Monthly Archives: September 2007

State plans lawsuit against drug firms

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

By SETH BLOMELEY

Attorney General Dustin Mc-Daniel told lawmakers Friday he’s planning a lawsuit against three major pharmaceutical manufacturers over a “marketing scheme” for anti-psychotic drugs paid for by the state Medicaid program.

Some taking the drugs shouldn’t have been given them and have developed side effects, he said.

McDaniel told the Legislative Council he could seek as much as $ 600 million for the state and that he’s taking the unusual step of contracting with a private law firm to take the lead in the litigation. He said the firm, Bailey Perrin Bailey LLP of Houston, will bear all the expenses and its fee will be 15 percent of the award.

“It’s extraordinarily reasonable for the quality of work we’re going to get,” McDaniel said. “This particular matter is so large that frankly the AG’s office could not handle it internally. If [the suit ] is not successful we don’t owe a dollar.”

He said the firm is handling similar litigation for six other states.

A national coalition of about 30 state attorneys general is involved in a similar investigation of anti-psychotic drug marketing but McDaniel said he declined to join that effort because he feared Arkansas would “be lost in the shuffle.”…

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Worse Than Vioxx: Zyprexa, Risperdal, Clozaril, And Paxil Killed Thousands Of Americans

Furious Seasons

Philip Dawdy

Last week, there was much media coverage of a large jump in adverse events reports and deaths due to the use–and, perhaps, misuse–or prescription drugs. Most of the coverage cited the general trend, noted how many thousands of deaths occurred among users of opiate painkillers, and moved along. I wrote about the study here, but at the time had not obtained the entire paper. I have rectified that situation.

What the media failed to report is that Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Clozaril, three atypical antipsychotics, and Paxil, an SSRI anti-depressant, were tied to the deaths of 6,225 Americans from 1998 to 2005. These numbers are shocking and far outpace estimates I’ve run into previously. That this data was not reported by the media is inexcusable, given the millions of Americans–and others around the world–who take these four drugs.

The numbers come from a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine and are based upon reports in the FDA’s adverse events database. There are limits to the numbers from this study. I’ll get to those in a bit. The study may be accessed here…

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