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Williamsport Pharmaceutical and Mass Tort Lawyers

Pharmaceutials and Medical Devices

SashaPatients and consumers of prescription medications and pharmaceuticals  trust that the makers of these medications have  provided us with safe products. Unfortunately drug manufacturers and pharmacists sometimes let us down and we suffer serious consequences from their negligence.

Cliff Rieders and his team at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, have years of experience representing clients in pharmaceutical  and medical device mass tort litigation, as well as pharmaceutical error cases. Cliff has decades of experience representing persons who have been injured by the negligence of others, including pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, hospitals and physicians. We are committed to helping our clients recover the full remedies available under the law.  Contact us now to speak to an experienced attorney about your legal needs.

Mass Tort – Dangerous Drugs and Medical Devices

Here are a few examples of the cases we can assist you with:

XARELTO – Xarelto is a blood thinner used to prevent strokes, blood clots and similar conditions. These drugs can also cause excessive internal bleeding in patients, which has prompted numerous lawsuits against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals.  If you have suffered from internal bleeding that you believe may be caused by Xarelto, contact Cliff Rieders to see if you have a claim

TALCUM POWDER – Talcum powder has been widely used for many years in the United States. It is included in many different products, including cosmetics and contraceptive devices. It has also been linked to ovarian  cancer and the subject of litigation against Johnson & Johnson. If you have used talcum products and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, contact us to see if you are eligible to file a claim in the multi-district litigation.

BAIR HUGGER – Bair Hugger warming blankets are used in surgical settings to help regulate a patient’s body temperature. These warming blankets have also been linked to certain types surgical infections due to the potential spreading of contaminants to a patient.  Contact us  to discuss a potential claim in the multidistrict litigation

TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPIES – Testosterone replacement therapies are touted for the many benefits they supposedly offer people who suffer from low testosterone levels, or low-T. However, these therapies may also increase a user’s risk of heart attacks or strokes.   Contact Cliff Rieders  for further information if you or a loved one suffered from a cardiac event while using these testosterone products.

INVOKANA – Invokana is a medication prescribed to people with Type 2 diabetes. This drug has also been linked to diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney injuries and limb amutation.  Contact the Cliff Rieders  for a free consultation to determine if you can file a claim in the ongoing litigation.

LEVAQUIN FAMILY ANTIBIOTICS – LEVAQUIN, CIPRO AND AVELOX –  Levaquin is in the family of one of the most heavily-prescribed antibiotics in the United States.  There is currently ongoing litigation alleging that the use of these antibiotics caused patients to develop peripheral neuropathy, as well as other types of injuries.  Contact us today to see if you may be able to file a claim.

OPIOID ADDICTION – Approximately 115 people die every day in the United States due to opioid overdoses. More than two million Americans are addicted to or have abused prescription painkillers. A significant contributor to the opioid epidemic is the marketing efforts of pharmaceutical companies that increased their distribution to patients suffering from pain.   Our litigation team is working closely with local, county and regional governments and other stakeholders across the country in lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful and addictive opioid painkillers. There is a multidistrict litigation where lawsuits allege the pharmaceutical industry has fueled dramatic increases in opioid abuse and deaths by indiscriminately flooding rural and urban communities with prescription opioids. The drugs in question include brand names, such as OxyContin and Percocet, as well as generics, such as fentanyl and oxycodone.

NEXIUM, PREVACID AND PRILOSEC PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS – Proton pump inhibitors are available over the counter and by prescription to treat stomach acid. These drugs are also linked with several side effects, including kidney disease, often resulting in the need for kidney dialysis or patient death.  Contact Cliff Rieders for evaluation of a  potential claim.

INCRETIN MIMETIC DIABETES DRUGS –BYETTA, JANUVIA, VICTOZA, JANUMET –  Incretin mimetic medications are a class of drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes. Incretin mimetic drugs include Januvia, Byetta and Victoza. These drugs have been linked to the development of pancreatic cancer.  Contact the Rieders Travis firm is you were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and took these drugs

ESSURE – Essure is a birth control device marketed as a permanent non-surgical option for women. These devices have also been the subject of lawsuits due to their potential to cause many adverse conditions, including perforation, bleeding, nickel sensitivity, pain and unwanted pregnancy.  Contact Cliff Rieders to discuss your potential claim.

VIAGRA AND CIALIS – Viagra and Cialis are prescribed for erectile dysfunction. Research suggests that users of these drugs might have a greatly increased risk of developing melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.   Contact us to discuss any potential claim.

ACTEMRA – Actemra is a drug used to treat several types of arthritis. This medication has been associated with many side effects, including stroke, heart attack, gastrointestinal problems, pancreatitis and lung disease.

VAGINAL MESH – There is ongoing litigation concerning injuries from numerous brands of vaginal mes.  These injuries include pain, perforation, bleeding, incontinence, and numerous surgeries to remove the mesh.  Contact Cliff Rieders to determine if you have a potential claim.

HERNIA MESH – There is ongoing litigation for several brands of hernia mesh that may have resulted in pain and numerous revision surgeries.  If you think you suffered and injury from hernia mesh, contact us today.

