IVC Filters Overused, Unproven

(April 26, 2018)  PulmCC, a trade publication for pulmonary and critical care, published an article on Dec. 16, 2016 titled, “Inferior vena cava filters are overused.  What’s the harm?”  The piece details the puzzling acceptance of IVC filters despite a decided lack of evidence proving their efficacy.  It asks several pertinent questions about whether inferior vena cava filters are being used in safe or necessary ways.

The PulmCC piece also asks why patients with IVC filters aren’t receiving notices to have them removed.  Evidence shows that the longer a temporary IVCF remains in a person’s vena cava, the more likely it is to cause problems.  Shouldn’t IVCF makers and the parties that implant them be under some obligation to patients to keep them informed until the filters are safely removed?

Some people, such as trauma victims, might receive an IVC filter and never even know they have one, until, perhaps, it is too late to have it safely removed.

Inferior vena cava filters are placed in the vena cava, the vein returning blood to the heart from the legs, to prevent deep venous thromboses (DVT) – blood clots in the legs – from traveling to the heart and lungs, causing pulmonary embolism (PE).  PulmCC notes that, “[D]espite their wide use, the benefits and risks of IVCF remain unclear. With about 50,000 IVC filters placed annually in the U.S., that’s a lot of unclarity.”

A Lack of Clarity
“Unclarity” is a charitable way to put it.  The publication also notes that IVCF are often used in conjunction with anti-coagulation therapy, and it asks whether this is good medicine. It’s a fair question, especially as studies have shown that adding an IVCF to go with anticoagulation therapy gives no mortality benefit to the patient.

IVC filters are the standard of care for people with acute pulmonary embolism or proximal DVT who cannot receive anticoagulation because of bleeding risk. But IVCF are used more often as an additional preventive therapy along with anticoagulation in an attempt to further reduce PE risk.

Scant Evidence for IVC Filter Benefits
Evidence supporting IVCF for any indication is scant, at best. Two large randomized trials have failed to show any mortality benefit from IVC filters.

Two IVC Filter Studies show no IVCF Benefits
PREPIC (1998) study participants with either DVT or PE who received IVCF, had fewer recurrent PEs, but suffered more DVTs, and had no mortality reduction. PREPIC studied non-retrievable filters. Half its patients had routine DVTs without PE. PREPIC confirmed that routine placement of permanent IVC filters in DVT and PE is not a good idea. After PREPIC, nearly all IVCF placed in the U.S. today are retrievable.

PREPIC2’s (2015) updated design tested retrievable IVCF (with anticoagulation, vs anticoagulation alone) enrolling ~400 ‘high risk’ patients with acute PE. There was no difference in death or recurrent PE between groups at 3 or 6 months. Although closer to real-world practice today, ‘high risk’ in PREPIC2 included anyone over 75, or with any active cancer diagnosis, which are not widely accepted indications for IVCF. Fewer than 18% of patients in PREPIC2 had any hypotension during their hospitalization.

Some Benefit for Elderly
A retrospective review of a large inpatient database, however, did show IVC to be associated with improved survival in elderly patients with massive PE (i.e., with hypotension). But no randomized trial testing this IVCF indication has been performed, probably because this is a small subset of patients.

Professional Society Disagreements on IVC Filters
Only two indications for IVCF are generally accepted by all major professional societies:

1.  Acute PE or proximal DVT with inability to provide anticoagulation;
2.  Patients with hemodynamically unstable PE, for whom another PE might be fatal.

Professional societies mostly disagree on appropriate indications for IVC filters. For example, the American College of Radiology (ACR) supports prophylactic placement of IVCF in patients with severe trauma or spinal injury without DVT, but the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) advises against it. Similarly, ACCP endorses IVCF placement as an adjunctive measure for massive PE treated with thrombolysis*, but American Heart Association (AHA) disagrees.

Radiology professional societies, whose members commonly place IVC filters – for a price, of course – endorse more IVCF indications than do ACCP and AHA. (Medicare pays roughly $3,800 to install an IVCF, another $2,250 to remove it.)

*ACCP advises against the routine use of IVCF in PE and DVT but adds “our recommendation against insertion of an IVC filter in patients with acute PE who are anticoagulated may not apply to [patients with hypotension].”

Temporary IVC Filters not removed
Most “retrievable” IVC filters become permanent. Less than a third of them are ever removed. “Patient lost to follow-up” is the oft-cited reason, but PulmCC says, “[F]ailure to remove an IVCF is more likely due to inadequate communication and care coordination by physicians between the inpatient and outpatient settings.”

IVC Filter Risks Unknown
IVC filter risks are largely unknown, because no IVCF maker or medical entity has set up a comprehensive public repository for adverse events from IVCF. Complications of IVCF placement frequently occur, according to PulmCC; but the rate of real harm is unknown. IVC filters have been generally considered reasonably safe mainly because hundreds of thousands have been placed without large safety signals emerging, says PulmCC; but that may be changing.

IVC Filters Overused, Unproven

A retrospective review of 952 patients after IVCF placement suggested a 1% rate of serious complications from IVCF. After receiving thousands of adverse event reports, the FDA advised physicians to remove IVC filters as soon as feasible – ideally within two months – and demanded additional longitudinal product safety data from IVCF makers. The PRESERVE trial is ongoing in response. IVC filter lawsuits asserting negligence and product defects are pending against at least three IVC filter manufacturer: Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, and Rex Cordis.

IVC Filters are Big Business
IVC filters are a roughly $200 million business. Hospitals split the profits with the interventional physician (radiologist, surgeon, cardiologist).

PulmCC asks, “With all that money sloshing around, and the payment on the table for IVC filter removal, why can’t doctors, hospitals and industry at least get organized enough to take them out?”

The publication suggests that a hospital could schedule a removal for a time after the patient leaves the hospital. IVCF makers could maintain a registry, pay call center reps or robots to reach IVCF recipients by phone, mail, and email until the filter is removed They could add follow-up money to the device cost, and have FedEx deliver a package to the patient’s home as a reminder to remove the filter.

PulmCC closes by saying that, “Blaming the patient and primary physician for IVC filters left in place won’t cut it anymore.”

