Drug Industry, Congress fuel Opioid Epidemic

A DEA whistleblower told CBS News that Congress derailed the DEA’s attempt to keep addictive opioids off U.S. streets.  Joe Rannazzisi ran the DEA’s office of Diversion Control during the worst drug epidemic in American history.  His division regulates and investigates the drug industry.  In a joint investigation by 60 Minutes and The Washington Post, Mr. Rannazzisi revealed how the opioid crisis was allowed to spread.  It was aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics.  Those loads fueled the opioid crisis that has killed some 200,000 people in the last 20 years.

People Die for Drug Profits

“This is an industry that’s out of control,” Mr. Rannazzisi told CBS’ 60 Minutes.  “What they wanna’ do, is do what they wanna’ do, and not worry about what the law is. And if they don’t follow the law in drug supply, people die.  That’s just it.  People die.”

Mr. Rannazzisi said drug distributors turned a blind eye and “allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors’ offices, that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs.”

A former DEA deputy assistant administrator armed with law and pharmacy degrees, Mr. Rannazzisi seemed most upset with the distributors, some of them multibillion dollar, Fortune 500 companies.  These blue-blood middlemen ship the pills from makers like Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson to drug stores countrywide.  Mr. Rannazzisi accuses the distributors of fueling the opioid epidemic by pretending not to see pills being diverted for illicit use.

“This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors’ offices,” said Mr. Rannazzisi, “that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs.”

The Perps – Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen

Mr. Rannazzisi said the three largest distributors are Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.  They control some 85-90 percent of the drugs flowing downstream.  Mr. Rannazzisi said these companies knew they were pumping drugs into American communities and killing people.

Opioids Oxycodone, Hydrocodone

Opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone became a routine medical treatment for chronic pain by the late 1990s.  Drug companies assured doctors and congressional investigators that the pain pills were effective and safe.  A Purdue Executive told Congress in 2001 that addiction was rare in the pain patient properly managed.

Many doctors were apparently convinced the opioids posed few risks (or apparently knew nothing about the long sordid history of opioid abuse); so prescriptions skyrocketed along with addiction.

Many who had become addicted to painkillers turned to what CBS news called “pill mills” – pain clinics featuring rogue doctors who would write fraudulent prescriptions and complicit pharmacists to fill them, one stop shops for legal drugs.

Drug Dealers in Lab Coats

Mr. Rannazzisi said many pain clinics popped up overnight.  The whole fiasco “made the crack epidemic look like nothing.”  He said, “They were just drug dealers in lab coats.”  But despite several arrests, opioids kept flooding the black market while the death toll kept rising.

Mr. Rannazzisi said that prosecuting crooked doctors and pharmacists failed to slow the epidemic, so he moved up the food chain.  He said the DEA saw hundreds of bad orders involving millions of tablets, so the agency started going after the distributors.

Distributors Required to Monitor Suspicious Orders

A distributor’s representative told CBS that doctors who overprescribe pain medication were the problem.  However, the distributors know exactly how many pills go to every drug store they supply.  The Controlled Substances Act requires distributors to report and stop what the DEA calls “suspicious orders.”  These include unusually large or frequent shipments of opioids.  DEA investigators said many distributors simply ignored that requirement.  (The better to profit, my dear.)

Former DEA man Jim Geldhof told CBS, “Their plan was to sell a lotta pills and make a lot of money. And they did both of those very well.  All we were looking for is a good-faith effort by these companies to do the right thing. And there was no good-faith effort. Greed always trumped compliance. It did every time.”

9 Million Pills for 392 People?

A 40-year DEA veteran, Mr. Geldhof ran pharmaceutical investigations from the Detroit field office.  Frank Younker supervised the DEA’s operations in Cincinnati.  Joe Rannazzisi was their supervisor. They saw distributors shipping thousands of suspicious orders. In one example, a pharmacy in tiny Kermit, West Virginia (Pop. 392) ordered nine million hydrocodone pills over two years.

With such obvious signs, Mr. Geldhof finds it ludicrous that the distributors now claim they didn’t see suspicious orders. He says the companies are culpable in the epidemic: “I can tell you with 100 percent accuracy that we were in there on multiple occasions trying to get them to change their behavior. And they just flat out ignored us.”

McKesson, Cardinal Health Fined Millions

In 2008, the DEA slapped McKesson, the country’s largest drug distributor, with a $13.2 million dollar fine. That same year, Cardinal Health paid a $34 million fine.  Both companies were penalized by the DEA for filling hundreds of suspicious orders – millions of pills.

Distributors fines have totaled more than $341 million over the last seven years. The companies complained to Congress that DEA regulations were vague and said the agency was treating them like a foreign drug cartel.  In a letter, the healthcare distribution alliance, which represents distributors, said they wanted to work with the DEA.  Effective enforcement, they wrote, “must be a two-way street.”

Drug Distributors flex Political Muscle

More than 17,000 Americans died from opioid prescription overdoses in 2011, the year Cardinal Health started pushing back at Joe Rannazzisi.  Cardinal’s attorneys called his bosses at the Justice Department, who called in Mr. Rannazzisi to explain his tactics.

Money and Influence

Joe Rannazzisi told CBS he was infuriated at having to explain his motives for going after corporations.  He told his staff they were in a war: “We’re going after these people and we’re not going to stop.”  But he was hamstrung by his own agency.

He said the drug industry used its money and influence to pressure top DEA lawyers to take a softer approach.  Former DEA attorney Jonathan Novak said it divided the litigation office. He said in 2013 that he noticed a sea change in the way prosecutions of big distributors were handled. Cases his supervisors once would have easily approved were no longer good enough.

