Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pfizer Recalls 1 Million Birth-Control Packs (Lo/Ovral) on Dose Mix-Up

Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drugmaker, recalled 1 million packs of birth-control pills after discovering a packaging error that may cause women to take the wrong dosages and put them at risk for unintended pregnancies.

The company recalled 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of a generic version of the medicine, New York-based Pfizer said today in an e-mail. About 1 million packs of 28 tablets were withdrawn, Grace Ann Arnold, a Pfizer spokeswoman, said in a separate e-mail.

The tablets, manufactured and packaged by Pfizer, were marketed by closely held Akrimax Rx Products of Cranford, New Jersey under the Akrimax Pharmaceuticals brand.

Each pack contains 21 white tablets that contain the synthetic hormones norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol and are taken for 21 consecutive days. The remaining seven tablets are inactive pink pills taken for a week.
“An investigation by Pfizer found that some blister packs may contain an inexact count of inert or active ingredient- tablets and that the tablets may be out of sequence,” the company said. That could cause women to take an incorrect daily dosage and increase the risk of accidental pregnancy.

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FDA Takes Action Against New York Cheese Manufacturer

he U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking a federal court to prevent a New York cheese manufacturer from operating because of a history of unsanitary conditions and producing cheese in a facility contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

According to a complaint for permanent injunction filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Mexicali Cheese of Woodhaven, N.Y., and two of its officers, Edinson Vergara and Claudia Marin, produced cheese under persistent unsanitary conditions that contributed to widespread Listeria monocytogenes contamination in Mexicali Cheese's facility. 

In addition, the complaint, filed January 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, says that the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services found similar unsanitary conditions in addition to product contamination.

Mexicali Cheese makes and distributes a variety of soft Mexican cheeses to grocery stores and supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Mexicali Cheese's products include queso fresco [fresh cheese], queso oaxaca [Oaxacan cheese] and queso para freir [cheese for frying]. 

If entered by the court, the injunction would stop the company and its officers from manufacturing and distributing food until they can bring their operations into full compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA food safety regulations. 


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FDA Panel: Focalin needs Suicide Risk Info

An advisory committee to theFDA  asked the agency to change the label for Focalin, an attention deficit medicine made by Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, to reflect this risk. The drug is approved for children aged 6 or older.

The FDA often follows the advice of its committees, although it is not required to.

The FDA said it received eight reports of suicidal thoughts for children or adolescents who took the drug over the past six years, and four of the cases appeared to be linked to the medicine. The link for the remaining cases was less clear.

The FDA said the risk of suicidal thoughts did not appear in clinical trials for Focalin, and the later reports were a tiny number compared to how many children used the drug.

Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system. This medication is a modified version of Ritalin (a common medication for attention disorders) and contains only the most active component.

Focalin is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Symptoms of attention deficit disorders include continual problems with moderate to severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional changeability, and impulsiveness. Focalin should be given as part of a total treatment program that includes psychological, educational, and social measures.

Source:  http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/us-experts-want-suicide-risk-warning-on-adhd-drug/

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IV Acetaminophen Linked to More Child Overdoses

Following the U.S. Food Drug Administration's approval last year of an intravenous formulation of acetaminophen for fever and pain in a hospital setting, researchers warn that use of the preparation could lead to serious overdoses, particularly among the youngest patients.
The problem: There is confusion over measurement guidelines -- milligrams vs. milliliters, to be specific -- that can result in the accidental administration of doses that are up to 10 times more than the proper amount.
"This product would be given in a health care facility," said study co-author Dr. Richard Dart, from the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center at Denver Health in Colorado. "And thus, the overdoseends up being from a miscalculation by a health care provider."
"In theory, the risk to the child is that they could develop serious liver injury," Dart added. "Liver injury is avoided if the overdose is detected and the antidote [acetylcysteine] is administered within several hours. [But] the challenge in the case of an intravenous overdose is that the medication error needs to be detected by the health care provider because it doesn't produce identifiable symptoms," apart from nausea and vomiting.
Dart and his colleague, Dr. Barry Rumack, discuss their concerns in the February issue of Pediatrics.
The authors noted that dosages of IV-administered acetaminophen are calculated in milligrams, mixed at a ratio of 10 milligrams of the drug for every one milliliter of a non-drug solution. Problems arise if and when that drug ratio is improperly executed.
Since it came on the global market a decade ago, the IV option has been very popular, with roughly 500 million doses having already been distributed to patients of all ages worldwide.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cold Remedies by Prescription?