The publication takes doctors to task for not promptly removing the filters, but don’t the IVCF manufacturers have a greater responsibility? How clear have they made it to doctors that the longer a filter stays in place, the more likely it is to cause problems?

An upcoming IVC filter trial in Houston, Texas, beginning May 15, 2018, will attempt to answer this question and many more regarding the safety and efficacy of IVC filters. The trial specifically concerns the Cook Celect IVC filter made by Cook Medical of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Women Want To Centralize NJ Taxotere Hair Loss Suits

(April 19, 2018) – Hundreds of women want to centralize their New Jersey state court hair loss lawsuits.  The cases allege that Sanofi-Aventis and other drug companies failed to adequately warn about the risk of permanent hair loss for those who use Taxotere, a breast cancer drug used with chemotherapy.

In a notice published April 18, the New Jersey state judiciary said its state Supreme Court has received an application to designate the lawsuits – against Sanofi U.S. Services Inc., Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, Sandoz Inc. and Actavis LLC – as multicounty litigation.  The application also requested that Superior Court Judge James F. Hyland in Middlesex County be assigned the cases, because most of the Taxotere suits have been filed in his jurisdiction.

Plaintiffs File Request to Marry Cases
Lawyers for plaintiffs in approximately 353 such cases pending across New Jersey filed the application with judiciary officials in March 2018.  In arguing for court consolidation, they cited the large number of involved parties and common issues underlying the claims.

Related:  Taxotere Whistle blower Lawsuit Proceeds

The application read, in part: “Centralized management will conserve judicial resources and provide all parties with the benefits of coordinated discovery.”

It further stated: “Given the large number of parties, witnesses, and counsel, the cases would benefit from centralized management.  Centralized management will also minimize duplicative practice and inconsistent discovery rulings.”

The application stated that centralization would also help facilitate coordination with multidistrict litigation over the use of Taxotere in Louisiana federal court.

Roughly 333 of the New Jersey state lawsuits are pending in Middlesex County.  The remaining suits are filed in Camden, Union, Essex and Hudson counties, according to the application.  The plaintiffs live not only in New Jersey, but also in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Connecticut.

The application says, “The parties submit that this geographical diversity makes centralized management necessary for the efficient handling of this litigation.”

Plaintiffs allege wrongful conduct by Taxotere Maker
The plaintiffs allege in the application that they suffered injuries because of the defendants’ wrongful conduct in designing, manufacturing, distributing, labeling, advertising, marketing, promoting, and selling Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug.

Taxotere – Permanent Hair Loss
Each of the lawsuits alleges that the defendants knew or should have known that Taxotere “causes and contributes to permanent disfigurement and hair loss,” yet failed to adequately warn of such risks. The application declares, “Further, all of the actions proposed for designation allege substantially similar violations of law and are based upon the same or substantially similar underlying claims surrounding the safety profile of Taxotere (docetaxel).”

The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that the matters should be assigned to Judge Hyland because the vast majority of the cases are pending in his Middlesex County jurisdiction.  But the application also included the caveat that following pretrial proceedings in the MCL, New Jersey-based plaintiffs should be given the option of having their respective cases tried in their chosen counties.

The application argues: “A contrary decision would severely prejudice a New Jersey plaintiff who does not reside in or near the county to which centralized litigation is assigned, potentially requiring the plaintiff to live away from home, at great inconvenience and expense, due to the happenstance that there are multiple other related cases pending.”

“Allowing the MCL judge to transfer the cases for trial to the plaintiff’s chosen county will protect the plaintiff’s rights, while promoting the primary goal of centralization – efficiency and consistent management and orders through the discovery process,” says the application.

Women Want To Centralize NJ Taxotere Hair Loss Suit

The choice of court venue is always a contentious issue between plaintiffs and defense in drug cases like Taxotere. Plaintiffs’ attorneys always want to give their clients the best chance of a fair trial, while defense lawyers always want a venue which they feel will be the most advantageous for their corporate clients. Judges in these cases are expected to weigh all the legal issues involved, as well as issues of convenience for plaintiffs, court costs, and court time (which is also money) and make the fairest possible determination regarding the most optimal venue for trial. Venue is so important that a case can sometimes be close to won or lost simply by being assigned a certain venue.

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California Bill to Stifle Free Speech

(April 9, 2018)  A California senator who led the charge to kill informed consent for vaccinations in California just introduced a bill to stifle free speech in the state.

Jon Rappoport, in his ‘No More Fake News’ web site, reported the story, which is flying under the radar, by design, of course.  California Senator Richard Pan, the Merck Pharmaceuticals beneficiary behind the infamous 2015 law mandating vaccinations (which Merck makes with fraudulent data) for schoolchildren (the infamous SB277), now seeks to end free speech in California.  Mr. Pan’s draconian bill has dangerously far-reaching implications (if you believe in the 1st amendment); for it threatens to reach far beyond the state’s poorly secured borders.

The California senator’s new bill would clamp down on criticism of any Official Story.  If it passes, when a government agency – such as the hopelessly corrupt CDC, drug-industry compromised FDA, politically-compromised FBI, or honesty-challenged CIA – puts out an “official story,” any blog or comment which veers from that script will be subject to censorship, or “warnings.”  The end point for Mr. Pan and his corporate sponsors is to make readers swallow any official story without questioning its methods, motives, or dirty money trail.  Mr. Pan’s slippery financial ties to drug companies like Merck make it in his best interests to stifle the truth.

The bill to censor the free flow of information is titled “SB1424 Internet: social media: false information: strategic plan.”  SB1424 ostensibly targets social media based in California, but, as Mr. Rappoport writes, “as you read the bill, you see it appears to define social media as any Internet blog, website, or communication.”

Mr. Rappoport has recorded the whole brief bill for us. Here it is:

SB1424
This bill would require any person who operates a social media, as defined, Internet Web site with a physical presence in California to develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Web site. The bill would require the plan to include, among other things, a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories, the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories, providing outreach to social media users, and placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

(a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.

(b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.

(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.

(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.

(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

(c) As used in this section, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.