Mr. Novak told CBS that they had achieved “incredible success in an almost unstoppable wave,” but suddenly his caseload dramatically slowed as his bosses began to scuttle the whole system, demanding unreasonable amounts of evidence.

Big Pharma minions in Congress then moved to further defang the DEA and save corporate profits at the expense of U.S. Citizens.  See the whole story at CBS News.

Related

Share

Is there really a Massive Flu Outbreak? Lies unravel Scandal

If there really is a “massive flu outbreak” – as all the mainstream news sources are telling us there is – chances are good that it has been caused by vaccinated people shedding the vaccine-unleashed virus, or by the flu vaccine itself causing flu-like symptoms.  Cogent arguments that question the flu vaccine’s effectiveness can be made given what we know of the vaccine’s faulty design (explained below), along with the CDC’s history of feeding us wild lies regarding deaths from the flu.  Worse, and what carries real freight in any argument questioning the effectiveness of the flu shot, is this: most cases reported as “the flu” are not the flu at all.

Flu Vaccine Industry Threatened by Science

It sounds insane, but it’s true, and no less a publication than the British Medical Journal has admitted it: The flu we thought we knew is usually not the flu.  This fact has been found by examining hundreds of thousands of people diagnosed with “the flu.”  The implications of that stagger the mind. They threaten the entire multi-billion-dollar flu shot industry, along with international drug cartels (legal in name only) like Merck (which also makes the dubious shingles vaccine) and GlaxoSmithKline, which have partnered with the CDC as well as U.S. politicians to sell us all the flu vaccine. The U.S. Government has spent billions of our tax dollars on less than worthless, but always potentially injurious, flu vaccines.

The Emotional Shot
The convoluted flu shot scandal cannot be explained in a palatable, Twitter-friendly sound bite; so most people will fail to read the fine print, just like most ignore the litany of those so-called “side effects” muttered at the end of a drug commercial.  Images of happy people playing flash in the mind, direct to the heart, to the emotional center, the reptilian hindbrain long on fear (and anger) and short on creative solutions. Better not to listen too attentively, or look too closely.  Better to let the emotions short-circuit the reasoning faculties, present the purest path to persuasion.

We accept the pretty pictures and ignore the muttered warnings at our peril.  100,000 people die every year from prescription drugs. The number injured from vaccinations is much higher, according to the Vaccine Adverse Reports System (VAERS), which all experts know records adverse events from a mere 1-10% of the actual total.  Those who don’t sicken quickly or drop dead in an obviously causal manner following vaccination may instead be struck with chronic illness, as any nasty vaccine adds a heavy load to the human body’s already toxic burden.

Flu Vaccine Causes Flu
Dr. Oz and Piers Morgan proved on national television that the flu “vaccine” causes the flu. Using Mr. Morgan as a guinea pig, the TV doctor had attempted to show us all that one cannot get the flu from the vaccine.  Mr. Morgan rolled up his sleeve on TV and Dr. Oz “inoculated” him with the influenza virus. And then God himself intervened. In a matter of days, the experiment wildly backfired. It succeeded only in revealing the larger truth, that the vaccine not only does not prevent the flu; the vaccine can and does cause the flu, or at least malicious symptoms which mimic “the flu.”

When the Flu is not the Flu
The term “the flu” always deserves quotation marks, because it turns out that what we usually call the flu is not the flu at all. It turns out that some 84% of people who were diagnosed with the flu did not have the flu at all.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) online, Dr. Peter Doshi pulls back the CDC wizard’s curtain to reveal a monstrous fraud at work.  Dr. Doshi explains that hundreds of thousands of respiratory samples are taken from flu patients every year in the U.S. and tested in labs.  Of these “flu” samples, only a small percentage show the presence of an actual influenza virus.

Marketing Vaccines by Marketing Disease
Here’s the exact quote from Dr. Peter Doshi’s BMJ review, “Influenza: marketing vaccines by marketing disease” (BMJ 2013; 346:f3037):

“…[E]ven the ideal influenza vaccine, matched perfectly to circulating strains of wild influenza and capable of stopping all influenza viruses, can only deal with a small part of the ‘flu’ problem because most ‘flu’ appears to have nothing to do with influenza. Every year, hundreds of thousands of respiratory specimens are tested across the US. Of those tested, on average 16% are found to be influenza positive.”

(Cough, fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, weakness – all the basic flu symptoms can be caused by many factors that have nothing to do with a flu virus.)

Flu Vaccine Policies Based on Fiction

Dr. Doshi told the British Medical Journal that health officials “risk losing credibility by continuing to promote the fiction that mandatory influenza vaccine policies are based on solid evidence.  They are not, and it is time for healthcare institutions to do their own rigorous assessment of the evidence rather than continue this dangerous game of follow the leader.”

Sixteen Percent! (16%) Actually Have the Flue
This means that most Americans diagnosed by doctors with flu have no flu virus in their bodies. This means that most people who believe they have the flu, or who have been told by their doctors that they have the flu, do not have the flu.  (You can’t make this stuff up.)

As Jon Rappoport writes in nomorefakenews.com, “[E]ven if you assume the flu vaccine is useful and safe, it couldn’t possibly prevent all those ‘flu cases’ that aren’t flu cases.”  That means the so-called “flu vaccine” could not possibly work.

