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Pfizer sued for hiding side-effects of cholesterol drug Lipitor

Médicaments, argent,lobbis pharmaceutiques
© Inconnu
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is facing a mounting wave of lawsuits by women who allege that the company knew about possible serious side effects of its blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor but never properly warned the public.

In the past five months, a Reuters review of federal court filings shows, lawsuits by U.S. women who say that taking Lipitor gave them type-2 diabetes have shot up from 56 to almost 1,000.

Lawsuits began to be filed not long after the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 warned that Lipitor and other statins had been linked to incidents of memory loss and a "small increased risk" of diabetes. According to plaintiffs' lawyers, women face a higher risk than men of developing diabetes from using Lipitor, and gain fewer benefits.

The recent spike in lawsuits followed a decision by a federal judicial panel to consolidate all Lipitor diabetes lawsuits from around the country into a single Federal courtroom in Charleston, South Carolina. Pfizer opposed the consolidation, arguing it would prompt copycat filings. The first case is scheduled to be tried next July.

Pfizer said in a statement that it denied liability and would fight the lawsuits.

It is not uncommon for a drugmaker to get hit with thousands of lawsuits over its products after the FDA orders a label change alerting users to newly found risks. Takeda Pharmaceutical, for instance, is facing more than 3,500 federal lawsuits since 2011 when the FDA ordered it to update the label on its diabetes drug Actos to warn about bladder cancer. Takeda has denied liability.

But several factors set the Lipitor diabetes cases apart from those against other drug companies. For one, Lipitor is the best-selling prescription drug of all time, racking up global sales of more than $130 billion since it went on the market in 1996. More than 29 million patients in the United States have been prescribed the drug, suggesting there is a vast pool of potential plaintiffs.

Comment: Pfizer was found guilty in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the U.S. Justice Department's history in 2009.

Readers might be interested in checking out these articles:

  • Vascular surgeons write a damning report about lowering cholesterol drugs
  • There is only one type of cholesterol, here's why
  • Cholesterol - The good, the bad and the ugly
  • Bribery, fraud and corruption charges against big pharma


Health

Music to your ears? Evidence of damage to hearing from music


Many people listen to loud music without realizing that this can affect their hearing. This could lead to difficulties in understanding speech during age-related hearing loss which affects up to half of people over the age of 65.
Many people listen to loud music without realizing that this can affect their hearing. This could lead to difficulties in understanding speech during age-related hearing loss which affects up to half of people over the age of 65.

New research led by the University of Leicester has examined the cellular mechanisms that underlie hearing loss and tinnitus triggered by exposure to loud sound.

It has demonstrated that physical changes in myelin itself -the coating of the auditory nerve carrying sound signals to the brain -- affect our ability to hear.

Dr Martine Hamann, Lecturer in Neurosciences at the University of Leicester, said: "People who suffer from hearing loss have difficulties in understanding speech, particularly when the environment is noisy and when other people are talking nearby.

"Understanding speech relies on fast transmission of auditory signals. Therefore it is important to understand how the speed of signal transmission gets decreased during hearing loss. Understanding these underlying phenomena means that it could be possible to find medicines to improve auditory perception, specifically in noisy backgrounds."

The research, funded by Action on Hearing Loss, and led by Leicester, was done in collaboration with Dr Angus Brown of the University of Nottingham. The research, "Computational modelling of the effects of auditory nerve dysmyelination," is published in Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

Dr Ralph Holme, Head of Biomedical Research at Action on Hearing Loss, the only UK charity dedicated to funding research into hearing loss said: "There is an urgent need for effective treatments to prevent hearing loss -- a condition that affects 10 million people in the UK and all too often isolates people from friends and family. This research further increases our understanding of the biological consequences of exposure to loud noise. Knowledge that we hope will lead to effective treatments for hearing loss within a generation."
Health

Invasion of Americas by mosquito-borne virus likely

While media attention has been focused recently on coronavirus cases in the Arabian peninsula and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, experts note that another threat lies in the spread of Chikungunya fever, an illness that is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause fever, joint and muscle pain, headaches, and rashes. While it does not often cause death, the symptoms can be severe and disabling, with no treatment available.