Who will be able to afford to hire “fact checkers”?  Not the alternative web sites you depend on to clarify the fake news so often put out by CNN or The New York Times.  Those and other MSM outlets were  responsible for repeating ad nauseam the fake news regarding a non-existent WMD threat from Iraq.   Those MSM lies launched the 17-year-long war and occupation which has now claimed more than a million lives.  And even if independent news outlets could afford “fact checkers,” they would need to be officially sanctioned, no doubt.  And nothing could prevent Pan’s corporate friends from banning or placing warnings all over any videos they deemed “inappropriate” for whatever reason they might choose.

Only the very large news outlets that dominate the mainstream media – Fox Noise, CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, USA Today – and a select few others in print and online will be able to stay in business.  Only the publications that never tell us anything useful will be able to have their stories “fact checked.”   The idea is to bury all truth about dangerous vaccines, (MMR, Shingles, Gardasil. . . ) Monsanto’s Roundup cancer herbicide, harmful GM foods, toxic chemical farming, the aerial poisoning of the entire country, water fluoridation and other water problems, nanobots, Black-Ops, EMF dangers, banking crimes, endless undeclared war, unchecked immigration, our growing fascist police state, and many other corporatocracy crimes and subterfuges.

Under the guise of protecting children, Mr. Pan forced parents to give up their parental rights and turn them over to the government.  California law now says the children must submit to whatever vaccinations the government – along with Merck and the government’s other corporate partners – declare that they “need.”

Under the guise of combating “fake news,” Mr. Pan now leads the charge to wipe out all mainstream news competition.  He wants to be sure that MSM newsfakers are the only ones to which we will have unfettered access, to better keep all his dirty work and dirty money in the dark.

Speech Criminals
Mr. Rappoport explains that if this bill passes, agencies of the California government will develop numerous regulations for enforcement, including penalties for “speech criminals.”

This bill would not violate the 1st Amendment so much as wipe it out altogether.

Anything which Mr. Pan and his cronies would label a “conspiracy theory” – a term which the CIA put out in its infamous internal 1967 memo that sought to silence all criticism of the fact-challenged Warren Commission report that most of the country knew was full of lies – will be censored.  Warnings on any blog, comment or story not officially sanctioned will make most people turn away, if not run.  The idea is to make people afraid of their own shadow, like the CNN newsfaker Chris Cuomo telling us last year that only CNN was allowed to read Wikileaks leaked emails, that it was illegal for the rest of us to do so.

CNN Liar Tries to Scare Americans

Related:   Facebook Censorship and the Execrable Snopes

We Need a Tsunami of Protest in California

Mr. Rappoport calls for a “relentless tsunami of protest in California over this Orwellian bill.”  Anything less than that could turn these hounds of hell loose on all news not sanctioned by Richard Pan and the dysfunctional state he leads into one bad law after another.

Jon Rappoport explains:
“In case you believe there are too many websites and blogs based in California to enforce a new draconian law, let me explain how the game works. Behind closed doors, the state government would decide to focus on a few big issues. For example, gun control, vaccines, and immigration. Enforcement agencies would go after the biggest Internet operations expressing politically unacceptable points of view on those subjects. At first. A spread of smaller operations would feel the heat later.

So-called fact checkers would come from government supported groups who agree with Official Positions. In other words, they wouldn’t be fact checkers at all. They would be prime news fakers.”

When it comes to vaccines, for one example (like the awful shingles vaccine), they would cite the notoriously biased “experts” at the Centers for Disease Control, never mentioning that CDC buys and sells $4 billion of vaccines a year, and is hopelessly corrupt, partnering with Big Pharma and industry rather than regulating them.

California Bill to Stifle Free Speech

If we can’t crush this bill, we may not be able to hang on to what little is left of our ever-vanishing democracy.  Expect all the mainstream news whores and fakers to stand solidly behind it, because they are working for outlets which will be protected by it, as it seeks to wipe out their independent competition across the world.  Everyone knows by now that many, many non-mainstream, independent news outlets are way better, and more honest, than the MSM at reporting actual news that matters.  And way better at giving us the truth that the MSM so studiously avoids disclosing, so as not to displease their corporate sponsors and masters.

It’s a dirty world, but we could clean it up, if we can first identify the main sleaze bags doing the dirty work for Empire, people like California Senator Richard Pan.

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YouTube Censorship Threatens Democracy

Wake up! Americans! What will you do when there’s no one left to speak for you?

YouTube censorship threatens our democracy. There are no two ways about it. If we allow YouTube to censor non-profane, non-obscene speech for political or social or any other reasons, we are allowing our democracy to slip away. And if you can’t stand up for another’s right to free speech despite not agreeing with that person’s speech, then you’re not for free speech. You’re a fascist, a stooge, a shill, or a fool. These are lean times for speech. Apparently they don’t teach civics to the young folks anymore. Be that as it may, all adults need to stand up and pay attention or our liberties will continue to slip away.

Update:  Shooting at YouTube over its Censorship

YouTube has now become one of the gravest threats to free speech that we’ve seen in our country in a long, long while. For just one egregious example, YouTube “disappeared” 1,700 Natural News videos, along with his 350,000 followers.  The owner of the web site, Mike Adams, posts many stories which question our political landscape. He also writes a lot of pieces that uncover fake or misleading news in mainstream media, Monsanto’s poisoning of the world, Big Pharma’s deathgrip on the healthcare “industry,” the dangers of vaccination covered up entirely by all major media. Mr. Adams writes and makes video about natural cures, home remedies, gardening, the raising of goats, urban survival, and many other subject potentially relevant to us all.

Mr. Adams and his staff and guest writers often question the “official story” of various events. In short, he does all the things our mainstream media fail to do anymore (if they ever did). He asks questions and he looks for answers. He doesn’t believe the first thing he sees or the first soundbite released by a politician or an official government spokesman. You know. He does what used to be called “Journalism.” The kind we rarely see, except in so-called “alternative” web sites. Since every choice anyone makes for her news source is an alternative, it’s absurd and demeaning and misleading to call sites “alternative.” (This is just one more way language has been perverted and twisted to twist our minds into mush and manipulate us.)

There was no one left to speak for me
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a Protestant pastor who spoke against Hitler. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He left us with a pretty good example of what happens when we put up with censorship and demonizing of the “other,” the person whom we imagine is not like us, so that we can imagine ourselves safe, insulated from the evils of silencing others. Mr. Niemöller is best remembered for his famous poem:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

It Can’t Happen Here?  Don’t Kid Yourself.  It’s happening now.