Maybe, at least if you live in West Virginia.

Several lawmakers in that state are arguing for legislation that makes pseudoephedrine products prescription-only in that state.

Pseudoephedrine is a key element in some popular medicines, but it's also the key ingredient in the street drug methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine products already have been put behind the counter. An ID is required to buy them, and there is a limit on how much one person can buy in a month.
None of that has stopped the meth problem in that state (and others, like Georgia).

The article is worth a read, if only to see how the industry is seeking to block the legislation for a problem that is a national epidemic.

If it passes, look for other states to follow, and for lawmakers to get the full court press on killing similar bills. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Study links statins to higher diabetes in older women

An interesting read from the USA Today:

Study authors advise patients not to stop taking their medications without talking to a doctor, because statins' proven power to prevent heart attacks and strokes outweighs any potential increase in type 2 diabetes risk. But the results — a nearly 50% increase in diabetes among longtime statin users — should throw cold water on the idea of prescribing these drugs to healthy people, which some have recommended as a way to prevent disease, says co-author JoAnn Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. In recent years, statins' success in preventing heart attacks — even among people without high cholesterol — has led some doctors to joke about "putting them in the water supply."
In the study, 6.4% of women who didn't use statins developed diabetes during the eight to nine years of follow-up, Manson says. That rate rose to 9.9% among statin users.

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Jones Seasoning Voluntarily Recalls Original and Spicy Southwest Blend Mock Salt Because of Possible Health Risk

English: Salmonella
Image via Wikipedia
Just came in this afternoon:

University Place, Washington- Jones’ Seasoning Blends LLC announced a voluntary recall of Jones’ Mock Salt Original as well as Jones’ Mock Salt Spicy Southwest Blend due to the potential contamination of Salmonella.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this voluntary recall.

This recall has been initiated due to possible Salmonella contamination of the celery seeds ingredient used in Jones Mock Salt. Jones Seasoning Blends LLC is not responsible for the contamination of Salmonella. The supplier of the celery seeds has been recalling the product and Jones Seasoning Blends LLC has also taken every action possible in notifying the public.

The following affected products were directly distributed to grocery stores and markets in California, Minnesota, and Washington and it was also sold through internet orders on www.jonesmocksalt.com:
Jones’ Mock Salt Original: Organic Salt Free Seasoning, 1.6 oz bottles (UPC 0 94922 16616 6), 12 oz bags (UPC 0 94922 07199 6) and 16 oz bags (0 94922 16616 6).
Jones’ Mock Salt Spicy Southwest Blend: Organic Salt Free Seasoning, 1.6 oz bottles (UPC 0 94922 01560 0).

There is no lot number identifying the bottles or bags.

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Rexall recalls calcium supplements (1/25/2012)

Rexall Inc. in Deerfield Beach recalled more than 13,500bottles of calcium soft-gel capsules because they mistakenly were filled with tablets of the wrong product.

A company spokesman said Tuesday the recall involves 60-capsule bottles of Rexall Calcium 1200 mg plus 1000IUVitamin D3, sold at Dollar General. The glucosamine tablets mistakenly put in the bottles are made from shellfish that can cause allergic reactions.

No illnesses have been reported, and the company said many of the bottles were removed before they were distributed to retail stores.

The affected bottles carry the UPC code 3 01220 45211 3, expiration date 8/15 and lot number 387651-04. Return for a refund. Information: 888-534-6370 or fda.gov/safety/recalls.

Levaquin Trial: J and J Didn't Hide Risks

News from a trial involving Levaquin:

In a pending lawsuit, Plaintiff Clifford Straka claims he hurt his two Achilles tendons after taking the drug Levaquin for pneumonia. He sued J&J and its Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical unit in 2008. Straka said his doctor wasn’t aware when she prescribed the drug that Levaquin was linked to an increased risk of tendon damage in elderly patients.

The lawsuit is the third federal case to go to trial in Minnesota alleging J&J and its unit, now known as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, downplayed the risks of the antibiotic to boost sales. J&J lost the first, a jury verdict for $1.8 million in 2010, and won the second last year. The company also won the first state case in October. 

Counsel for the defendant  has argued that “the label from day one in 1996 was adequate,” James Irwin, J&J’s lawyer, said in closing arguments. “The information was out there and available to the doctors and everyone else.”