Flu Vaccine 10% Effective
Health officials admit that this year’s flu vaccine is only 10% effective, yet they recommend you take the shot anyway. (Seriously? Seriously.) The shot is even less effective for the elderly, and has been so for the last several years, but that’s another fact you rarely, if ever, read or hear in the mainstream media putsch for total flu vaccine compliance. (Did you know some doctors are bonused by some insurance companies if they talk a certain percentage of their patients into vaccine compliance?) Elderly people taking the yearly flu shot also raise their risk of Alzheimer’s, likely because aluminum in the shot has been implicated in that disease. Children who take the flu shot are drastically more likely to suffer in any pandemic because the flu shot compromises their developing immune systems.  Any Science 101 class presented by any teacher with any basic understanding of biology would teach us that the flu shot does not strengthen the immune system; it weakens it, leaving any body tainted with the toxic flu vaccine cocktail at greater risk of contracting the disease du jour.

Virus Mutates in Chicken Eggs
Mr. Rappoport explains that this year’s flu vaccine is ineffective because of chicken eggs. Researchers have discovered that the flu virus placed in the vaccine mutates in chicken eggs. So by the time a person submits to the flu shot, she’s not being protected against this year’s seasonal flu virus. She’s being protected against a mutated virus that isn’t causing the flu this year. There’s a whole lot more to the story, of course – there always is with the “science” behind vaccination – but vaccines have been made using chicken eggs for the past 70 years. That means the flu vaccine has been ineffective for at least the last 70 years or so. That means the flu vaccine has NEVER worked as advertised.

The CDC’s Rank Dishonesty (Lying by any other name)
The CDC continues to push for mass vaccination by using the same basic tactic drug companies use to sell their dubious drugs: instill fear in the target.  In December 2005, the British Medical Journal online published another shocking report from Dr. Peter Doshi.  It’s one that should have put the Centers for Disease Control out of business, because CDC “experts” used to tell the press that the flu killed 36,000 Americans every year.

US Flu Deaths more PR than Science
Dr. Doshi’s report was titled, “Are US flu death figures more PR than science?” (BMJ 2005; 331:1412).  He wrote:

“[According to CDC statistics], ‘influenza and pneumonia’ took 62,034 lives in 2001 – 61,777 of which were attributable to pneumonia and 257 to flu, and in only 18 cases was the flu virus positively identified.”

Did we read that right?

Like rolling a small pea under shuffling walnut shells, the CDC used a street-hustler’s sleight of hand to create one overall category that combines both flu and pneumonia deaths.  What?  Why? For what purpose?  For whose benefit?  (Most decidedly not ours.)  The CDC did it because they duplicitously and disingenuously make the absurd assumption that the pneumonia deaths are complications stemming from the flu.  It’s a glaring nonsensical non sequitur if ever there was one, because pneumonia has many causes.

18 Flu Deaths per Year (maybe), NOT 36,000

More pointedly, of all the flu and pneumonia deaths rolled into one big phony ball in a street hustler’s crooked game, a mere 18 revealed the presence of an influenza virus.

Therefore, the CDC could not say, with any assurance whatsoever, that more than 18 people died of influenza in 2001.  Total deaths from the flu was NOT 36,000. It was 18. Eighteen deaths.

Average of 1,350 flu deaths per year; NOT 36,000
Dr. Doshi continued his assessment of the CDC’s published flu-death statistics, in figures for flu separated out from pneumonia: “Between 1979 and 2001, [CDC] data show an average of 1348 [flu] deaths per year (range 257 to 3006).”

This death toll is obviously far shy of the old 36,000 figure, and we don’t know how many of those flu deaths followed vaccination, or whether some or most of those 1,350 per year had been vaccinated.  This is one of the many glaring examples which shows the CDC actively engaged in promoting vaccination at the expense of the truth, and of our health, our lives.

And when you add the sensible condition that lab tests have to actually find the flu virus in patients, the numbers of flu deaths plummet even further.

Cochrane: Widespread Manipulation on Influenza Vaccines

The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed all relevant data on flu vaccines. It concluded that there was considerable bias in prestigious journals towards studies funded by the very industry profiting from mass influenza vaccination. Cochrane found that influenza vaccine data was skewed by “widespread manipulation of conclusions.”  The Cochrane Collaboration concluded with a warning in all caps with bold letters.  Cochrane concluded, somewhat shockingly, by admitting that even their own bleak conclusions about the flu vaccine were shy of the real mark, given the bias in reporting from industry. It seems clear now that only industry bias keeps the whole flu shot scam afloat, like a cuttlefish squirting ink to hide from all those who would see it for what it is. The Cochrane Collaboration concluded its bleak influenza vaccine review with huge caveats.

“WARNING:

This review includes 15 out of 36 trials funded by industry (four had no funding declaration).  An earlier systematic review of 274 vaccine influenza studies published up to 2007 found industry funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size.  Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conditions favorable to the vaccines.  The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies.  The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.”

Is there really a Massive Flu Outbreak? Lies unravel Scandal

The flu vaccine is all smoke and mirrors, promotion and hype, as the CDC – like the drug companies with which it partners – serves not us U.S. citizens but some other agenda.  Few in their right mind would submit to a flu shot if they knew just how dishonest the CDC has been in protecting our health, and how the flu shot has likely never worked as advertised and promoted by an unwavering propaganda campaign.

Related

Share

Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Trial in New Jersey

The next talcum powder mesothelioma trial will open in Middlesex County Superior Court in New Jersey. The lawsuit charges that Johnson & Johnson sold talcum powder contaminated with the deadly carcinogen asbestos. The petition charges that the tainted talcum powder gave its users mesothelioma, a fatal asbestos-related disease.  Jury selection began this week.  Opening statements begin January 16, 2018.

The case will be heard by Judge Ana Viscomi, who oversees all of the asbestos-related lawsuits being heard in the New Jersey, the home of Johnson & Johnson.

Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer specifically caused by asbestos exposure. It is usually considered an occupational disease which afflicts workers exposed on the job. But Johnson & Johnson and other talcum sellers now face thousands of lawsuits which accuse the companies of selling talcum powder products contaminated with asbestos.  Defendant companies targeted in the lawsuits have all argued against scientific tests that confirmed the presence of asbestos in their product decades ago.  They have all also argued against their legal liability.

Talcum Powder Asbestos Lawsuits
Several talcum powder asbestos lawsuits have already been heard around the United States.  Many juries have decided in favor of the plaintiffs.  Many juries have agreed that the plaintiffs’ lives were cut tragically short through their use of asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products.

Asbestos in Talcum
Asbestos is a mineral frequently found in close proximity to talc deposits.  This proximity is what has led to the contamination of the product, according to the plaintiffs’ petitions.  Talcum safety has been a hot button issue for decades.  A significant amount of evidence points to the notion that companies have been aware of talc’s risks, but have failed to report it, or else they have covered it up in order to keep selling talc.  Talcum powder has also been linked with ovarian cancer in women who used it for years for feminine hygiene.  Johnson & Johnson has lost several jury trials in talc powder ovarian cancer litigation, including verdicts for  $55 million, $72 Million, $110 million, and $417 million; though corporate-friendly judges have overturned some of those verdicts (and in some cases the entire jury system along with it) following the standard appeals by J&J lawyers.

Talcum Powder Meosthelioma Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been sickened by asbestos exposure, whether at home or on the job, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.  Email our experienced lawyers for a free legal consultation, or call us direct at 713-522-5250.  Our lawyers work nationwide, handling talcum powder cancer lawsuits  and talcum mesothelioma cancer lawsuits in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Trial in New Jersey

The last such trial, in Los Angeles last year, brought an $18 million verdict for the plaintiff.  This one is expected to last three weeks.

Related

Share

Lawsuit Settlements with Opioid Distributors & Makers

The federal government has recently settled several multi-million-dollar cases with opioid makers and distributors.  The government has recovered nearly $300 million in damages.  That may seem like a significant number, but it’s a very small drop in the bucket considering the heavy personal costs of the opioid crisis, which has killed more than 200,000 people from 2000-2016.  Every day, 52 Americans die from opioid painkiller overdoses, according to the CDC.  In purely financial terms, the crisis created by drug companies like McKesson has cost county and state governments billions of dollars.

Many other opioid lawsuits have since been filed by states’ attorneys general, and many more cases are expected to reach settlements, but here is a tally of recent settlements.

Lawsuit Settlements with Opioid Distributors & Makers

2017 – McKesson Corporation, the nation’s largest drug distributor, paid $150 million in a civil penalty for violating the Controlled Substances Act.  McKesson had failed to report “suspicious orders” for oxycodone and hydrocodone, such as those suspicious in frequency, size, or other patterns.  Government investigators wanted a $1 billion fine as well as criminal charges brought against McKesson.  They got only the small million fine and no charges.  The Washington Post reported that one DEA agent said, “We feel like our system was hijacked.”  It was hijacked, twice, first by McKesson and  and then by the nominal fine.  The Justice Dept. boasts it as a “record settlement“;  but it is inarguably paltry, given the real damages, and the fact that it was the company’s second offense.*

Related:  DEA Whistleblower – Justice Dept. coddled McKesson

Were the three strike rule in effect for corporations (which the Supreme Court ruled in the infamous Citizen’s United are people), as it is for comparatively tiny drug pushing offenders, the company would be put in jail for life upon its next transgression.

2017 – Mallinckrodt Plc, an oxycodone maker, agreed to pay $35 million to resolve U.S. investigations into its monitoring and reporting of suspicious orders of controlled substances. (Reuters has the story.)

2017 – Costco Wholesale agreed to pay $11.75 million to resolve allegations that its pharmacies violated the Controlled Substances Act. Costco improperly filled prescriptions for controlled substances. (See Justice Department Costco)

2017 – Cardinal Health reached a $20 million settlement with the state of West Virginia regarding the distribution of opioids between 2007 and 2012. In one six-year period, Cardinal and other wholesalers sent 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia. That’s 433 per state resident. That time period saw 1,728 fatal overdoses from opioids in the state.  Columbus Business First has that story.

2016 – Cardinal Health, Inc. agreed to pay the U.S. $44 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act in Maryland, Florida and New York. Cardinal Health failed to report suspicious orders of controlled substances to pharmacies in those states.  The Washington Post has that story.

2015 – Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, agreed to pay Kentucky $24 million to settle a lawsuit that accused Purdue of misleading the public about the addictiveness of the prescription opioid.  CBS News has that story.

*2007/2008 – McKesson was fined $13.3 million by the Justice Dept. for mishandling prescription medicines, in a crime similar to its mishandling of opioids in its 2017  settlement.  (See the Justice Dept. announcement.)

McKesson vowed to do better, but failed.  Five months after the 2008 settlement, the board’s audit committee was notified of “serious deficiencies” in its system to spot suspicious opioid shipments, according to the Washington Post.  McKesson’s internal auditors claimed that some customers hadn’t yet been assigned thresholds for large orders that would trigger a review, and there was insufficient documentation to back up decisions to alter such limits for existing customers.  It’s a typical corporate ploy, to claim the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.  But the sheer number of opiod orders, as in West Virginia (above) and elsewhere, renders that defense absurd.  Failure to follow through on promises included in the 2008 fine was largely what led to McKesson’s being fined again in 2017, for the paltry sum of $150 million.