Millions of people were “disappeared” in old Russia when she was a communist dictatorship. Nazis also disappeared people by the millions. Both regimes began with heavy censorship programs. If YouTube is allowed to censor Mike Adams and Natural News and any other people or opinions it doesn’t like, where does that stop? Censorship’s intended goal is to get people to self censor, which begins by censoring one’s own thoughts. Orwell called that “thought control.” His dystopian nightmare novel, 1984, featured visits from the Thought Police when people were suspected of not thinking correctly. With YouTube’s actions, we are taking the first step down that terrifying road. There’s no sugarcoating it. You either get on board for freedom of speech and defend it with your words and your freedom of thought, or you write your ticket to fascism, or something even worse.

Good Americans would be wise to visit this link, read this story, and become part of a Twitter tweetstorm to stop YouTube from ushering in a nightmare society of frightened people who don’t have the guts to protect their democracy.

For convenience, I’m also pasting Mr. Adams announcement here below:

“Join the #RestoreTheHealthRanger tweetstorm to demand an end to YouTube censorship of intelligent speech

(Natural News) Today we’re announcing a tweetstorm activism effort to reach out to YouTube’s twitter accounts with demands to #RestoreTheHealthRanger channel.

Several weeks ago, YouTube terminated the entire Health Ranger video channel without warning, wiping out over 1,700 videos and 350,000+ subscribers. This was done as a politically motivated censorship action to silence intelligent voices that dare to question the power monopolies of the status quo.

All this week, join Health Ranger / Natural News fans in tweeting out the reasons why you enjoy Health Ranger video content and demand a restoration of “TheHealthRanger” channel. Direct your tweets to these YouTube accounts on Twitter:

@YouTube
@TeamYouTube
@YTCreators

Be polite, of course, but let YouTube know why you value Health Ranger videos and intelligent commentary. Watch my video for more details — or click here to view it on Vimeo — and read YouTubeCensorship.com to stay up to date on the latest censorship schemes by Google and YouTube.”

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Natural News: Demand YouTube Restore the Health Ranger Channel

Shooting at YiouTube over its Censorship

 

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Roundup attacks vital gut bacteria

(March 15, 2018) While Monsanto attorneys argue in California federal court this week that those attacking Roundup for causing cancer are using junk science to do so, more science has found that Roundup attacks and destroys vital bacteria in the human gut.

Gut bacteria has gained a lot of attention lately as being crucial for every facet of human health: mental, physical, and spiritual.  (The Holy Bible and other religious tracts are full of stories about Jesus and others fasting in spiritual purification rituals.)  Recent studies have found that poor gut health can lead to heart disease, or to Alzheimer’s, and a host of other tragic maladies. Several studies have found gut health to be indispensable for sound mental functioning. Children with autism are routinely found to have terrible gut health.  One prominent researcher has recently offered evidence to implicate Monsanto’s glyphosate in autism spectrum disorder.

Related:  Glyphosate Unsafe on Any Plate

Gut bacteria, beyond any doubt, profoundly influences immune function, digestion, brain function, virtually every job tasked to the human body and mind.  A trove of recent research has repeatedly shown the power of healthy gut bacteria as well as the dangers of an unhealthy gut.

The good news is we now KNOW the importance of gut health.  The bad news is that our human guts are all under attack by a ubiquitous chemical which has been show to destroy gut microbes. Monsanto’s glyphosate, which was first used to strip metal off of pipes, now strips healthy flora and fauna from our own guts.

Glyphosate Glyphosate Everywhere

Every glyphosate exposure study done has shown that most of us have become contaminated with the toxic chemical, whether we eat GMO foods directly, or whether we adhere strictly to a non-GMO diet and do all we can to steer clear of Monsanto’s most lucrative poison.  At this moment, we cannot escape this toxic soup.  Glyphosate is everywhere in our environment, in the air, water, and in most of our food, if not directly, then through simple drift across neighboring fields.

Roundup Cancer Lawsuits

Glyphosate is already at the center of hundreds of Roundup cancer lawsuits, filed by people stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after they were exposed to Roundup.  A judge overseeing the litigation in California federal court is showing signs of buying Monsanto’s claim that no hard evidence links glyphosate to cancer.  Regardless of any trial outcomes, glyphosate will continue to poison the world for a very long time, killing plants, bees, and people.

Roundup attacks vital gut bacteria

Medical problems linked to an imbalance of gut bacteria include:

•  colorectal cancer

•  diabetes

•  liver disease

•  cardiovascular disease

•  asthma

•  inflammatory bowel disease

•  autism

•  obesity

Glyphosate Gut Damage Regardless of Exposure Levels

The latest study over glyphosate and gut microbes was led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen.  The study team examined rats’ fecal samples and assessed their gut microbiomes.  Female rats exposed to glyphosate experienced significant changes regardless of their dose. As an added horror, glyphosate also damages the microbial activity of soil, so it’s the poison that keeps on poisoning.

The researchers suggest glyphosate could be linked with the recent spike in gut disease in industrialized nations that genetic reasons alone can’t explain.

Because glyphosate is only one active ingredient in Roundup, experts see a need to repeat the study using a bigger group of animals to compare the effects of glyphosate alone as well as to Roundup.  Other ingredients in Roundup, called adjuvants, could be making any effect much more pronounced.

Sadly, even criminally, in regulatory evaluations of pesticides, only glyphosate alone is tested for long-term safety, which means calculations of safe levels are obviously inaccurate.

Professor Seralini believes the full toxic effects of Roundup on us could easily be 1,000X more awful than glyphosate alone. He believes the glyphosate levels allowed in our food and drinks are at least 1,000X too high.  He said: “The acceptable levels of glyphosate residues in food and drinks should be divided immediately by a factor of at least 1,000 because of these hidden poisons.”

Related

•  Montanto Lawsuit | Lawyer

•  Roundup Cancer Lawsuit

•  Roundup non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Linked

•  Roundup attacks vital gut bacteria

 

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Evidence Monsanto, EPA Colluded to delay Glyphosate Review

New evidence shows Monsanto and EPA colluded to delay a glyphosate review that was potentially damning for Monsanto.  The documents show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials didn’t worry about protecting anyone but Monsanto, and perhaps their own jobs.  Emails show EPA officials genuflecting to the chemical giant in an effort to help Monsanto continue selling Roundup without a hitch while taxpayers awaited a fair safety review after previous studies showed Roundup was a probable human carcinogen.