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

FDA Issues Warning About Lymphoma Drug Brentuximab

TheFDA has issued a warning to healthcare professionals about the lymphoma drug brentuximab. 
Two new cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), which is a rare but serious brain infection, have been reported. Because of the seriousness of PML, which can result in death, a new boxed warning highlighting this risk has been added to the drug label, according to the FDA.
In addition, a contraindication was added, warning against the use of brentuximab with the cancer drug bleomycin because of the increased risk for pulmonary toxicity.
Brentuximab was in August 2011 for the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma. At the time of approval, 1 case of PML was described in the warnings and precautions section of the label. So there are now 3 cases associated with the drug.
The signs and symptoms of PML can develop over the course of several weeks or months. They can include changes in mood or usual behavior; confusion; thinking problems; loss of memory; changes in vision, speech, or walking; and decreased strength or weakness on one side of the body, the FDA says.
Healthcare professionals should suspend brentuximab dosing if PML is suspected, and discontinue the drug therapy if a diagnosis of PML is confirmed, according to the FDA.
Brentuximab generated much excitement among experts when study results were presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting in 2010. Some of the responses seen in refractory lymphoma were described as "amazing." The new drug is the first to be approved by the FDA for Hodgkin's lymphoma in more than 30 years, the company said.

Georgia Yaz News 1/24/2012:

A watchdog group is calling on the FDA reconsider a  a joint committee's vote in support of the Yaz/Yasmine oral contraceptive because four members of the committee – including a Stanford University professor of obstetrics and gynecology – had ties to the maker of the birth control pill that were not disclosed to the public during the meeting.
Four of the members who cast crucial votes in support of the contraceptives had ties to Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., the manufacturer of Yaz and Yasmin, according to public documents unearthed by the Project On Government Oversight and detailed in its Jan. 11 letter to the FDA.
That included Dr. Paula Hillard of Stanford’s School of Medicine. Hillard is listed on the medical school’s website as a paid consultant receiving $5,000 or more annually from a division of Bayer in 2010. Hillard was selected as a temporary voting member for the FDA committee in 2011.

J and J settles Risperdal Texas case for $158 Million

English: Risperdal (United Kingdom packaging)
Image via Wikipedia

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $158 million to settle charges with the state of Texas over allegations that the global drug manufacturer overcharged through Medicaid and illegally promoted the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal to doctors and other providers for use in children and young patients.

The trial on those charges began Jan. 10 in Austin, Tex., which is where the settlement was announced.
The Texas court case was just one of dozens involving the J&J and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary. J&J is in New Brunswick, N.J., and Janssen is in nearby Titusville. The Texas case was filed in 2004. J&J is reportedly also negotiating a settlement with federal government, but there are 63 individual cases pending in Philadelphia.

Whistle-blower Allen Jones was originally working for the Pennsylvania Inspector General's office when he uncovered Janssen's practices in Texas.

The evidence presented before Thursday showed that Janssen “subverted science and induced others to betray the people they were supposed to take care of,” Jones said, according to Bloomberg News. “To me that’s reprehensible.”
Janssen issued this statement:

"Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today it has reached a settlement with the State of Texas in ongoing litigation related to sales and marketing of the anti-psychotic prescription medication Risperdal (risperidone).

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillypharma/Reports-JJ-settles-with-Texas-on-Risperdal-anti-psychotic-drug-case.html#ixzz1kOU05xZ4 

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Northern snobbery fuels the Paula Deen fingerpointing

I read the title to a recent web post and agree. The author wrote:

The Bronx cheer for Deen, a prototypical Southern mother with a lifetime's recipes of irredeemably deep-fried dishes, is less a reflection of the culinary elitism that runs through Bourdain's vice-ridden travelogues than the regionalist snobbery that fuels its appeal.
From food to faith, the mythic Dixie--soulful and abundant, passionate and insubmissive--has always clashed with the rigidly cosmopolitan north, which keeps an ever watchful eye on we, her unlearned, drawling wards.
Yet the northern perspective of the South amounts to little more than a crude distillation of the most specious of stereotypes, the uncouth yang to their cultured yin. Reserving unparalleled contempt for the region's myths and manners, fundamental to northern exceptionalism is the notion of southern inadequacy.

