Is Low Testosterone Therapy Worthwhile?

When Low-T (low testosterone) supplements were first introduced into the market in 2001, it was to cater to the population of men who were experiencing a decrease in their sexual energy, physical drive, vitality, or stamina due to age or other underlying condition. It was very well received; Low-T clinics have sprung up like mushrooms and afflicted men clamored for the treatments as vigorously as they called for prescriptions of hair growth drugs and heart medication with an unexpected but desirable side effect.

But the safety of this wholesale dispensing of Low-T supplements is being questioned by leading medical professionals. Low-T clinics are not designed to diagnose and treat medical problems that manifest in lowered levels of testosterone, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes or sleep apnea. These establishments often sell the products for cash, so it is difficult to track sales as well as the health effects on those who buy the supplements. Patients who have been denied testosterone supplements by their regular doctors can often get these products at these clinics.

However, clinic owners deny that the dispensing of the supplements is indiscriminate. They claim that patients are given a thorough physical examination and their testosterone levels tested. Those who do not fit the profile for low-T are turned away. Studies indicate that older men and those at high risk for cardiac disease may be most vulnerable for serious complications from Low-T supplement use, even death. Nevertheless, manufacturers of testosterone supplements are doing brisk business. According to an article located at, more than 5 million prescriptions are filled annually. It is expected the demand will continue to grow despite growing unease in regulatory bodies and the scientific communities about the health effects of the products.

Men respond positively to aggressive marketing campaigns for these products, and until more conclusive scientific evidence can be found, will continue to do so. But those who have experienced first-hand the effects of Low-T supplements are making their own statement: in civil court. If you believe you are one of these unfortunate victims, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area with a successful track record in handling cases against pharmaceutical companies to find out your legal options.

The Difficulties of Designing Technology to Detect Stoned Drivers

The possibility of widespread legalization of marijuana possession appears more likely each passing year, with two states currently conducting large-scale experiments in whether this approach can work acceptably. However, one big issue that supporters of legalization face is the issue of creating legal standards to prohibit individuals under the influence of the drug from operating a vehicle. This is a substantial problem, and one that resists an easy solution.

Some have argued for implementing a law prohibiting driving above a certain ratio of THC per milliliter of blood, with the usual standard being argued for at five nanograms. However, there are a number of problems with this approach. For one, heavy users, such as medical marijuana patients, may have this type of THC blood concentration at all times, even when they aren’t high. Furthermore, testing for it can be difficult: blood tests are problematic and highly invasive.

One innovation, a technology which may be able to detect THC in a user’s blood through testing the sweat in an individual’s fingerprint, is currently being developed in the UK, and may be available for sale in the U.S. by the end of 2013, though it will have to complete FDA approval before law enforcement agencies can use it.

If you have been charged with marijuana possession, make sure to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today. An attorney will be able to guide you through your case to make sure that you are protected.

Status of Pradaxa Litigation

The lawsuits against the new anticoagulant drug Pradaxa from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. have been transferred to multidistrict litigation (MDL) to make the process easier and speedier. Many of the plaintiffs are elderly, which makes speed of the essence, and which is something that one cannot count on when filing a case against big corporations, especially pharmaceutical companies. However, even with the MDL in place, it will still take years before light becomes evident in the tunnel.

The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided on the transfer on August 8, 2012, naming David R. Herndon as presiding judge and the Southern District of Illinois as the venue for the proceedings. Judge Hendron had presided previously over the MDL concerning Yaz and Yasmin. There are currently 1,617 cases with 1,690 plaintiffs which are now lumped together under MDL No. 2385 (In Re: Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation).

The initial conference was held on October 3, 2012, and bellwether cases are scheduled to be established by February 2015. Bellwether cases are representative of a certain number of other cases within the MDL with similar features, and focusing on these cases will avoid duplication of arguments and speed up the process. Nevertheless, plaintiffs can expect to wait a while before any compensation will be forthcoming. The last Status Conference was held on September 18, 2013, and the next one is scheduled for October 8, 2013.

It is still possible to bring a new case for consideration of inclusion into MDL 2385. If you or a family member has been injured or died due to Pradaxa, you may be liable for compensation for the losses, pain and suffering caused by this drug. Contact a products liability lawyer with experience in dealing with pharmaceutical companies and MDL and have your case assessed.

The Basics of GranuFlo: Its History and Usage

In an average person with working kidneys, these organs keep their blood and bones healthy. Unfortunately, for those whose kidneys are failing or not working properly, they need special care and treatment to receive the health benefits that these organs typically provide. While a kidney transplant is the most beneficial way to treat failing kidneys as it provides a long-term solution, a transplant is also expensive, can be very difficult to qualify for, and is not guaranteed to be successful. As a result, many people turn to dialysis as a way to make sure their blood is filtered and they receive the necessary health benefits that working kidneys provide.

When a person undergoes hemodialysis, their blood is removed from their body, sent through a machine, known as a dialyzer, cleaned with the help of a dialysate, and then returned to their body. While there are a variety of different types of dialysates to choose from, a commonly used product in recent years has been GranuFlo. A dialysate produced by the pharmaceutical company Fresenius Medical Care, GranuFlo is a dry acid concentrate which is supposed to neutralize the acids in a person’s blood. Designed to do this by placing substances that convert into bicarbonates in the body, this product was supposed to help those suffering from kidney failure.

Unfortunately, GranuFlo has been linked to serious heart problems and failure, particularly cardiac arrest, in hundreds of patients. In fact, an internal Fresenius Medical Care memo was released that reported that almost 900 patients suffered cardiac arrests in one year as a result of using this product, showing that it is not as safe as consumers or medical professionals believed. The ingredients that covert into bicarbonates and are supposed to be beneficial for patients are actually causing serious harm to them by placing an overabundance of bicarbonates into their blood. In addition to cardiac arrests, this product can cause heart arrhythmias and strokes.

When the memo was released, Fresenius was shown to be aware of the problem, potentially making them liable for the many side effects that patients who had used the product since its release had suffered.  Sadly, although the FDA has issued a Class 1 recall of GranuFlo, this warning comes too late for many people who have already been the victims of heart problems caused by GranuFlo use.