Related

Share

e-Cigarette Explosions caused by Faulty Design

A 2017 U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) report has linked e-cigarette explosions to the faulty design of e-cigarettes.  Released in concert with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), the report included extensive review and research into e-cigarette construction. It also examined the reasons why severe injuries are more likely to occur with e-cigarettes than with other products that use lithium-ion batteries.

Design Problem Fires Rockets into Mouth
Study results show a design problem with the dual-cylindrical construction of the e-cigarette product and how it uses batteries.  Unlike other products such as cell phones and laptops, e-cigarettes include cylindrical lithium-ion batteries installed in a cylindrical tube that is at its weakest at both ends.  Law360 reported that, “Battery failures generate increased pressure that ‘shoots’ the batteries out of the tube like “‘rockets.’”

Other products that use lithium batteries enclose them in thick plastic housings, such as laptops, or else they use flat batteries as cell phones do.  A person sucking on the e-cigarette when it explodes can inhale a burning “rocket” and suffer severe mouth and/or head injuries from the heat and chemicals.

Samsung Galaxy Note7 Comparison
Failure to protect against the combustible elements can lead to battery fires.  The Samsung Galaxy Note7 phone fires were an example of such a failure. Those fires prompted Samsung to remove the phone from the market and institute an in-depth study to determine the cause(s) of the fires. Airlines banned those phones.

Lithium-ion Batters not safe for Vaping Devices
Unlike Samsung, vaping industry companies have largely ignored e-cigarette explosions. Vape makers have issued dismissive statements that their customers are not using the products correctly.  They have blamed the user for improperly charging the vaping devices.  But strong rebuttal for that claim comes from the new USFA/FEMA statistics which show 62 percent of the devices exploded while being carried in a pocket or when they were actively in use. Only 25 percent of the explosions occurred during the charging process. The report concludes that lithium-ion batteries “are not a safe source of energy for these devices.”

Related:  e-Cigarette Explosions caught on video

Some minor safety measures have been implemented to battle the battery explosion incidents. Vaping customers are now encouraged to choose products that display a new UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rating to gain at least some level of safety related to the electrical system.

However, it is important to balance that assurance with the knowledge that no requirements exist to submit e-cigarette products to product design and safety testing.  Additionally, the standard has no connection to the safety of the liquids used in the cigarettes.  These liquids include nicotine and have been linked to health risks similar to and sometimes even worse than those attributed to cigarette smoking.

No Regulations for e-Cigarettes

Alarmingly, no product control regulations directly apply to e-cigarette products. This hands-off  policy puts unsuspecting customers at risk.  Since no legal requirement ensures product safety, e-cigarette makers and retailers can ignore the injuries and their underlying causes.  That position will, sadly, result in more and more explosions and potentially devastating injuries.

e-cigarette explosion injuries include:
heat burns
chemical burns
blast injuries to face, hands, thighs, eyes
tooth loss
permanent scars
loss of soft tissue

Many c-cigarette injuries are horrific.  They can require burn debridement, skin grafts, bone reconstruction, plastic surgery, dental implants, and long-term care.  Of the 195 injuries tallied in the USFA/FEMA report, 68 percent were acute and 30 percent severe.  The reports’ authors said they were unable to find any other consumer product that carries the same risk of severe, acute injury as e-cigarettes.

e-Cigarette Explosions caused by Faulty Design

E-cigarettes hit the U.S. market in 2007.  By 2014, 466 e-cigarette brands and more than 7,700  flavors were on sale.  About ten new brands and more than 240 new flavors hit the market every month for an estimated three million users.  The industry expects to grow, which means more and more e-cigarette products will hit store shelves.  Without any positive response to explosion risks by the vaping industry, the list of injuries is also expected to grow.  So. . . vape at your own risk!

E-Cigarette Injury Lawsuit

Our law firm is handling e-cigarette injury cases.  If you or someone you love has been injured by an e-cigarette, contact our law firm for a free legal consultation regarding a potential e-cigarette lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer.

Related

•  Man loses Seven Teeth from e-cigarette Explosion

•  e-Cigarette Explosions caught on video

•  e-Cigarette Explosion Lawsuit

•  e-Cigarette Explosions caused by Faulty Design

 

Share

FDA Recalls Johnson & Johnson Heart Device

The FDA has recalled a Johnson & Johnson heart device. The U.S. Food & Drug Agency announced Jan. 2, 2018 its strictest form of recall for a cardiac device made by Sterilmed.  A faulty valve in the device poses the risk of seriously injuring or killing a patient.

FDA Class I Recall: Its Most Serious
The FDA said the recall of Agilis Steerable Introducer Sheath devices – made by Sterilmed Inc. – is a Class I recall. That’s the agency’s most serious type of recall. This sheath device is used to insert and position cardiovascular catheters. It is sometimes used on the heart’s left side through the wall of tissue separating the heart’s right and left chambers.

Improper Seal
The FDA said the sheath’s hemostatic valve is at risk of failing because of an improper seal on the sheath’s hub. The valve is designed to keep blood from flowing back through the valve.

The FDA said, “Improper seals can allow blood to leak through the hub, cause the cap to fall off during the procedure or can create a difference in pressure that allows air into the circulatory system (air embolism).”

The improper seal happens when there isn’t enough glue used to reattach the sheath’s cap after use. But too much glue can also block the valve and make the device unusable, according to the FDA.

Fatal Flaw
FDA said, “The use of affected products may cause serious health consequences for patients, including death.”

Some 112 affected devices are included in the recall, which covers sheaths made between Jan. 1, 2017, and May 5, 2017, according to the FDA.

In addition, patients with a lower body mass index may be more at risk if there is blood loss, said the FDA. Smaller patients and those with a pre-existing lower lung capacity may also be more susceptible to air embolisms.
The FDA advised health care facilities and providers to search their inventories for the sheath and return any unused sheaths to Sterilmed. The agency said providers should also continue to monitor patients treated with the sheath, just as they would normally do.