She will surely be ripped for many things, but for me the biggest let down is the piling on of needless put downs of the south along with the Deen hits. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

FDA takes enforcement action against Pennsylvania dietary supplement maker

    The FDA took legal action against a dietary supplement maker and owner for substituting ingredients and products without noting the changes on the final product labels. The permanent injunction, filed on behalf of the FDA by the U.S
    Department of Justice, would stop the defendants from making and distributing more than 400 products for being in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

This is the first time FDA has taken legal action against a dietary supplement manufacturer of this
size for failure to comply with the dietary supplement current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations.
 The cGMPs for dietary supplements went into effect in 2007, in a stepped process based on company size.
This company's compliance date came into effect in 2010, and they did not meet the relevant
 cGMP requirements after that date.

The FDA requested the permanent injunction against ATF Fitness Products Inc. (ATF), Manufacturing ATF
Dedicated Excellence, Inc. (MADE), and James G. Vercellotti of Oakmont, Pa., owner and operator of both companies.

The cGMP regulations require manufacturers to ensure quality in their dietary supplements by controlling all aspects of
 their processes and procedures. MADE makes more than 400 dietary supplements, including vitamins and minerals,
under the brands “Sci-Fit,” “Nature’s Science” and “For Store Only.” ATF purchases dietary supplements exclusively
 from MADE and distributes them throughout the United States.

“Dietary supplements have a significant role in the public’s health,” said Dara Corrigan, associate commissioner for
regulatory affairs.  “Today’s injunction reinforces our commitment to ensuring that these supplements meet the
cGMP requirements the law establishes.”

The government's complaint, filed Nov. 23, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania,
alleges that in addition to “adulterating” and “misbranding” their final products, the manufacturer and its owner failed
 to report serious adverse events associated with their products. In one case an individual who consumed one of the
products reported experiencing a spike in blood pressure, hospitalization and a subsequent mild heart attack.

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Dietary supplement pulled from AAFES subject of Calif. lawsuit

Revelations that the weight-loss and bodybuilding supplement DMAA might be linked to two soldier deaths and serious health problems in others have resulted in litigaiton. 
The suit was filed on behalf of California consumers following a report on the soldier deaths by Stars and Stripes and it claims Dallas-based USPlabs sold fitness supplements containing the amphetamine-like substance even though they are dangerous and ineffective.
Supplements containing DMAA are still widely available to the public, but last month the military pulled at least 18 of the popular fitness products from store shelves around the world, and the Army launched an ongoing safety review after mounting evidence of health problems and two deadly heart attacks among soldiers training at an unnamed Army base in the southwest.

The USPlabs marketing about the safety of its supplements Jack3d and OxyElite Pro is “false and misleading,” according to the complaint filed by Ferrell in California district court Dec. 19. As evidence, the lawsuit cites a Department of Defense statement published just days earlier in Stars and Stripes saying that DMAA might be linked to death, organ damage, seizures, loss of consciousness, heat injury and muscle breakdown among servicemembers.

New Guidance on Recalls of Polymyxin B, Vecuronium

Image via Wikipedia

The FDA yesterday issued an updated guidance on voluntary product recalls involving Bedford Laboratories injection drugs that were initially made on August 2, 2011, after the discovery of glass particles in some vials.
The drugs and lot numbers include:
  • polymyxin B for injection USP, 500,000 units/vial: NDC 55390-139-10, lot 1942980 (expiration date August 2013) and lot 1895027 (expiration date June 2013);
  • vecuronium bromide for injection, 10 mg/vial: NDC 55390-037-10, lot 1865067 (expiration date May 2012);
  • vecuronium bromide for injection, 20 mg/vial: NDC 55390-039-10, lot 1865069 (expiration date February 2012).
Polymyxin B is an antibiotic indicated in the treatment of acute infections caused by strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Vecuronium bromide is a muscle relaxant used as an adjunct to general anesthesia to assist with endotracheal intubation or to enable relaxation of skeletal muscles during surgery or mechanical ventilation.
The FDA notes that there have been no reports of adverse events for the lots being recalled; however, hospitals, emergency departments, clinics, physician offices, and other healthcare facilities and providers are warned not to use the affected product lots and to immediately quarantine any product for return to the manufacturer.
Potential adverse events related to the injection of particulate matter in the bloodstream include vein irritation and phlebitis, pulmonary dysfunction and granulomas, local tissue infarction, occlusion of capillaries and arteries, anaphylactic shock, and death, according to the FDA.

