical product. Pfizer voluntarily withdrew the popular anti-inflammatory drug Bextra from the market last month, and their stock has suffered from both the loss of sales and the potential for a large number of product liability lawsuits. Pfizer may have to endure a double whammy this year as the FDA announced that they are investigating reports that the impotence drug Viagra may be linked to cases of blindness in male users. Cialis and Levitra were also mentioned in the report, although most of the cases involved the use of Viagra.The FDA reports shouldn?t cause alarm; the agency says that it is investigating fewer than 50 incidents of blindness in patients who use a drug that has been used by more than twenty million people since its introduction seven years ago. The FDA investigation says less about the likelihood of blindness in patients than it does about the agency?s own concerns about its reputation. The FDA rightly insists upon rigorous testing of drugs before they reach the market in the name of public safety. But that coin has two sides, and there are those who say that the agency is too quick to approve potentially dangerous drugs and others who say that the agency?s testing isn?t thorough enough. Adding fuel to the fire are the recent memos obtained from Merck employees that suggest that the company was aggressively marketing Vioxx even though their sales staff knew the drug was potentially dangerous.There may be no link between Viagra and blindness at all, as the form of sudden blindness alleged to have been caused by Viagra use is common to the sorts of patients who have erectile disfunction. The FDA is just being cautious, as they should be. Further tests will determine if there is an actual link. The party likely to suffer immediately is Pfizer, as stockholders, already concerned about Bextra lawsuits, drove the stock price lower immediately upon the release of the Viagra news. Sales will probably decrease, too, as patients who are now accustomed to reading about drugs being withdrawn from the market may shy away from the product until further tests are done. That could present a huge income for Pfizer, as they currently sell about $2 billion worth of Viagra each year. The drug business is a profitable one, but like any business, comes with risks. This year, it would seem that Pfizer is getting a double dose of bad medicine.

7 Tips to Keep Your Fluid Down on Dialysis


As any dialysis patient will tell you, keeping your fluid gain between dialysis sessions in check is not only important to your long term health, it is a major factor in your immediate well-being.

Potassium and The Dialysis Patient


Any dialysis patient who has had a brush with high potassium will know only too well how dangerous this can be. We are forever being told to watch our potassium intake, so I thought I would explore the reasons for this, and what practical steps we can take to limit the risks.

Building A Medical Spa Inside Your Existing Medical Practice


The physicians conundrum: Everywhere, physicians are contemplating or engaged in expanding into the ?medical spa? market. Seduced by the media buzz around this hot new phenomenon, many doctors see the medical spa as a means boosting their income and eliminating the growing grind and countless headaches of their daily practice. They read about growth statistics, see dazzling new equipment at trade shows, watch competitors popping up, and fear that they may be falling behind the times. With pen in hand they?re ready to sign lease agreements, loan documents, and lots of checks in order to catch up with a crowd of savvy entrepreneurs who know where the real action is. And the truth is, they?re right. Medical spas are the natural evolution of cosmetic medicine, and those who don?t join the revolution will watch from the sidelines as their fate is decided.

What is Bextra? (FDA Recalled Drug)


Bextra, also known as valdecoxib, is a prescribed medication used to alleviate the problems associated with arthritis and other inflammation-related conditions. The drug helps reduce the pain of swelling and fever without causing stomach irritation like aspirin.

Watch Out for Misleading Pharmaceutical Advertising


In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration relaxed the rules for drug advertising on television and radio. Since that time, the airwaves have been flooded with commercials for all sorts of drugs. Some of them are vague, with a simple ?Ask your doctor if drug x is right for you?; others spell out what the drug is used for and devote the commercial to telling you how much you will appreciate your product. Most consumers will probably assume that these commercials are honest, that the drugs will do what the ads say they will do, and that there are no side effects other than those mentioned in the ad. That may not be true, and consumers should be aware that the ads may not tell the whole story, and that they may be misleading.The pharmaceutical industry spends $9 billion per year advertising their products, and the money they spend on television and radio ads is probably the most effective. Doctors may be skeptical of a product touted by a salesman, but consumers are easily swayed by television ads that show people living happy, productive lives while being treated for an ailment using the advertised product. Unfortunately, these ads may not be completely honest. In 2004, the FDA investigated thirty-six ads for drugs that the agency found to be misleading or incomplete in their descriptions of side effects. Consumers might think that the commercials must be honest, since the FDA wouldn?t allow dishonest commercials to air. Unfortunately, that?s not the case. The FDA does not require pharmaceutical companies to provide screening copies of their advertisements prior to airing. The FDA doesn?t actually see the ads until the consumers do. Several months may pass before the FDA takes action. In the case of misleading advertising, the most the FDA can usually do is ask the companies to either stop running the ads or to change them. These requests aren?t always timely, however. In the last five years, the FDA has asked the drug companies to stop running several ads that had already stopped running!What this means for consumers is that some doubt should be exercised while viewing a commercial for a new drug. If you think an advertised product may be useful to you, discuss it with your physician, but ask if they know of any problems associated with the product. Research the product on the Internet. When your health is at stake, a little caution may be a good idea.

Medical Billing Software Takes the Stage


Medical Billing Software

Hacking through the Medical Scheduling Software Jungle: Helpful Search Tips


It is the reality of the 21st century medical practice that in order to ensure the most effective office management and to provide the best service to patients, a medical office must incorporate medical scheduling software. Medical scheduling software helps to run the modern medical practice. But, to find the right medical scheduling software is like searching for buried treasure.

Medical Billing PDA: 21st Century Convenience for Medical Practices


Medical Billing PDA

4 Reasons to Feel Safe Submitting an Electronic Medical Claim


Electronic Medical Claim

Paxil Recall Lawyer Discusses Paxil Addiction


Paxil went on the market in 1992 at the height of antidepressant drug popularity. It is a member of the class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The SSRI drugs revolutionized antidepressants because they have very few side effects and it is practically impossible to overdose on them. It makes sense not to prescribe a depressed person with pills they can easily overdose with. Though a latecomer to the SSRI market, Paxil grew successful very quickly by gaining FDA approval for very specific conditions like ?social anxiety disorder? and ?general anxiety disorder?, which were very rare conditions at the time. In running add campaigns, Paxil encouraged people to try their drug if they?d experienced any general anxiety and, as can be expected, sales of Paxil soared.

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