The potential for worldwide spread of Chikungunya virus is much higher than the risk of dissemination of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or Ebola virus, and the number of cases expected from the introduction of Chikungunya virus into the Americas, Europe, or both is immeasurably higher.
Health

Attack Ebola using nanotechnology?

© Credit: Thinkstock
The Ebola virus
The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has claimed more than 900 lives since February and has infected thousands more. Countries such as Nigeria and Liberia have declared health emergencies, while the World Health Organization began a two-day meeting on Wednesday to discuss ways to battle the outbreak.

There is no known vaccine, treatment, or cure for Ebola, which is contracted through the bodily fluids of an infected person or animal. But that doesn't mean there's not hope. In fact, Chemical Engineering Chair Thomas Webster's lab is currently working on one possible solution for fighting Ebola and other deadly viruses: nanotechnology.


Comment: Actually, the Ebola virus is also transmitted through the air:

Ebola transmission: "Being within 3 feet" or "in same room" can lead to infection


"It has been very hard to develop a vaccine or treatment for Ebola or similar viruses because they mutate so quickly," explained Webster, the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Nanomedicine. "In nanotechnology we turned our attention to developing nanoparticles that could be attached chemically to the viruses and stop them from spreading."

Comment: With the Ebola virus mutating so quickly, increasing our knowledge base may be a more effective protective strategy: we can still prep our diet and keep an eye out for healthier options than ineffective vaccines.

For further reading:

- 25 Facts about the Ebola outbreak that you should know

- Ebola outbreak becoming uncontrollable; meanwhile Monsanto invests in anti-Ebola drug

- The question about Ebola that no one can answer

Health

More than a million people affected by Ebola outbreak in West Africa: WHO

The infected people are in the "hot zone of disease transmission" on the borders of the three countries most impacted by the disease

ebola body
© PTI
Health workers carry body of a man suspected of dying from Ebola virus.
With more than one million people affected by the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the WHO has warned that there is "no early end in sight" to the severe health crisis and called for "extraordinary measures" to stop the transmission of the disease.

According to the latest update issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease, as well as 56 deaths, were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone between August 10 and 11, bringing the total number of cases to 1,975 and deaths to 1,069.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said more than one million people are affected by the disease and these people need daily material support, including food.

The infected people are in the "hot zone of disease transmission" on the borders of the three countries most impacted by the disease.

"There is no early end (to the outbreak) in sight. This is an extraordinary outbreak that requires extraordinary measures for containment. This is a severe health crisis, and it can rapidly become a humanitarian crisis if we do not do more to stop transmission," Chan said during a briefing in Geneva yesterday.
Health

Bodies dumped in streets as West Africa struggles to curb Ebola spreading

body removal volunteers
© Reuters/WHO/Tarik Jasarevic/Handout via Reuters
Volunteers prepare to remove the bodies of people who were suspected of contracting Ebola and died in the community in the village of Pendebu, north of Kenema August 2 , 2014.
Relatives of Ebola victims in Liberia defied government orders and dumped infected bodies in the streets as West African governments struggled to enforce tough measures to curb an outbreak of the virus that has killed 887 people.

In Nigeria, which recorded its first death from Ebola in late July, authorities in Lagos said eight people who came in contact with the deceased U.S. citizen Patrick Sawyer were showing signs of the deadly disease.

The outbreak was detected in March in the remote forest regions of Guinea, where the death toll is rising. In neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the outbreak is now spreading fastest, authorities deployed troops to quarantine the border areas where 70 percent of cases have been detected.
Pirates

Liberia: Ebola spread fears rise as clinic looted

© AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh
A Liberian woman holds up a pamphlet with guidance on how to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading, in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.
Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital's largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including blood-stained sheets and mattresses.