FDA Recalls Johnson & Johnson Heart Device

A Sterilmed representative said that the company initiated the recall in June and that it has not received any reports of adverse events related to the devices.

Related

Share

The Flu Vaccine Hoax is Over

The year 2017 brought a treasure trove of new scientific evidence that proves once and for all that the flu vaccine hoax is over.  If you believe the flu vaccine works and is worth the risks of taking it, you simply haven’t read the latest research.  If you rely primarily on mainstream news for your flu vaccine information, you do so at your peril.

Top Five Reasons Why the Flu vaccine is a Bad Choice:

1.  The flu vaccine doesn’t work because of the way it is developed.

2.  The flu jab raises the risk of catching other types of flu.

3.  The flu vaccine raises the risk of dementia.

4.  No scientific studies prove the flu vaccine has ever been worth the risks of taking it.

5.  No significant scientific studies prove that those who take the flu vaccine and then get the flu (often from the vaccine itself) suffer less debilitating symptoms than refusing the shot would have rendered.

Related:  Shingles Vaccine?  Really?

Fake Vaccine News from Media Partners
News doesn’t get any more fake than the tiresome advertorial blitzkreig used to sell the so-called flu vaccine every year.

The flu vaccination business is a multi-billion-dollar cash cow gobbled up and regurgitated by all major media. CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, The New York Times, TIME, Reuters, USA Today – pick your news poison: they all rely on millions of dollars in advertising from pharmaceutical companies. Big Pharma is their number one client advertiser, and nothing pays Big Pharma like cheap vaccines. Cheap for them, as most are made in China (which has killed our pets with poisoned dog food, sickened us in our homes with toxic drywall; yet we trust the communist Chinese to pump mercury, aluminum, squaline and other toxins directly into our bloodstreams?)  Not so cheap for us, as we suffer the long-term costs of the flu shot to our financial, physical and emotional health.

Related:  Enormous Lies about Basic Vaccination

Vaccine Makers Vaccinated against Liability
Unlike other drug company products, vaccines offer a get-out-of-jail free card for vaccine makers, which have been vaccinated against liability by U. S. Government fiat, via the 1986 Childhood Vaccine Act.  Consequently, vaccine makers have nearly zero incentive to make vaccines safe and effective.  That little “detail” probably explains why no vaccine has ever been proven safe and effective. In 2017, Robert De Niro and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who can prove any vaccine is safe and effective. Nobody has been able to do so and claim the reward.

Vaccine Industry Whitewashes Problems
What passes for government vaccine science is in reality propaganda produced by a corporate partnership between drug companies, the CDC, and mainstream media. There is no conspiracy here, folks.  It is an open secret.  Once something becomes a multi-billion-dollar industry, it takes on a life of its own, as it employs so many thousands of people with vested interests in maintaining the status quo.  (Somebody’s baby always needs new shoes.)

The CDC, in fact, uses our tax dollars to fund pro-vaccine groups  and trolls that ignore the latest science as they spew propaganda and misinformation online.

1. The flu vaccine doesn’t work because of the way it is developed.
As Jon Rappoport explains in a Nov. 2017 blog, referencing a PLOS Journal story published earlier that month, the chicken eggs used for culturing clinical isolates and for vaccines don’t work because “the influenza virus often mutates to adapt to being grown in chicken eggs, which can influence antigenicity and hence vaccine effectiveness.”

In addition, only a small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of respiratory samples taken from sick people every year contain the flu virus. This sounds insane but it’s true, and it knocks any notion of the flu vaccine’s effectiveness right out of the park.  Most diagnosis of the flu are not the flu, and there is no evidence whatsoever that taking a flu shot to check the influenza virus does anything at all to affect all those unknown sicknesses that are not the flu.

In fact, the opposite is true.  Taking the flu vaccine has been show to raise the risk of susceptibility to other viruses, like all of those who are sick with something besides the flu who are convinced it is the flu that they have.

2. The flu jab raises the risk of catching other types of flu. Vaccines suppress the immune system, period.  The long-term result is a weakened immune system which leaves the influenza jabbed person vulnerable to other types of flu, which are legion.

3. The flu jab raises the risk of dementia. The flu vaccine is laced with mercury, a known neurotoxin for which no safe dose exists.  It also contains aluminum, linked with Alzheimer’s, and glyphosate, implicated in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and kidney and liver problems.

4. No scientific study proves the flu vaccine is worth the risks of taking it. In fact, in almost any honest assessment, the flu shot has been shown to be virtually useless for the elderly. The flu vaccine has recently been implicated in miscarriages for pregnant women taking the shot. Few things are more insane than vaccinating a pregnant woman with anything, yet the CDC recommends that pregnant women take the flu shot. It would be laughable if it weren’t downright criminal to recommend such a thing.  See Dr. Russell Blaylock on vaccinating pregnant women.

5. No significant scientific studies prove that those who take the flu vaccine and then get the flu (perhaps from the vaccine itself) suffer less debilitating symptoms than not taking the shot would have rendered.  Even in the disinformation and misinformation and all the propaganda that litters the web from the CDC and other vaccine pushers, the best you will find is that taking the flu jab “may reduce” the symptoms if one then gets the flu. The American Society for Microbiology floats this  study after looking at only 155 people. Long recognized as an absurdity by thinking people, the vaccine industry finally realized they needed some evidence, however flimsy, to show the symptoms for the vaccinated were less severe. So they’ve come up with this little tidbit, that the vaccine may (italics ours) reduce the severity of flu symptoms.

