DOJ Issues Subpoena To Philips Over Sleep Apnea Devices

DOJ Issues Subpoena To Philips Over Sleep Apnea Devices
Fri, 04/29/2022 - 12:18

The U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed Royal Philips NV over the recall of defective CPAP sleep apnea machines and respirators, which are alleged of causing severe problems to the users.

Philips Respironics and its U.S. subsidiaries were handed over the subpoena on April 8. The sleep machines used by millions of Americans are alleged of releasing toxic sound abatement foam particles and debris, which go directly into the pathways and lungs of individuals.

In June 2021, the company recalled millions of Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines as the manufacturer admitted that sound abatement foam made from polyester (PE-PUR) might break down and degrade, eventually releasing black particles or debris directly into the sleep apnea machine’s air pathway. It would expose the users to some toxic gases and chemicals.

The company now faces several product liability lawsuits and class action claims against its Philips CPAP machines. The lawsuits are brought forward by hundreds of former users reporting cases of cancer, lung damage and other respiratory problems.

The FDA declared in the last month that Philips CPAP recall notifications failed to meet federal requirements. As per the agency's report, the company lapsed in informing the CPAP machine users about the health risks. The investigators of FDA even suggested that Philips was aware of the sound abatement foam problem for years, yet it did not issue warnings to the users and failed to follow up the complaints.

$266 Million For Utah In Landmark Opioid Settlement

$266 Million For Utah In Landmark Opioid Settlement
Thu, 04/28/2022 - 13:29

Utah will receive a landmark opioid settlement of $266 million from the drug companies over the opioid crisis in the state that resulted in several deaths and social imbalance.

The settlement amount would be distributed among the 27 Utah counties where the drugmakers and distributors will pay the amount over the next 18 years to combat the opioid crisis.

Salt Lake County District Attorney informed that the opioid is causing devastation and loss of life on a regular basis across the state. The attorney even accused the company of using unfair means to increase opioid sales for a profit-making purpose. The county will receive $57 million from the $266 million settlement against Mckesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and Johnson & Johnson, which are the four major companies responsible for the crisis.

The Mayor of Salt Lake County said that opioid manufacturers, distributors, and others were mindful of the addictive nature of the opioids but did nothing to prevent it and aware the people. Even the leaders of the state have voiced about the wrongdoings of the company and urged that the companies to be thoroughly penalized for the crisis caused.

The money will be used for various purposes, including recovery efforts for families, education, harm reduction and community resources. Salt Lake County Sheriff informed that the county is short of money to tackle the opioid epidemic, and this settlement would play a major role in dealing with it by helping us to implement vital programs to cope with the crisis.

The leaders have praised the 27 opioid counties that collectively fought and raised voices against the drug companies by filing lawsuits, which have eventually helped the affected people and communities to fight the crisis. They even said that the settlement is still not sufficient and more work needs to be done considering the nationwide havoc. The county is expected to receive the amount this month or later or by May and July.

Purdue Blamed Over Opioid Crisis In SF By Other Defendants

Purdue Blamed Over Opioid Crisis In SF By Other Defendants
Wed, 04/27/2022 - 16:12

The remaining defendants of the landmark opioid trial in San Francisco have denied all the wrongdoings in the country's opioid epidemic that resulted in the deaths of nearly half a million people.

Walgreens, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, AbbVie Inc's Allergan unit and drug distributor Anda Inc, which is owned by Teva, are the defendants in the lawsuit who face allegations of creating public nuisance and fueling opioid crisis accross the nation. But the lawyers representing the defendants argued that they are not to be blamed as aggressive marketing tactics from Oxycontin inventor Purdue Pharma increased the opioid sales.

The attorneys representing the drug companies said that the aggressive and misleading marketing of opioids is approved by the FDA. The company even claimed that opioids made by their clients accounted for a small fraction of the opiates sold in San Francisco.

The attorneys indicated that Teva's market share in San Francisco's opioid sales accounted for just 0.09% and 0.72% for Allergan, whereas Oxycontin's sales in San Francisco between 2008 and 2017 accounted for more than half of the prescription opioids legally.

San Francisco argued in the opening statement of the lawsuit that the pharmacists were forced by the Walgreens corporate management to fill prescriptions quickly. The city even blamed Purdue pharma of funding advocacy groups for convincing regulators and policy makers to highlight that chronic pain was a serious problem in society which needs to be treated using painkillers. The accusations even include that Purdue used a huge number of sales representatives who met the doctors personally to boost the sales of Oxycontin by telling that it is non addictive.

Purdue filed for bankruptcy in 2020 to settle thousands of lawsuits against it, which also included the lawsuit from San Francisco. Johnson & Johnson and McKesson are the other two big names who settled the claims with the city.

San Francisco's Long-awaited Opioid Trial Begins

San Francisco's Long-awaited Opioid Trial Begins
Tue, 04/26/2022 - 14:53

San Franciso's long-awaited opioid lawsuit alleging the drugmakers and distributors of creating a public nuisance and fueling the opioid crisis has finally begun in the federal court.

Justice Charles R. Breyer is overlooking the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit alleges that the drugs distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies used illicit strategies to boost the opioids sales resulting in the opioid crisis. The defendants in the lawsuit include Walgreens, Allergan Pharmaceutical Company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Anda Inc. and Endo Pharmaceutical Company.

The attorney representing the city claimed that the companies should be held responsible for the widespread public nuisance and public emergency. The attorney even provided relevant statistics to support his arguments where he argued that San Francisco witnessed roughly 163 million prescription opiates which count to 22 pills each for every man, woman and child. 25 percent of all emergency room visits to the San Francisco General are opioid-related. The statistics even reported that the overdose cases increased by 478 percent from 2015 to 2020, and double the number of people died from opioid overdoses than died from COVID-19 in 2020.

Fentanyl which is often adulterated in illegal street drugs, is also the result of many overdose deaths in recent years. Earlier on April 6, the Drug Enforcement Administration warned federal, state, and local law enforcement about the nationwide spike in mass overdose deaths due to fentanyl.

The defendants are accused of violating the Controlled Substance Act and the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act. The attorney has even sued the companies over unfair business practices, fraud, making false statements and misleading the public.

Earlier, Endo settled with the plaintiffs from San Francisco by agreeing to pay $10 million for dealing with the crisis. $5 million of the settlement amount would be paid immediately to the city, and the remaining $5 million would be paid over ten years.