The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought to the holding center from other parts of Monrovia, Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant health minister, said Sunday. It was not immediately clear how many patients had been at the center.

West Point residents went on a "looting spree," stealing items from the clinic that were likely infected, said a senior police official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press. The residents took medical equipment and mattresses and sheets that had bloodstains, he said.

"All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," the official said, adding that he now feared "the whole of West Point will be infected."

Some of the looted items were visibly stained with blood, vomit and excrement, said Richard Kieh, who lives in the area.

Comment: Don't miss Ebola transmission: "Being within 3 feet" or "in same room" can lead to infection.

Syringe

Ebola spreading: Kenya closes borders to travelers from Ebola countries - 3 suspected of Ebola quarantined in India

© AFP
Kenyan officials say the country is closing its borders to travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in response to the deadly Ebola outbreak. Kenya's health secretary said Kenyans and medical workers flying in from those states would still be allowed in. Kenyan Airways says it will stop flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone when the ban comes in on Wednesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) says Kenya is at "high risk" from Ebola because it is a major transport hub. The epidemic began in Guinea in February and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. On Friday, the death toll rose to 1,145 after the WHO said 76 new deaths had been reported in the two days to 13 August. There have been 2,127 cases reported in total.

Comment: Comment: While Ebola continues to spread we can still prep our diet and keep an eye out for healthier options than ineffective vaccines.

For further reading:

- 25 Facts about the Ebola outbreak that you should know

- Ebola outbreak becoming uncontrollable; meanwhile Monsanto invests in anti-Ebola drug

- The question about Ebola that no one can answer

Health

Ebola transmission: "Being within 3 feet" or "in same room" can lead to infection

Public health officials and the corporate media haven't been telling you the truth regarding the Ebola outbreak.

For months, any time you heard mainstream news discuss the topic, they have made it a priority to insist Ebola is only transferred by exchanging bodily fluids.

SCG News has suspected for some time now that this is not true. Recent changes made by CDC criteria for Ebola transmission seem to suggest this claim is correct.


From the CDC update:

"A low risk exposure includes any of the following:
  • Household member or other casual contact with an EVD patient.
  • Providing patient care or casual contact without high-risk exposure with EVD patients in health care facilities in EVD outbreak affected countries."

Comment: Did you know that the Black Death was found to be an Ebola-like virus? Sott.net first brought this topic to the public awareness in 2011: New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

You stand the best chance by eating according to your body's physiological needs. See:

- Are you prepping your diet?
- The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview
- Ketogenic Diet (high-fat, low-carb) Has Neuroprotective and Disease-modifying Effects

For more information behind this sign of the time, see:

- The Hazard to Civilization From Fireballs and Comets

- New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection

- New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

- Happy New Year 2014?

- SOTT Talk Radio show #70: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

Health

'No way to curb spread' of Ebola in Philippines sez leading Filipino doctor

© AP
This undated photo made available by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, shows the Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope.
If the deadly Ebola virus enters the Philippines, the local primary and secondary hospitals will have a hard time containing its spread, according to an infectious disease specialist.

At a health forum on Tuesday, Dr. Ludovico Jurao said the infection control committees in these hospitals were not fully capable of managing such a highly contagious disease and, without the help of experts, they may even contribute to an outbreak.

"In containing Ebola, an infected patient must be confined to one room. But in secondary hospitals, patients stay in wards so the rate of transmission of diseases is high," said Jurao, who is also president of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID). Jurao said the PSMID had 200 members who could be tapped to help these hospitals. "There is really no way to curb the spread of the disease but through strong infection control measures in hospitals," he said. But he also stressed that the key to preventing Ebola from entering the country was for those who come from Ebola-hit countries in West Africa, especially returning Filipino migrant workers, to fully disclose their health condition and their whereabouts upon arrival in the Philippines.
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