Related:  Roundup non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit

It took a Freedom of Information Act request to uncover the damning documents. The emails reveal Monsanto’s influence over the EPA and show just how far the biotech bully goes to spin science for profit. The communications show EPA officials working closely with Monsanto to delay a toxicology review on glyphosate that was supposed to be conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.  The ATSDR is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but the emails show it to be a subsidiary of Monsanto.

Roundup Carcinogenicity Clear since 1985

EPA collusion with Monsanto stretches back to at least 1993, when the agency reversed its 1985 ruling that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen.  See: EPA’s 1985 Roundup Cancer Ruling.  We didn’t then have the benefit of emails to prove the collusion, but now we do.

The latest Monsanto-EPA collusion began in early 2015, when glyphosate was finally red-flagged by the World Health Organization (which is normally a corporate lapdog).  In 2015, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, a “probable human carcinogen.”  That finding made Monsanto executives apoplectic.  Monsanto had poisoned so many people and their lands with Roundup for so many years, what could the company do then but what it did – feign moral outrage?

Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuits
With Roundup lawsuits reigning down on them after the IARC ruling, Monsanto senior officials knew that something had to be done, and fast.  Monsanto needed to discredit the IARC,  or “neutralize” it, as corporations say.  Monsanto needed to make glyphosate appear safe again in the public eye, because appearance, not reality, is the ALL.  Monsanto’s immediate fear was that ATSDR might make a similar ruling about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.  If ATSDR followed IARC’s lead, it could spell the death knell for Roundup, Monsanto’s best-selling poison.  Monsanto promptly kicked into gear and used its EPA connections to halt the toxicological review.

Evidence Monsanto, EPA Colluded  to delay Glyphosate Review
The emails show how EPA officials worked closely with Monsanto executives, updating the company on their progress to keep the ATSDR’s from completing a toxicological review. The emails detail Monsanto’s M.O.: its naked attempts to squelch or manipulate real scientific reviews of the company’s chemical poisons.  The emails vindicate Monsanto lawsuits.  The emails show how Monsanto tried – successfully, in this case – to cover up glyphosate’s deadly links with cancer.

Roundup Lawsuits
Make no mistake.  Roundup is a prominent pillar in Monsanto’s whole toxic business model.  The genetically modified seeds it sells are called “Roundup Ready.” The Roundup-Ready corn and soy and other genetically-perverted seeds Monsanto patents and sells – as it attempts to monopolize the seed industry – are chemically engineered to resist Roundup’s toxic assault.  Roundup kills everything not genetically modified to withstand it.  Any threat to Roundup – whose only listed active ingredient is glyphosate – is a direct threat to Monsanto’s whole business model.

Related:  Roundup more toxic than glyophosate

Because glyphosate plays such an outsized role in U.S. agriculture and lawn care, and Roundup is Monsanto’s best selling killer, the company could not let the IARC classification that it was a probable carcinogen go unpunished, or unanswered.  Monsanto could not let the IARC ruling  stand.  Because desperate times call for desperate measures, Monsanto employees got sloppy with their normally quieter collusion with EPA.

After the IARC ruling, it was absolutely essential for Monsanto that ATSDR publish a positive safety review to refute the IARC.  Monsanto’s collusion with EPA worked just as Monsanto knew it could – they seamlessly follow the golden rule; whoever has the gold rules.

EPA Stifles Glyphosate Review for Monsanto
In February 2015, the ATSDR promised a toxicology review on glyphosate by October 2015, but Monsanto’s EPA collusion got it halted. No toxicological profile from ATSDR has been published as of February 2017.  We now know why.  Monsanto’s emails to EPA worked just as the company hoped they would.

Jess Rowland, Monsanto’s EPA Insider
Jess Rowland, former deputy division director in the health effects division of the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), retired in 2016 with a giant black mark on her career. Emails between her and Monsanto showed Ms. Rowland telling the biotech bully that she hoped to kill the ATSDR review.  And according to the email dump courtesy of FOIA, she was not the only high level EPA official working with Monsanto to stop the toxicology review.

Monsanto EPA Collusion Systemic
At the behest of Monsanto, a collection of (colluding) EPA officials aggressively pressured the ATSDR and HHS for Monsanto. The “officials” claimed a toxicology review on glyphosate would be unnecessarily “duplicative” because the EPA was putting its own review together.  Lo and behold, the EPA’s assessment in 2016 refuted IARC’s scientific proof that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen.  Its evidence was scant, fictional, or non-existent; but so is lots of “evidence” that finds its way into “scientific studies.” That review also failed the public entirely because it focused only on glyphosate – Roundup’s only named active ingredient – which is never applied alone but becomes at least 1,000 more toxic when mixed into a Roundup concoction.

In addition, in sharp contrast with EPA, the IARC looked only at glypohosate studies independent of industry, while EPA takes Monsanto at its word (as it did when it unleashed Roundup on the world) and allows Monsanto-funded studies the same weight as independent ones.

Gov’t Official: ATSDR Study not Duplicative
OPP Director Jack Housenger genuflects to Monsanto repeatedly through the recent FOIA-released email communications.  In his ultimately successful efforts to suppress the ATSDR review, Housenger bowed to Monsanto pressure, wondering “whether this is a good use of government resources.” (Millions and millions of gallons of Roundup have been dumped on us all, but Housenger is worried over OPP expenses in examining the most-used poison of our time ?)  At first, officials with the ATSDR review didn’t bend.  ATSDR division director James Stephens wrote back. He said their review overlaps the EPA’s review “but isn’t totally duplicative…”

Monsanto Muscle at Work
Monsanto’s chief “scientist” William Heydens forcefully convinced EPA officials to bury any ATSDR review.  ATSDR officials said their review was distinguishable and not duplicative, which contradicted the EPA’s opinion. But ATSDR finally agreed with Housenger not to say anything about glyphosate’s carcinogenicity. When our government regulator – OPP Director Housenger – confirmed to Monsanto that the ATSDR was backing off the glyphosate review, Monsanto’s William Heydens snapped, “Distinguishable and not duplicative’? Seriously? And I will believe the not ‘making a call on cancer’ part when I see it. Anyway, at least they know they are being watched, and hopefully that keeps them from doing anything too stupid…”

Indeed, government agencies have kowtowed to corporate bullies like Monsanto for so long that many have learned to look over their shoulders for people like Heydens. If Monsanto complains enough to the right Senators or congressional reps whose campaigns, junkets and pork barrel projects they help fund, could they have not only a review but also a troublesome reviewer removed?  We now see how easily they can remove a review.  How else are we to take Heydens’ thinly-veiled threat?