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FDA Recalls for January 2012

FDA (trade union)
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The FDA has reported a recall of all Winn-Dixie LEASA Brand Living Alfalfa Sprouts sold in the 6 oz. package with a UPC code of 7546555912. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the product is potentially contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
FDA has also expanded its voluntary recall of Vanilla Pre-Soaked Sponge Cake to include the Vanilla Flavored Pre-Soaked Sponge Cake Artificially Flavored because of the possibility that small plastic fragments from the packaging were contaminating the product. Last week, the Rich Products Corporation expanded its January 5, 2012 recall of one fourth Sheet Vanilla Soaked Sponge Cake Artificially Flavored to include the 8 inch Vanilla Flavored Pre-Soaked Sponge Cake Artificially Flavored (Product Code: 62938) because of the possibility that small plastic fragments from the packaging were contaminating the product.
Finally, the FDA has released a recall for two of USA Far Ocean Group Inc.'s products sold as cosmetic under the names Vagifresh Ball and Vagifresh Gel. These two products were also sold under the mixed package named Female One, which contained Vagifresh Ball, Vagifresh Gel and Vagifresh Liquid (this recall does not involve Vagifresh Liquid).

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Motrin May Have to Warn About Skin Loss

Deutsch: Logo
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Johnson & Johnson must face allegations that it did not properly warn consumers that Children's Motrin may cause permanent disabilities like blindness and massive skin loss, a federal judge ruled.

It has been known for decades that generic ibuprofen can cause Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and its deadlier form known as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). These extremely rare life-threatening conditions can cause the top layer of skin to detach, resulting in massive skin loss. They especially affect mucous membranes such as the mouth, eyes and female genitalia.

Read more here:   http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/18/43145.htm

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FDA: Novartis recall may also affect painkillers

Image representing Endo Pharmaceuticals as dep...
Image via CrunchBase
But there are reports that the risks are low:

The FDA warning patients about a potential mix-up between powerful prescription pain drugs and common over-the-counter medications made at a Novartis manufacturing plant.
The issue stems from manufacturing problems at a Lincoln, Nebraska, facility which triggered a recall Sunday of 1,645 lots of Novartis' over-the-counter drugs, including Excedrin, Bufferin, NoDoz and Gas-X. The Swiss-based company has received hundreds of complaints of broken and chipped pills and inconsistent bottle packaging that could cause pills to be mixed up. Consumers are advised to stop using the products and contact the company for a refund.
FDA officials warned Monday that some of Novartis' over-the-counter pills may have accidentally been packaged with powerful prescription painkillers made at the same facility. The opioid drugs are sold by Endo Pharmaceuticals as Percocet, Endocet, Opana and Zydone.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Parents sue, claiming Zoloft cause birth defects

English: Zoloft Svenska: Zoloft
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A group of parents who claim their children suffered severe birth defects because of Zoloft has filed a lawsuit against the drug's manufacturer.

Mary and David Saville, Terry and Todd Cochran, Anita Kinslow, Wendell Houchens, Erica Woodley and Antwynette Golliday joined a lawsuit filed Dec. 2 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Pfizer Inc. Pfizer is the manufacturer of Zoloft, the antidepressant medication at the center of the suit.

According to the nine-count complaint, the female plaintiffs were all prescribed Zoloft during their pregnancies, despite the alleged risks posed to their unborn children. The mothers claim their babies were all born with major medical defects, including heart damage.

Read more here: http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/240766-parents-sue-pfizer-over-birth-defects-allegedly-caused-by-zoloft
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Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday Tech: A Few Key Office Tools

The flood of blog posts and law magazine articles updating attorneys on the latest gadgets and must have tech tool can be overwhelming to read. For me, just wading through them all, much  less trying the items/tools out is daunting. Over the past several years, though, I have a set of time and battle tested tech that work for me, and just might for you. These are:

1.Speak-write: In the 1990's and early 2000's, my firm actually had transcription only employees. No more. I do see younger lawyers typing their own work. That works, sometimes. For us, Speak-write is an every day product. What is it? From their site:


SpeakWrite allows you to submit your dictation and other work to us for transcription using a variety of methods, without having to change the way you normally create your work. Simply record your dictation, submit your work into our system and in about 3 hours your completed document will be delivered to your email as an attachment in your preferred word processing software. Available 24 hours a day, SpeakWrite can handle as much of your work as you require with no advance notice or request, and with no special equipment.

