Voluntary Recall of Viapro 375mg Capsules Due To A Potentially Harmful Analog Of Sildenafil

The FDA, in conjunction with EG Labs LLC has issued a voluntary recall of the popular erectile dysfunction drug, Viapro.  The MedWatch annoucment is as follows:

EG Labs, LLC, notified consumers and healthcare professionals not to buy or use Viapro 375mg Capsules because one lot of the product was found to contain a potentially harmful undeclared ingredient, thio-methisosildenafil, an analog of sildenafil, a FDA approved product used to treat erectile dysfunction in men to enhance sexual performance. The undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take products containing nitrates. Consumers who have this product should discontinue using it and consult their healthcare professional if they experience any problems that may be related to taking Viapro.

Read the entire 2008 MedWatch Safety summary, including a link to the manufacturer’s Press Release regarding this issue at:
http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2008/safety08.htm#Viapro

For further information on this recall or to speak to a defective drug attorney, call (856) 833-0600 in NJ or (215) 567-2380 in PA, or fill out the form on the left side of the page.

The “Dead Doctor” Scam: How Medicare and Medicaid Lost $70 Million In Fraudulent Claims

Most people envision Medicare or Medicaid fraud as a pharmacist billing for name brand prescriptions while dispersing the generic version, or a doctor inflating the cost of his services to bring in a few extra bucks.

Unfortunately, another type of Medicare and Medicaid fraud exists—and it’s one that took the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 7 years to put a stop to.

A subcommittee report issued by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Investigations Subcommittee on Tuesday revealed CMS has paid out more than $70 million between 2000 and 2007 for durable medical equipment that used the personal identification number of a deceased physician.

In response to the discovery, CMS deputy administrator, Herb Kuhn, assured government officials that the agency is working on a new system to stop fraudulent billing from “dead doctors”.  Apparently, the proposed system will require doctors to use a new National Provider Identifier, which will automatically cross check death records from the Social Security Administration database.

In addition, Kuhn told Subcommittee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that while the stolen funds have yet to be recovered, the agency plans to withhold future bonuses for companies found to be involved in the scam.

Withhold future bonuses?

I would hope that CMS would conduct an audit and prosecute every single company that participated in the dead doctor scam.  Patients are denied funding every day under Medicare and Medicaid because of budget constraints.  These scammers essentially stole from sick people who could have used that money to buy medicine, etc.

In addition, CMS should receive a complete administration overhaul for waiting so long to address this problem.  A few sources suggest that CMS may have known of the dead doctor scam as early as 2001—which is completely unacceptable in my opinion.

I think subcommittee ranking member Norm Colman (R-Minn) sums up the dead doctor scam the best: “We live in a high tech world…Surely we should have the capacity to figure out if doctors are dead.”

I totally agree.

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New Jersey Whistleblower Attorneys

Support Public Disclosure of Preventable Errors in New Jersey Hospitals

A prominent elder advocacy group has come forward this week asking that specific data regarding preventable hospital errors be made available to the public.

According to the AARP, New Jersey residents have been kept in the dark as to the quality of their local healthcare providers. Current patient safety regulations (namely the Patient Safety Act), only requires the state to report errors as a whole, rather than specifically name the individual hospital offenders.

However, the AARP of New Jersey has called upon the department of Health and Senior Services to break this information down by hospital so patients can assess for themselves the quality of their local health care facilities.

Not surprisingly, the New Jersey Hospital Association opposes the release of such information.

Fortunately, the battle for specific disclosure has now made it’s way to the New Jersey state legislature.  Last session, a bill requiring the disclosure hospital-specific errors passed the Assembly but expired without gaining approval from the Senate.  Identical bills have been re-introduced to both chambers.

Why hospital-specific reporting matters in New Jersey

According to a recent HealthGrades study, New Jersey ranks 51st (fifty states and the District of Columbia) or dead last in patient safety incidents.  This same study also reveals that in 2004 alone, 195,000 patients in the US died as a result of a preventable medical error.

Clearly, these statistic show that the current reporting methods under the Patient Safety Act are not effective in deterring medical mistakes—especially in New Jersey.