That’s the best they’ve got?  Yeah, that’s the best they’ve got.  May is a well-known weasel word long used and abused by advertisers and snake oil salesmen of every stripe to appear to be making a claim.  In reality, may makes no claim at all.  It’s toothless propaganda.

The Flu Vaccine Hoax is Over
With the end of net neutrality ushered in by the FCC with a 3-2 vote along party lines last month, it will become harder and harder to dig out the truth of the ineffectiveness and the dangers of the flu vaccine on the web, but we must keep trying.  Our survival depends on it.  The end game for all of this vaccine propaganda and disinformation is to eventually force vaccination on all of us.  They’ve already killed informed consent in California.  Let’s wake up in 2018, before it’s too late to protect our inalienable rights.

Related

Share

Railroad Worker Cancer Trial: $7.5 Million Award

On September 30, 2016, a railroad worker who developed cancer after exposure to toxic chemicals on the job was awarded $7.5 million by an Illinois jury. James Brown, diagnosed with cancer in 2008, filed the lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad, reported the Madison-St. Cloud Record.

Creosote, Lead, Other Toxic Chemical Exposures
Mr. Brown testified that he was exposed to creosote, cleaning or degreasing solvents, lead, and other toxic chemicals without the aid of proper protective equipment. His job included the handling of railroad ties. Some ties he installed were “soaking wet” with creosote, a known carcinogen. He also said that he washed off the ties and equipment. That job left him covered “head to foot” in creosote, a toxic chemical which soaked through his wet clothes into his skin.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Mr. Brown was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) after it progressed from Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). Other related health problems included injuries to his eyes, legs, feet, medication-caused weight gain, impotence, memory loss.

Mr. Brown was a railroad worker for some 31 years: 13 for Union Pacific, 18 for its predecessor, Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW). His lawyers said that he was eventually issued a hard hat and gloves, but no protective equipment until CNW became Union Pacific in the mid 1990s.

Railroad Worker Cancer Trial: $7.5 Million Award

The lawsuit was filed on December 2, 2010 in Madison County Circuit Court, Illinois — In Re: James Brown v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. — Case No. Case No. 10-L-1213.

FELA Railroad Case
Congress recognized in 1908 that railroads differ from other employers. Congress saw then that railroad worker’s compensation laws were inadequate. Railroad workers were being badly injured or killed with little to no compensation. Congress consequently passed the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). This law protects railroad workers, allowing them to obtain the compensation they deserve when injured on the job. The law permits claims against the railroad for loss of the enjoyment of life; pain and suffering; past, present and future wage loss. To recover this compensation in a FELA case, the railroad worker must prove fault on the railroad’s part. Our law represents railroad workers for their injuries suffered on the job or as a result of it.

Do I have a Railroad Cancer Lawsuit?
Matthews & Associates Law Firm is handling railroad related injury cases in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  If you are a railroad worker who was diagnosed with cancer, contact our lawyers now for a free case consultation. You can use the form to the right of this page or click this contact form to reach our railroad lawyers for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

Related

Share

Failed Medical Procedures Proliferate

In November Cook Blood Clot Filter Lawsuits2017, new studies revealed that stents put into heart disease patients to keep arteries open work no better than a placebo. Hundreds of thousands of US patients receive expensive stents each year for the relief of chest pain. Americans pay anywhere from $11,000 to $41,000 for a stent procedure that, it turns out, is useless for most.  The wasteful and dangerous stent is just the latest in a long string of expensive and unnecessary medical treatments foisted on us all in recent years. Failed medical procedures proliferate in our profit-driven medical culture.

IVC Filters, Power Morcellators, Hernia Mesh Failures
To name just three others in recent memory, IVC filters have also been found to be almost completely unnecessary.  They are rarely, if ever, worth the risk of their implantation.  Power morcellators used for hysterectomy or uterine fibroid removal are another dangerous “improvement”; they can be lethal when used on women with undiagnosed cancer.  And finally, hernia mesh (plastic) is another unnecessary and dangerous “improvement” recently unmasked.  Lawsuits have been filed against the promoters and makers of all three of these “improvements,” because risk-benefit analysis shows that each is not worth the risk of its potential failure.

The Latest Technology Prejudice
The Western medical establishment, run on the sick-model-profit-motive, is decidedly prejudicial when it comes to using the “latest” technology. Most of us have also been unwittingly conditioned to embrace the latest gadget or device.  If it’s new, we almost instantly imagine that it must be better.  We are, at the least, encouraged to think so by television advertisements, the shiny new brochures that litter doctors’ offices, our own doctor’s own glowing recommendation that this is the “new great thing.”  New being the operative word, and sadly, if our doctor doesn’t know what “the latest” device, drug, or procedure is, we are conditioned to think she has failed to keep up with the times, and are apt to look for another, more “up to date” doctor model.

Money Prejudice

There is also a money prejudice at work.   Conditioned to pursue and worship money and to listen to those who have it, we sacrifice or denigrate our own skills and aptitude, as we genuflect to the money.  If some computer, phone, or medical device company spent millions developing this latest thing, it must be good, we imagine, because why else would they have spent all that money?  (Our money prejudice is a non sequitur we ignore at our peril.)  At the very least, we want to benefit from this great new thing, this new peachy pinnacle of money power.

We’re All Sales People Now
In our personal lives we act as (unwitting) sales people as we show one another the slickest features on the “new” cell phone, the bells and whistles on the latest model car, television, or “Smart” (Read: stupid) appliance.  Most of us embrace so-called Smart meters without a whimper of protest (or a single minute of research), even though they don’t save us anything and actually cost us all more for power in the long haul.  (But thousands of citizens have complained to Calif. PG&E; so some people are, fortunately, paying attention.)

