Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Diversion: Personalizing Your Google Page

My home page started off as Google. Then along came iGoogle. What is that, you say? It's a personalized version of the plain as can be

I went online to see what folks had been doing to their iGoogle pages, and found some interesting reading (as always) on Lifehacker. An article on the subject may be found here: "Show us your iGoogle."

A clean one is right here:

Worth your time. I've added to my page a spellchecker, a to do list, and a quick link to my blog's email reader.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

FDA Yanked Avandia Scientist After Concerns Voiced

A scientist with the FDA has told congressional investigators that the FDA had the scientis removed from working on Avandia after voicing concerns about the diabetes pill's safety, so say two Senators.

The FDA medical officer was once the primary reviewer for Avandia, according to a letter sent to the FDA by Senator Max Baucus Charles Grassley.

The scientist has believed that as far back as 2005 that there was enough evidence for a strong "black box" warning on Avandia about a risk of congestive heart failure according to the senators.

For more go the source of this blog post, here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Europe: Agradil and Agreal Should be Withdrawn

The European Medicines Agency recommends the withdrawal of products containing veralipride for treating menopausal hot flushes, including Agreal or Agradil.

Veralipride was withdrawn from the Spanish market in 2005 because of reports of serious side effects affecting the nervous system.

The drug is associated with side effects, including depression, anxiety and tardive dyskinesia - both during and after treatment.

For more, go here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

DTA (Direct To Attorney Threats) Glaxo Warns Attorneys Re: Avandia Ads

In the pharma industry there is a shorthand phrase known as DTC or Direct To Consumer advertising. Here there is news that can best be described as a threat directly to attorneys:

Glaxo has sent letters to lawyers advertising for cases over the Avandia diabetes drug, demanding that they pull what the company contends are false or misleading ads.

``Lawyers have a right to advertise, but they have to play by the rules just like we do,'' Chris Viehbacher, president of Glaxo's U.S. unit, said - according to a post. It's worth your reading.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Blogs Turn 10

So says the Wall Street Journal. The article is a good, long read in print. Alas, you must be a subscriber of the paper to read it online. posted an article earlier this year on this milestone. You can read the article online here.

Hard to believe - for me at least - that blogs have been around for a decade. I consider myself tech savvy, and I didn't know much about them four years ago.

The contrarians out there who don't read blogs and think they are a waste of time - go ahead and think that way. For those in the law field that believe likewise, fine by me. One less competitor in the marketplace.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Injured Consumers and Lawyer Marketing

From the business information blog:

According to a recent study, more than ninety percent of all accident victims who make a medical malpractice or who seek legal redress for injuries caused by defective products, work site accidents, or harm caused by another are influenced in their choice of law firm by media advertising and the results of internet searches.

CEPAC, Inc. conducted the study.

Whether that percentage is high, close, or dead on (I would say 75% to 90%, so it's pretty much dead on), it shows that the way in which consumers choose a lawyer has long ago moved from the "referral" basis to what can best be described as the true consumer way ... much like buying detergent. a television, or a service.

At nearly every conference I attend there will be some older, 'seasoned' attorney who will speak on a topic, and suddenly careen into a diatribe about advertising attorneys. This speaker (typically over 60) will blather on and on, clueless that advertising attorneys are sitting in front of and listening to him or her. I heard one attorney call advertising attorneys "charlatans" and "a pox" on the profession. Alas, that attorney does not realize that many attorneys - of all stripes - now advertise on the web. Some advertise exclusively on the web.

When an aging lawyer complains about 'advertising attorneys' now, I will usually ask ... what type? T.V.? Radio? Yellow Pages? Daily Newspaper? Community Paper? Billboard? The Web- Google, Yahoo or MSN? Church Bulletin? Bumper Sticker? Direct Mail?

Some lawyers, like Richard Shapiro have evolved, his site is and he has more sites that will showcase his talents.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Diversion: Giant Banner Spell Checker

NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour was brought to the pad, and they hoisted a banner.

Post #700 - The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007

July 12, 2007 (Washington, DC)—Jon Haber, CEO of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), issued this statement upon today’s introduction of the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.

“We commend Senator Feingold and Rep. Johnson for introducing the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007. Mandatory arbitration prevents people from having a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others. Increasingly, corporations and their CEOs are using mandatory arbitration clauses to weaken basic legal protections and further stack the deck against Americans. Though voluntary arbitration is an effective method to resolve disputes efficiently, unsuspecting consumers should not be forced into it through typically indecipherable fine print buried on the back pages of an agreement.

AAJ supports strong consumer protection laws that level the playing field so that deserving individuals can get justice and wrongdoers are held accountable. The introduction of this bill is an important milestone in our continuing fight for justice.”

Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007

The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 – introduced by Senator Feingold (D- WI) – and Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) would prohibit the use of pre-dispute arbitration in consumer, employment and franchise agreements.

The legislation would not prohibit arbitration. Instead, it would ensure that the decision to arbitrate is truly voluntary and that the rights and remedies provided for by our judicial system are not waived under coercion. Under the bill, pre-dispute mandatory arbitration would be allowed to continue in most business-to-business agreements. The legislation would not apply to collective bargaining agreements.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tech: Create A Branded, Custom Toolbar

From, I've been playing around with it -

It’s a toolbar that is similar to the Google toolbar. It has a Google-based search function, allows you to integrate (if you have it) your blog’s RSS, and lets you display news and messages. There is a nifty feature that permits feedback from your blog readers - all through the custom toolbar you design. There is a scrolling news feature as well. Best of all, you are able to link in bold face or via logo your own website.

The cost? Free.

My office now uses it on all computers, and others are kicking the tires on it as well.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Rocephin (Antibiotic) Warning

Rocephin, also known as ceftriaxone sodium, is prescribed to treat lower respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea and other infections.

Last week the FDA warned doctors of new risks to newborn babies, including death, associated with combining the drug with certain other treatments.

Rocephin should not be combined with calcium or calcium-containing products, following reports of an unspecified number of cases of fatal reactions in the lungs and kidneys of newborns.

The FDA issued the warning on the "MedWatch" section on its website. Also posted is a letter to doctors dated June 2007 describing the drug's updated prescribing information.

Source: Here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Xolair (Asthma Drug) Gets Black Box Warning

The FDA finalized a strong new label warning patients and doctors about a potentially deadly allergic reaction from the asthma drug Xolair.

Xolair, given as an injection and known generically as omalizumab, is approved to treat for moderate to severe asthma (12 and older).

The previous label warned that anaphylaxis, a dangerous inflammatory reaction marked by shortness of breath, rash, wheezing and low blood pressure, occurs in about one in 1,000 patients taking the medication.

The new label, prompted by patient reports following the drug's June 2003, notes that cases of anaphylaxis were seen in roughly two out of 1,000 patients.

Source: FDA, Reuters, APand Yahoo.