Heydens sheds light on the fact that our government of wolves is controlled by corporate wolves. Meanwhile, Monsanto continues to poison us all with relative impunity.

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CDC Director caught buying Merck Shares Quits

The CDC director has been caught buying shares of vaccine maker Merck, as well as stock in cigarette and junk food companies.  Last week, CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald was forced to resign as a result.  This is the latest scandal in an agency which has been found time and again to collude with the very companies it is supposed to regulate.

Shame on you, Dr. Fitzgerald!  But perhaps we should also thank you for showing the world once again how the CDC unashamedly promotes dangerous drugs and vaccines to boost both corporate and personal profits.  This scandal makes it abundantly clear that rather than regulate the drug industry, the CDC is in bed with it. This latest CDC collusion scandal should be a clarion call for regulatory reform.  Closer to home, it should make any thinking person question the CDC’s methods, motives, and history.

CDC Heads’ History of Corruption

As for Dr. Fitzgerald, don’t worry about her.  She will likely land on her feet in some well-paying job with Merck, as one of her predecessors did after being outed as a corporate shill masquerading as a public servant.  Dr. Julie Gerberding has set the bar quite low for former CDC heads who sold out to Merck, but Dr. Fitz can probably take it lower.  While head of the CDC, the infamous Dr. Gerberding helped cover up Merck’s knowledge of the MMR Vaccine-Autism link, then resigned in shame to take a $2 million windfall and head up Merck’s vaccine division.

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus
“False in one, false in all” is the Latin saying.  Or, as Nietzsche said, “It doesn’t bother me that you lied to me. What bothers me is that I can no longer believe you now.”  The CDC has deceived us so many times, it’s a wonder that the agency still gets to use our tax dollars to work against us.

RelatedShingles Vaccine Lawsuit

The CDC’s Great Swine Flu Massacre
CDC collusion with drug and vaccine makers was probably never so clear as when the CDC launched the great swine flu massacre on us all in 1976.  Money, as usual, not our health, was the driving force.  Drug companies had produced a vaccine which suspicious pig farmers had refused to use on their own swine.  Because when they did, their pigs collapsed and died. When the swine flu “vaccine” makers (which included Merck, which now makes a shingles vaccine, the horrendous Gardasil HPV Vaccine, and a dubious flu vaccine) failed to secure the $80 million the company had counted on getting from the swine breeders, some bright folks working in government and industry decided to use the vaccine on people instead.  But first they had to convince us the swine flu threat was real.  It wasn’t, so they turned to then President Gerald Ford to sell the disease to the people. (As George Merck once told TIME magazine:  you don’t sell the drug, you sell the disease. The CDC knows that as well as anyone.)

The impetus for the whole swinish project came from the Disease Control Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Out of Atlanta came the CDC plan for a national campaign against “swine flu.” That there was not a single independently confirmed case of swine flu in the U.S. did not deter the CDC.* They had vaccine to sell.  (Theirs was not to question why.)

Smart Pig Farmers, Bad Pigs in Government and Industry
The agency helped get top dollar for Merck and other “swine flu” vaccine makers.  Our government paid $135 million for the same swine flu vaccine which Merck and others had failed to sell to smart pig farmers for $80 million.

*The main problem then was that Dr. Anthony Morris, director of the Virus Bureau at the FDA, declared that no authentic swine flu vaccine could exist, because there had never been any cases of swine flu on which to test it.  The agency promptly fired the whistleblowing doctor (some things never change); but the truth had leaked out – as the truth tends to do.

Faced with the insurmountable problem that there was no swine flu, much less an epidemic – except in the money-green heads of those wishing to sell the vaccine – President Ford and Walter Cronkite (at CBS) combined their bully pulpits in a last-ditch effort to sell the swine flu “vaccine” to the people. (There was money to be made, by God; so somebody needed to promote the shot, if only to justify the $135 million paid to the swinish flu vaccine makers.)

Death by Injection

Eustace Mullins in his amazingly-researched Death by Injection points out that CBS failed then and later to air any scientific analysis of the swine flu vaccine, “which was identified elsewhere as containing many toxic poisons, including alien viral protein particles, formaldehyde, residues of chicken and egg embryo substances, sucrose, theimorosal (a derivative of poisonous mercury), polysorbate and some 80 other substances.”  (Some things never change.)

Dr. Anthony Morris erased from Swine Flu History
“Our” medical watchdogs, meanwhile, cleaned out Dr. Anthony Morris’ labs, where he had been hard at work investigating the swine flu vaccine for three years. They killed all his animals and burned all his records.  Mr. Mullins writes: “They did not go so far as to sow salt throughout the area, because they believed their job was done.”

(Some things never change: the CDC has also been recently accused by whistleblower William Thompson of destroying records that show the MMR vaccine raises the risk of autism.  See the film Vaxxed, which prompted Robert De Niro and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to offer a $100,000 reward to anyone who can prove that any vaccine is safe and effective.)

A Free Vaccine for the People (sound familiar?)
On April 15, 1976, Congress passed Public Law 94-266, which provided $135 million in taxpayer monies to pay for a national swine flu inoculation campaign. That way, they could offer the vaccine for free (as they are offering the 2018 flu vaccine for free).  Insurance companies quickly warned Merck and other drug companies that they would not insure them against possible lawsuits, because no studies had been carried out which could predict the vaccine’s effects. (Some things never change; no independent safety testing has ever been done on any vaccine since). Gerald Ford was trotted out to repair the PR damage done by insurance companies. The president appealed directly to 250 million Americans on national television.  He proudly told the public the shot was free.  (And who doesn’t like the sound of that?)