Once your dictation is submitted to our secure system it is routed to our trained and qualified typists located throughout the U.S and Canada who type your work according to your specific requirements. Your completed document is then delivered to your email as a word processing attachment, all in about 3 hours.

Sign up is free, and if you don't use it there is no fee. You can dictate over the phone, upload digital voice recordings, or scratch out a letter and fax it. We couldn't be as effective as we are without it.

2. Court Reporting Companies with online deposition repositories: Our office took more than 150 depositions last year alone.  One company we use is Freedom Court Reporting, and that company houses all depositions and exhibits online. We made the choice to only use court reporters who have online hosting. Why? The last thing I need is more paper at any other deposition. Access to a prior deposition online and without an additional charge for online storage that is secure is to me a no brainer.

We find the online option useful even for cases with few depositions. We actually make the strategic decision before a case's depositions start to go with a reporting service that will allow us to go this route. The next step is convincing opposing counsel to use the same reporter (which happens for us in some MDL litigation), or talking  the reporting company to allow an upload from another reporter.

3.VPN/Logmein.com If you don't have remote access to your office computers, my question is, why the hell not? In our office, we have litigation that is ongoing from San Francisco to Philadelphia. We are in airports, hotels, and courthouses all over the place. Access to our servers is a fundamental part of our practice at all times.

We use a VPN and on our iPads use Log Me In Ignition.  If yours is a smaller office, and you may from time to time work outside of it consider a tool like this (Or Go to my pc).

New tools come and go in my office. It may take some time for you to hone your list of tools down, but for us, these three are must haves. Each is battle tested, reliable, and key to the success of what we do.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Appellate Court: Pfizer Must Pay $45 Million in Prempro Cases

News from Bloomberg:

Connie Barton and Donna Kendall, both won jury verdicts against Wyeth and Pharmacia & Upjohn over their menopause medication known as Prempro. This week, each had their verdicts affirmed.
Prempro contains a combination of conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone. Conjugated estrogens are a mixture of estrogen hormones. Estrogen is a female sex hormone produced by the ovaries that is necessary for many processes in the body.
Medroxyprogesterone is also a female hormone, usually called "progesterone." It is important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation.
Prempro is used to treat the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation, and to prevent thinning of the bones (osteoporosis).
“We are very disappointed with the court’s decisions in these cases and continue to believe there was no basis in fact or law for the jury verdicts,” Chris Loder, a spokesman for New York-based Pfizer, said in an e-mailed statement. Pfizer officials will ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review the lower court’s findings, he said.

More than 6 million women took Prempro and related menopause drugs to treat symptoms including hot flashes and mood swings before a 2002 study highlighted their links to cancer. At one point, Pfizer and its units faced more than 10,000 lawsuits over the medications.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tech Round up, January 2012

Image representing Twylah as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
Our office is kicking the tires on new tools for help in our blogging and  twitter feeds. Here's a quick hit list:

Buffer: The site schedules tweets.  As the site notes, "keep that Buffer topped up and you will then be tweeting consistently all day round, all week long." The site finds times of day, you set them, and add a quick post link on a toolbar (we use Chrome). You're set after that - and its free. 


Twylah:  This new service to me has great promise. The site creates Twitter brand pages for you.Tweets are being dynamically categorized based on what you tweet most. 

 Read more about the service here:

Echofon: Echofon is a family of Twitter apps. Previously Echofon for iPhone was called “TwitterFon” and Echofon for Firefox was called “TwitterFox”. It's what we use to access Twitter on our phones.

Zemanta:  Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted. Our favorite app by far for blogging. 


Pingler: It's a pinging site, as you may not have known from the title. Our ping site of choice.

We're playing with a few others, but to keep a business advantage, will keep those to ourselves.

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2012: A Georgia Lawyer Blog Turns 7

Birthday Cake
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Sort of. The A Georgia Lawyer Blog turns 7 at month's end. Nearly 1700 posts later, we've been blogging on average about 5 times a week, each year from 2005 until the end of 2011.

Hopefully you've not grown tired of our twist on pharma litigation, tech, and things southern - dogs, college football, Mardi Gras, and the heat.

For 2012 stay tuned. We'll spend a little more time on tech for the office and outside of it. More story telling, more basic news without an agenda (and some news with it). More information on trials. More news about dogs, sweet tea, the crazies in New Orleans, goings on in the SEC and beyond, MDL reports, jury trials, and more.

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