These are just a few of the countless devices and medications that have been associated with serious patient injuries and illnesses. Patients and consumers too often turn to the medical community for much-needed treatments only to suffer dire consequences in the form of adverse side effects.

The Law

FDA-approved pharmaceuticals may lead to very complex cases. There are numerous federal multri-district litigations are set up to handle claims involving injuries from many pharmaceutical drugs and devices. Oftentimes the issue is whether the drug manufacturer gave proper warnings and information to the FDA when seeking approval for their drug.  These cases often involve failure to warn, manufacturer negligence and strict liability claims. Pharmaceuticals that are unreasonable dangerous, or lack appropriate warnings of potential side effects may give rise to legal claims.

The experienced  Pennsylvania pharmaceutical and medical malpractice attorney Cliff Rieders and his team  at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann is a leader in the field of pharmaceutical,  and medical device litigation, including multi-district litigation and individual claims. Cliff is known for resolving cases efficiently and seeking the best possible resolutions for his clients that are available under the law. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of drug or pharmaceutical or dietary supplement injury, we may be able to help. We offer a free consultation, so contact us today to learn your legal options.

Pharmaceutical and Prescription Errors And Neglect

When a pharmacist fills a prescription your doctor ordered, the medication you receive should be correct and that it will help make you better. However, if pharmacy neglect should occur, your illness will not only be untreated, but you can develop harmful new symptoms and side effects that can make you sicker or even lead to death.

There are more than 10,000 prescription medications available in the U.S., and nearly one-third of adults take 5 or more medications. When a patient suffers harm as a result of medication errors, it is called an adverse drug event (ADE), and these events cause nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations each year. Nearly 5% of hospitalized patients experience an ADE, and ambulatory patients may have even higher rates, largely due to deaths from opioid medications.

Common Types of Errors

A medication error refers to an error at any step in the process that begins when a clinician prescribes a medication and ends when the patient actually receives the medication. The pathway between a doctor’s decision to prescribe a medication and the patient’s actually receiving the medication consists of several steps:

  • Ordering: The clinician must select the appropriate medication and the dose and frequency.
  • Transcribing: A clerk in a hospital, or a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in the outpatient setting must read and interpret the prescription correctly.
  • Dispensing: The pharmacist must check for drug–drug interactions and allergies, then provide the right quantity of the medication in the correct form.
  • Administration: The correct medication must be supplied to the correct patient at the correct time by nurses, patients or caregivers.

Medication errors that cause harm are often caused by:

  • Wrong drug — Pharmacists may fill prescriptions with a drug having a similar name or appearance.
  • Wrong dosage — Doctors may prescribe incorrect dosages, or pharmacists may instruct the patient to take the wrong amount of a product.
  • Technology Errors — Computers and other technology that helps with medication monitoring can have system problems, fail, and have confusing software that leads to user mistakes. According to a study by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, in the first six months of 2016, Pennsylvania hospitals reported 889 medication errors or close calls related to electronic health records and other technology used to monitor and record patients’ treatment. Most of these errors involved missed doses, wrong or over doses, and extra doses.

What are Risk Factors for Adverse Drug Events?

Risk factors may be patient-specific, drug-specific, or clinician-specific. Common risk factors include:

Patient-specific:

Polypharmacy (taking more medication than clinically necessary) occurs most commonly among elderly patients, who take more medications and are more susceptible to adverse effects, and also among pediatric patients since many medications for children must be dosed according to their weight.

Caregivers and patients themselves may make medication administration errors, especially if they are not literate and have trouble calculating dosages.

Drug-specific:

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has a list of high-alert medications that can cause significant patient harm if used in error. These include medications that have dangerous adverse effects and also look-alike and sound-alike medications, which have similar names and physical appearance but have completely different effects.

Clinician-specific:

Doctors must be aware that there are some types of medications where the potential for harm generally outweighs the benefits (such as benzodiazepine sedatives in elderly patients), and they must use caution in prescribing them. They should carefully monitor patients taking other commonly-used medications that have risks but offer significant benefits if used properly. These medications include:

  • antidiabetic agents (e.g., insulin)
  • oral anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin)
  • antiplatelet agents (such as aspirin and clopidogrel)
  • opioid pain medications.

Together, these four medications account for more than 50% of emergency department visits for ADEs in Medicare patients.

In addition, pharmacies must be aware of dangerous drug combinations between drugs that may not cause harm on their own but will have adverse effects when taken together.

Non-prescription medications, including dietary Supplements/Vitamin Supplements

These are not prescribed by doctors. In fact, many doctors do not know their patients are taking these substances. The same is true with over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

There are also doctrines which apply to these cases where there are warnings with respect to the drugs and pharmaceuticals. Sometimes doctors may be liable for prescribing the wrong drug or contraindicated drug and other times liability may be on the manufacturer. As indicated earlier, pharmacist liability may also be an issue.

Pharmacist, pharmaceutical, vitamin/dietary supplement litigation can be very complex. It is essential to have an experienced attorney and legal staff on your side. If you or your loved one has suffered injury from wrongdoing dangerous pharmaceutical, medical device, dietary supplement or from pharmacist negligence, time is of the essence. Do not delay. Contact Cliff Rieders at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann by calling 800-326-9259 or by using our online contact form for a free consultation about whether you have a legal claim.