However, hospital-specific reporting for medical mistakes will improve the overall quality of healthcare in New Jersey.  For example, residents of Camden County have over 5 hospitals to choose from for their care.  If one hospital is ranked far worse than the others, informed patients will choose to avoid the facility altogether.

Thus, hospitals that do not value patient safety will experience a major decline in revenue until they literally are forced to clean up their act.

While it is sad that better care comes down to a money game, a mass exodus of patients (or potential revenue) is the only way to get the attention of a hospital CEO with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

How to Get Involved

Speak up!  Write or call your local congressman or congresswoman and let them know that you support hospital-specific reporting of medical mistakes (Bill A1264 or S807).

The local paper is another great way to spread the word on this issue.  Send letters to the editor, submit posts to the online forums/ blogs and leave comments on any relevant stories to express your support.

We, the public, deserve to know the quality of our local hospitals and healthcare facilities – and hospital-specific reporting of medical errors is the only way to achieve that goal.

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New Jersey medical malpractice attorney

Wallgreen’s Pays $35 Million For Medicaid Whistleblower Settlement

On June 4, 2008, Walgreen’s drug store agreed to pay $35 million to settle a Medicare whistleblower lawsuit. In the suit, retail giant Walgreen’s was accused of substituting more expensive versions of three prescription drugs between 2001 and 2005 in an attempt to defraud the medicare system.

Pharmacist Bernard Listiza was credited for blowing the whistle on the fraud scheme and will receive $5 million as a reward for his cooperation.  This same pharmacist brought a similar suit against CVS Caremark Corporation in late 2006.

In addition, individual states such as Indiana and Ohio have accused the pharmacy of making wholesale switches without physician involvement, which is a violation of numerous state regulations on pharmaceutical drugs.  The two states listed above recovered $161,000 and $28, 479 respectively from the Medicare settlement

Related Whistleblower and Medicaid Fraud Information:

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Practical Summer Safety Tips from the “Kids and Cars” Foundation

It’s that time of year again when children are outside, unsuspectingly playing near cars in the driveway or street.  Surprisingly, parked or slow moving cars are two of the greatest dangers facing our children in the summer months.  In 2007 alone, 725 children were injured or killed as a result of non-traffic or non-crash car accidents.

To prevent your child from sustaining a car related injury, I would encourage you to discuss the following safety precautions with your children and their friends:

KIDS AND CARS recommendations to keep children safe include:

  1. Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
  2. Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
  3. Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them.
  4. Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device.
  5. Measure the size of your blind zone (area) behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind zone of approximately 8 feet wide by 50 feet long.
  6. Be aware that steep inclines and large SUV’s, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.
  7. Hold children’s hand firmly when leaving the vehicle.
  8. Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle and always set the emergency brake.
  9. Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.
  10. Homeowners should trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure they can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.
  11. Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
  12. Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.
  13. Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
  14. Make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked.
  15. Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.

These precautions can save lives.

For additional information, visit the KIDS AND CARS web site at www.KidsAndCars.org

Related Information:

Contact an personal injury attorney in NJ

2nd Nature Built To Grow Cribs Recalled Due To Entrapment Hazard

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (in conjunction with Stanley Furniture) has issued a recall for 2nd Nature Built To Grow cribs due to a potential entrapment hazard.  Consumers have been asked to stop using this product immediately, as infants may get stuck in a gap between the crib and the mattress when used on the medium setting.

The cribs subject to this recall were sold in furniture and department stores between March 2006 and December 2007 for approximately $1100.  The specific model and serial numbers covered by the recall include:

353-14-220-L-01, 353-14-220-L-02, 353-14-220-L-03, 353-14-220-L-04, 353-14-220-L-05, 353-14-     220-L-06, 353-14-220-L-07, 353-14-220-L-08, 353-14-220-L-101, and 353-14-220-L-103.

These serial numbers are located on the headboard of the crib.  Please note that the recall does not include cribs sold after December 2007.

Stanley furniture is offering a free headboard replacement for any crib subject to the recall.  For additional information, contact Stanley Furniture toll-free at (888) 839-6822 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the company’s web site at www.youngamerica.com

Related Information:

Contact a defective product attorney in New Jersey