$1.3 Billion Fallout
The big swine flu campaign had barely been completed when casualty reports began to flow in. Claims totaling $1.3 billion had been filed by victims who had suffered paralysis. (That total easily dwarfed the $135 million paid to the vaccine makers for the “free” vaccine, but pay no attention to that man behind the curtain). The medical “authorities” leaped to the defense of the vaccine makers, labeling the new epidemic “Guillain-Barre Syndrome.”

Within two months of the shots that began Oct. 1976, at least 500 people were paralyzed.  More than 30 people had died.  Amid a rising uproar and growing public reluctance to risk the shot, federal officials abruptly canceled the program on Dec. 16, 1976.

In the end, 40 million Americans submitted to the shot. There was no swine flu epidemic. The only recorded fatality from swine flu itself was a private at Fort Dix, who a military doctor claimed had been diagnosed with swine flu.  The CDC verified that finding.  Given how the agency handled the whistleblowing of Dr. Anthony Morris, and how the agency has tried to bury the whistleblowing of senior scientist William Thompson, one can fairly wonder today if even the one person whom the agency claims died of Swine flu actually succumbed to that malady.

The CDC, meanwhile, continues its cozy relationship with Merck Pharmaceuticals and other vaccine manufacturers.  The CDC itself owns more than 50 vaccine patents. It is in the business of both profiting from and promoting vaccines while it also is entrusted to being a regulator.  Can this agency be a fair arbiter of the truth when its vaccine patent ownership gives it clear conflicts of interest, and when time and again it has shown itself to be in the pocket of the pharmaceutical companies like Merck and others?

Some things never change, but we can change them. It’s possible. We can learn to think for ourselves, and not roll over every time “our” compromised CDC tells us to do something, or claims to be a legitimate watchdog.  The CDC tries to destroy real watchdogs, while promoting to the top of its food chain its most industry-compromised individuals, the likes of Dr. Julie Gerberding and Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald.  We, the American people, deserve better, a lot better than what the old confederate General Robert E. Lee called “those people.”

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Second trial to test J&J Baby Powder Mesothelioma Link

A Middlesex County courtroom heard the opening statements Jan. 29, 2018 in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The petition alleges that J&J’s talc products caused an Essex County man’s cancer.

Stephen Lanzo, III, 46, of Verona, says the Johnson’s Baby Powder he used throughout his life exposed him to asbestos. His lawsuit petition says that powder led to his developing mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects lungs and abdomen tissue.

Related:  FDA on Talc

"Cosmetic companies have a legal responsibility for the safety and labeling of their products and ingredients, but the law does not require them to share their safety information with FDA."

The lawsuit petition filed in 2016 reads that Mr. Lanzo and his wife Kendra seek monetary damages after “Lanzo regularly and frequently used and was exposed to asbestos-containing Johnson & Johnson talc powder products.”

Mr. Lanzo’s is the first case to be tried at the Middlesex County Courthouse, which is less than a mile from Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick. He is the second person to allege that J&J’s talc products have caused a user to develop mesothelioma cancer.

Related:  California Jury awards $22 Million in Talc Asbestos Trial

Hundreds of J&J Talc Cancer Cases
Several other cases filed across the country have claimed J&J’s talc powder products have caused women’s ovarian cancer. Hundreds of plaintiffs in other suits claim Johnson’s talc powder caused their cancer.

Opening Statements

The Lanzos’ lawsuit claims J&J knew its products contained asbestos, but failed to properly warn its consumers.  In opening statement, Mr. Lanzo’s lawyer said, “It’s true, we don’t know how many Johnson & Johnson users have mesothelioma.  (The) fact is that the defendants have never studied that.”

J&J’s lawyers argued in opening statement that the company’s talc products never contained asbestos, and that the plaintiffs used faulty test methods to prove otherwise.

Second trial to test J&J Baby Powder Mesothelioma Link

Defendants in the case also include Imerys Talc America and Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.
The case is being presided over by Judge Ana Viscomi. It is expected to last through February 2018.

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Limbrel Capsules withdrawn from the Market

Limbrel capsules were withdrawn from the market in Jan. 2018.  Primus Pharmaceuticals Inc., Scottsdale, AZ withdrew its osteoarthritis capsule Limbrel this month following a strong recommendation from the FDA.  The agency said in Nov. 2017 that Limbrel may cause drug-induced liver injury, as well as a lung condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

The FDA sent a letter to James D. Weir, president and chief executive officer of Primus in Scottsdale, AZ.  The letter demanded that Primus cease distribution and immediately recall specific Limbrel lots, which include:

•  Limbrel (flavocoxid) 250 mg capsules
•  Limbrel250 (250 mg flavocoxid with 50 mg citrated zinc bisglycinate) capsules
•  Limbrel (flavocoxid) 500 mg capsules
•  Limbrel500 (500 mg flavocoxid with 50 mg citrated zinc bisglycinate) capsules

FDA Letter to Primus
The agency wrote in its letter to Mr. Weir at Primus: “The FDA has determined that these Limbrel products are unapproved new drugs and represent a serious health hazard.  Between January 1, 2007, and November 9, 2017, FDA received 194 adverse event reports associated with the use of Limbrel products.”

Primus Liver Injury & Hypersentsitivity Pneumonitis (HP)
The FDA letter further stated that adverse event reports it had received “identified a close relationship between the use of Limbrel and adverse events involving the development of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), pancreatitis, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP).” Those health problems can present varying degrees of severity, ranging from mild to life-threatening.

FDA: Limbrel Products Unapproved
The FDA further wrote: “In addition, your Limbrel products are unapproved new drugs distributed in violation of sections 301(d) and 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) [21 U.S.C. § 331(d) and 355(a)].”  The agency letter added that the claims on the product labeling establish that the Limbrel products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.   FDA said the label claims establish that the product is a drug because of such language as “clinical dietary management of the metabolic processes of osteoarthritis.”

Primus Response
On its Limbrel website, Primus pushed back at the FDA, appearing to blame the agency for the withdrawal.  Primus said the action to withdraw the Limbrel products from the market was “in response to repeated aggressive press releases from the FDA” and the letter it received from the FDA on December 19.

