Posts Tagged ‘pharmaceuticals’

Medical roundup

Nanny state roundup

  • London ban on transit ads depicting “bad” foods winds up nixing images of Wimbledon strawberries and cream, bacon, butter, cheese, jam, honey, and Christmas pudding [Scott Shackford]
  • And more: British medical journal The Lancet wants to do some highly non-consensual poking and jabbing at your midsection, with the aim of making you lose weight; highlights include funding activist campaigns, cutting business out of policy discussions, and routing policy through the least accountable international organizations [Christopher Snowdon, The Spectator; more from Snowdon on state-subsidized anti-food advocacy in Britain; Nina Teicholz]
  • Pushing back on the Lancet panel’s guideline that each person be allowed no more than one egg and less than 3.5 ounces of red meat a week [Mark Hemingway]
  • “The Problem With Nudging People to Happiness” [Randy Barnett reviews Cass Sunstein’s On Freedom]
  • “Pharmaceutical Freedom: Why Patients Have a Right to Self Medicate”, Cato Daily Podcast with Jessica Flanigan and Caleb Brown;
  • “Proposed Anti-Soda Bills in California Would Ban Big Gulps, Mandate Warning Labels on Vending Machines” [Christian Britschgi] “Medical Groups Endorse New Taxes and Marketing Restrictions on Soda — For the children, of course” [Baylen Linnekin]

On Xarelto, plaintiff’s lawyers win by losing

“In terms of the evidence, the trial lawyers [suing Bayer and Johnson & Johnson over the blood thinner Xarelto] had a losing hand — any kind of sane judicial system would have them leaving the field of battle, a defeated army.” But they’d signed up a remarkable 25,000 clients, buying an estimated 129,000 ads seeking such business in 2016, with one law firm alone spending $20 million a year on promotion. When you’ve got that big a base of clients to throw at them, “companies settle meritless cases.” [Joe Nocera, Bloomberg Opinion]

Medical roundup

  • Sued if you do, sued if you don’t: drugmaker faces lawsuits over failure to provide Fosamax warning that FDA told it not to provide [Jim Copland, James Beck on Merck Sharp & Dohme v. Albrecht, pending at Supreme Court]
  • On new APA masculinity guidelines, Sally Satel cuts to the point: will they improve the success of therapy for people seeking help? [Washington Post]
  • What does it mean to say the opioid litigation might follow the tobacco model? [Rob McKenna, U.S. Chamber] Citing fate of earlier gun lawsuit filed by city of Bridgeport, state judge dismisses four lawsuits filed by Connecticut cities against opioid industry [Daniel Fisher, Legal NewsLine]
  • I do miss the days when leaders of the public health profession focused on communicable diseases like typhus rather than running after Bloomberg grants to promote soda bans [Joel Grover and Amy Corral, NBC Los Angeles]
  • Cooking the books on infant mortality: about those Cuban life expectancy stats [David R. Henderson]
  • As artificial intelligence begins to make inroads into medical diagnosis, liability issues loom large [Beck, see related linked earlier]

Feds: we’ve had it with qui tam gamesmanship

“The U.S. Department of Justice is asking federal judges around the country to dismiss lawsuits it says are brought by shell companies that misrepresent their true purposes – filing meritless litigation against health care companies…. The DOJ says these plaintiffs were created for the sole purpose of filing suit under the federal False Claims Act and is complaining that it spent hundreds of hours investigating kickback allegations only to find no merit to them…. Among the law firms representing the plaintiffs in the cases is the firm of prominent personal injury lawyer Mark Lanier of Texas.” [P. David Yates, Legal NewsLine/Forbes]

“Significant to DOJ’s analysis was the fact that the qui tam relators used ‘false pretenses’ to obtain information from witnesses. According to the government, the actions all were filed by a ‘professional relator’ entity that sought to develop contacts and inside information under the guise of conducting a research study of the pharmaceutical industry, and offering to pay individuals for information provided in a purported ‘qualitative research study,’ even though the information was ‘actually being collected for use in qui tam complaints filed by [the professional relator] through its pseudonymous limited liability companies.’…it would be awkward for DOJ to sit idly by and allow qui tam cases to proceed, in the government’s name—which is how the qui tam system works—when those cases are purportedly premised on a scheme one district court already described as involving ethical violations and ‘an elaborate series of falsehoods, misrepresentation, and deceptive conduct.'” [Joe Metro and Andy Bernasconi, Drug and Device Law]

And yet more: “Prominent qui tam lawyers are now questioning the nomination of William Barr as attorney general, citing comments he made nearly 30 years ago questioning the constitutionality of private relators under the FCA. Some of the lawyers who signed a recent letter to U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley criticizing Barr, including Harvard Law School Professor Nancy Gertner, participated in litigation against Celgene that the government declined to join but nevertheless generated $280 million in settlements and more than $30 million in legal fees.” [Daniel Fisher, Legal NewsLine/Forbes]

Medical roundup

  • No, the federal court ruling in Texas isn’t likely to take down the Affordable Care Act / ObamaCare [Ilya Shapiro]
  • Should doctors exhort their patients to vote? Hell, no [Wesley J. Smith]
  • “Accutane Litigation Goes Out with a Bang, Not a Whimper” [James Beck, Drug & Device Law] “The Worst Prescription Drug/Medical Device Decisions of 2018” [same; plus the best]
  • Proposal for price controls on Medicare Part B might amount to drug reimportation lite [Roger Pilon] Canadian reimportation as shiny object [Beck]
  • The European Medicines Agency has approved the powerful new opioid Dsuvia, and FDA head Gottlieb made the right choice in following suit, Sen. Markey and Public Citizen notwithstanding [Jeffrey Singer, Cato]
  • “Your doctors didn’t jump out of business; they were pushed. And they were pushed by people way too convinced of their qualifications to redesign the world around them.” [J.D. Tuccille, Reason]

“Consumers are misled by some mass tort drug injury ads: new academic study”

Tort reform groups have warned for a while that trial lawyer ads hyping side effects from commonly prescribed drugs might lead some patients to go off prescribed medication regimens. Now “a new paper co-authored by University of Oregon law professor Elizabeth Tippett, a key witness at last year’s congressional hearing [raising the issue], offers some empirical evidence that drug injury ads by trial lawyers and legal marketing firms do, in fact, mislead some consumers. And when those ads are deceptively framed as health warnings, Tippett and her co-author found, patients are less likely to refill or renew prescriptions.” [Alison Frankel, Reuters]