Stents Unnecessary (for most), Expensive, Dangerous
As for stents, “Several randomized trials have clearly shown that stents and angioplasties don’t prolong life or prevent heart attacks in stable patients. Now, we know that they don’t reduce angina either,” wrote Dean Ornish, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California of San Francisco.

IVC Filter Problems
No study has proven IVC filters are necessary or more effective than the treatment which preceded them – blood-thinning drugs and dietary and lifestyle changes. No study has demonstrated the efficacy of IVC filters. They have been shown by thousands of people, however, to be quite dangerous. They can be impossible to remove. They have likely killed thousands of people whose deaths were not attributed to the filters. They can break apart and migrate and perforate the heart and lungs, causing life-threatening conditions. IVC filter lawsuits have, consequently, been filed by the thousands against Cook Medical, Bard, Boston Scientific, Cordis, and other IVC filter makers. Even the AMA, virtually always friendly with medical device makers, has admitted these devices have proliferated despite any evidence of efficacy.

Power Morcellator Problems
Power morcellators have been used for performing hysterectomies and removing uterine fibroids. They’ve been marketed as a more convenient method for surgeons and as a less invasive method for women to undergo certain surgeries. The problem is that when they are used on women with undiagnosed uterine cancer (not entirely uncommon), they can spread that cancer throughout the body, and weaponize it so that it becomes lethal. As a result, power morcellator lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon) and other morcellator makers.

Hernia Mesh Problems
Hernias were fixed for at least 100 years with simple suturing, until some medical device maker got the bright idea to insert plastic mesh into the human body. The procedure is easier for surgeons or doctors who don’t have the chops to perform a good old fashioned suturing job, and it promises the patient a “less invasive” procedure with faster recovery times. The problem, however, is that once that mesh goes in, it “meshes” with the body’s tissues, grows into them in ways which can make it all but impossible to remove. When infection follows, as it often does in the body’s natural foreign body reaction, the mesh often needs to be removed; but it can be all but impossible to remove. The unlucky mesh implantee can then be doomed to a lifetime of pain. In the “old” method of simple suturing, any complications could be much more easily corrected or revised. The doctor could even remove all the stitching, if necessary, and begin again.  Not so with mesh.

Failed Medical Procedures Proliferate
Given all these failed or at best dubious devices and procedures, people would be wise to do their research before submitting to the latest, greatest procedure, pill or medical device. Discerning patients might be wise to start by looking very closely at their own ingrained prejudices concerning the latest, greatest anything.  Advertising dollars run what we call “the news,” which is often little more than the promotion of corporate products and corporate values, which is no values at all beyond the blind worship of profits.

Patient, beware.

Related

Share

PPI Lawsuit Settlements

Proton pump inhibitor lawsuits are being filed for people who developed kidney problems after taking popular PPI drugs like Nexium, Protonix, Prilosec, Prevacid, and Aciphex. The lawsuits were spurred largely by a study published in 2016 which showed a link between PPIs and chronic kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, requiring regular dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant.

In the latest study, researchers used data on self-reported proton pump inhibitor use among more than 10,000 people taking part in a national study on hardening of the arteries. Researchers also evaluated data on outpatient PPI prescriptions among nearly 250,000 patients of a Pennsylvania health care system.

The study noted PPI users in both groups were more likely to have health problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and heart issues.

In both groups, researchers associated use of the drugs with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease over ten years.

The researchers also compared people using the drugs once a day with those who used them twice daily.  They found the latter linked with a 46 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease, compared with a 15 percent increased risk in the once-daily users.

No one is sure how PPI drugs might damage the kidneys, though two theories lead the way.  One is that PPIs can cause magnesium levels to decline; a lack of magnesium can damage kidneys. The second theory is that kidneys might suffer damage if patients face repeated bouts of acute kidney inflammation from proton pump inhibitors.

Gastroenterologists are also cautious about using PPIs because they’ve been tied to other health problems such as bone fractures, infections of C. difficile, and pneumonia.

Because many people who take PPIs have other health problems, lawsuits against the makers of these drugs could be difficult to pursue, though several law firms are pursuing them, including Matthews & Associates.  Meanwhile, many makers of proton pump inhibitor drugs have already paid out millions of dollars in lawsuits related to these dubious drugs.  PPI lawsuit settlements reveal that these drugs have a checkered history:

PPI Lawsuit Settlements

2012 – $55 million: Pfizer agreed to settlement with U.S. government for promoting Protonix for unapproved uses.

2014 – Undisclosed amount: Takeda Pharmaceuticals settled a lawsuit claiming Prevacid was responsible for bone fractures.

2015 – $20 million: AstraZeneca agreed to a settlement in a consumer class action lawsuit over its marketing of Prilosec and Nexium.

2015 – $7.9 million: AstraZeneca agreed to settlement with U.S. government over alleged kickback scheme involving Nexium.

2015 – $24 million: Generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals settled lawsuit claiming it took money from AstraZeneca to keep generic Nexium off the market.

Free Legal Case Evaluation
Our law firm is handling proton pump inhibitor lawsuits in which someone took a PPI and developed chronic kidney disease. Contact us for a free legal consultation if you have been diagnosed with kidney problems following use of PPI drugs.

Related

•  Prilosec LawsuitNexium Lawsuit

•  Protonix Kidney Disease Lawsuit

•  Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit

•  Prevacid Kidney Failure Lawsuit

•  Aciphex Lawsuit Lawyer

•  Nexium Lawsuit

•  PPI Lawsuit Settlements

Share