Unwarranted Pressure from FDA?
The Primus statement on its web site read in part: “Primus Pharmaceuticals, in response to unwarranted pressure from the FDA, has voluntarily suspended promotion and sale of Limbrel, an important and in many cases the only medical option for people suffering from osteoarthritis, pending Primus receiving requested safety data held by the FDA and meeting with the FDA as requested.”

Limbrel: Medical Food or Drug?
The company further questioned the FDA’s determination that Primus had marketed Limbrel as a drug, rather than a food.  Through its Washington law firm, Primus’ formal response to FDA included this statement: “For nearly 14 years, Limbrel has been marketed as a medical food dispensed by prescription and under physician supervision, with over 2 million packages sold and sampled in that time to an estimated 450,000 patients.”

In their response dated Dec. 20, Primus’ lawyers claimed Limbrel does meet the statutory definition of a medical food as set forth in the Orphan Drug Act.  “In fact, Limbrel has been referenced as such in many peer-reviewed nutritional, regulatory, clinical, and scientific peer-reviewed articles.”

Primus’ response also countered FDA’s adverse-event claim.  Primus said that historically, “both FDA and Primus have received very low numbers of reports of acute hypersensitivity pneumonitis (AHP) and elevated liver function tests (LFTs).”  The company added that the reactions have been temporary and medically reversible.

Primus has reportedly requested further meetings with FDA to lobby that Limbrel is safe and should be considered a medical food.  If that effort fails, Primus indicated it might pursue a reclassification of the product as a nutritional supplement, according to a Jan. 2018 report in The Arizona Republic.

The newspaper quoted Mr. Weir as saying, “We don’t understand why this product has been on the market for so long with such consistent feedback and use, and now is an issue.”

FDA Recommends ceasing Limbrel Use
In its Nov. 2017 warning, the FDA also advised health care providers who are aware that their patients are taking Limbrel to tell them to stop using it.

Limbrel Injury Symptoms
Of the 194 adverse event reports regarding Limbrel that the FDA received, 30 gave sufficient information for FDA medical experts to determine that Limbrel was likely associated with these adverse events.  The agency has recently seen a spike in the number of serious, potentially life- threatening health problems associated with Limbrel, including drug-induced liver injury and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Various symptoms of drug-induced liver injury may include jaundice, nausea, fatigue, and gastrointestinal discomfort.  Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms is advised to contact a health care provider right away.  Symptoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis may include fever, chills, headache, cough, chronic bronchitis, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, weight loss, fatigue.  Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms, is also advised to contact a health care provider right away.

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Lawsuit Settlements with Opioid Distributors & Makers

The federal government has recently settled several multi-million-dollar cases with opioid makers and distributors.  The government has recovered nearly $300 million in damages.  That may seem like a significant number, but it’s a very small drop in the bucket considering the heavy personal costs of the opioid crisis, which has killed more than 200,000 people from 2000-2016.  Every day, 52 Americans die from opioid painkiller overdoses, according to the CDC.  In purely financial terms, the crisis created by drug companies like McKesson has cost county and state governments billions of dollars.

Many other opioid lawsuits have since been filed by states’ attorneys general, and many more cases are expected to reach settlements, but here is a tally of recent settlements.

Lawsuit Settlements with Opioid Distributors & Makers

2017 – McKesson Corporation, the nation’s largest drug distributor, paid $150 million in a civil penalty for violating the Controlled Substances Act.  McKesson had failed to report “suspicious orders” for oxycodone and hydrocodone, such as those suspicious in frequency, size, or other patterns.  Government investigators wanted a $1 billion fine as well as criminal charges brought against McKesson.  They got only the small million fine and no charges.  The Washington Post reported that one DEA agent said, “We feel like our system was hijacked.”  It was hijacked, twice, first by McKesson and  and then by the nominal fine.  The Justice Dept. boasts it as a “record settlement“;  but it is inarguably paltry, given the real damages, and the fact that it was the company’s second offense.*

Related:  DEA Whistleblower – Justice Dept. coddled McKesson

Were the three strike rule in effect for corporations (which the Supreme Court ruled in the infamous Citizen’s United are people), as it is for comparatively tiny drug pushing offenders, the company would be put in jail for life upon its next transgression.

2017 – Mallinckrodt Plc, an oxycodone maker, agreed to pay $35 million to resolve U.S. investigations into its monitoring and reporting of suspicious orders of controlled substances. (Reuters has the story.)

2017 – Costco Wholesale agreed to pay $11.75 million to resolve allegations that its pharmacies violated the Controlled Substances Act. Costco improperly filled prescriptions for controlled substances. (See Justice Department Costco)

2017 – Cardinal Health reached a $20 million settlement with the state of West Virginia regarding the distribution of opioids between 2007 and 2012. In one six-year period, Cardinal and other wholesalers sent 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia. That’s 433 per state resident. That time period saw 1,728 fatal overdoses from opioids in the state.  Columbus Business First has that story.

2016 – Cardinal Health, Inc. agreed to pay the U.S. $44 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act in Maryland, Florida and New York. Cardinal Health failed to report suspicious orders of controlled substances to pharmacies in those states.  The Washington Post has that story.

2015 – Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, agreed to pay Kentucky $24 million to settle a lawsuit that accused Purdue of misleading the public about the addictiveness of the prescription opioid.  CBS News has that story.

*2007/2008 – McKesson was fined $13.3 million by the Justice Dept. for mishandling prescription medicines, in a crime similar to its mishandling of opioids in its 2017  settlement.  (See the Justice Dept. announcement.)

McKesson vowed to do better, but failed.  Five months after the 2008 settlement, the board’s audit committee was notified of “serious deficiencies” in its system to spot suspicious opioid shipments, according to the Washington Post.  McKesson’s internal auditors claimed that some customers hadn’t yet been assigned thresholds for large orders that would trigger a review, and there was insufficient documentation to back up decisions to alter such limits for existing customers.  It’s a typical corporate ploy, to claim the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.  But the sheer number of opiod orders, as in West Virginia (above) and elsewhere, renders that defense absurd.  Failure to follow through on promises included in the 2008 fine was largely what led to McKesson’s being fined again in 2017, for the paltry sum of $150 million.

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