Articles Posted in Disclosure

fentanylillustration-300x99Just as attorneys generals for more than a dozen states inch toward a multibillion-dollar settlement with a drug maker faulted for its big role in the start of the opioid abuse and drug overdose crisis, that health menace is taking a new, deadly turn in the region around the nation’s capital.

In Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, officials report they are grappling with spiking overdose deaths, numbering in the hundreds, and blamed on the rise of fentanyl. It is a synthetic, prescription painkiller developed to assist late-stage cancer patients. It packs a wallop. And Big Pharma companies pushed for its wider use with aggressive marketing and sales campaign that landed some drug executives in jail.

The excessive promotion of fentanyl also led to its illegal manufacture, notably in chemical factories in China. Its increasing abuse, along with other opioids, also opened the door to big problems with illicit drugs.

aduhelm-300x250The  Food and Drug Administration has back-tracked on a major part of its  accelerated approval of Aduhelm, a prescription medication targeted at Alzheimer’s patients.

The  FDA green light for the drug also has created such consternation among medical specialists, insurers, policy experts, and politicians — including with news reports of hidden, cozy dealings between a top regulator and the medication’s maker —  that the acting agency chief has asked the independent inspector general to investigate what happened.

The fury over Aduhelm is occurring even as another drug maker is pushing legal action that authorities argue also could saddle taxpayers with other soaring costs for other expensive drugs.

jJlogo-300x139boyscouts-261x300juullogo-150x150No matter what the carping critics may claim about the shortcomings of the civil justice system, when Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and big organizations exploit and harm the vulnerable, lawsuits and what follows may provide a  concrete, productive way for the wronged to see remedy and recompense for injuries inflicted on them.

Recent news articles provide more than a billion bits of evidence why, even in terse summaries of what has occurred in big, complex cases:

  • The Boy Scouts, for example, have agreed to an $850 million settlement to try to resolve thousands of suits seeking to hold the venerable youth organization responsible for failing to police its ranks to remove sexual predators and prevent the sexual abuse of minors. Lawyers connected with the cases say the agreements they have struck may result in one of the highest payouts in U.S. legal history for sexual abuse claims involving children — and it opens the way to further payouts from insurers that will only add to the whopping costs of the Scouts’ decades of ignoring or trying to cover up grownups’ gross and unacceptable misbehavior. The settlement offers a painful reminder of how many colleges and universities, as well as the Catholic Church have been ripped by costly, terrible scandals involving sexual abuse of the young.

billsmedical1-300x200Federal regulators have taken a welcome initial step to bar insurers and health care providers from holding patients hostage in their all-too-common fee fights, with draft rules out now to crush “surprise” medical bills.

The politically riven, do-nothing Congress shocked critics by ending 2020 with an actual new law, included in legislation dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, that gave patients new protection from nightmares created when insurers and big corporation sought to reduce their health care costs with so-called narrow networks of pre-approved health care providers.

This scheme allowed insurers and companies to negotiate with doctors, labs, hospitals, and others for preferential prices, and, effectively, guarantees of patient business, in exchange. Patients began howling when their long-time caregivers were excluded from insurer networks, which also often also excluded big-name practitioners as well as well-known academic medical centers and big hospitals.

covidnhomedatahhsig-300x175The coronavirus pandemic slammed nursing homes and other long-term care facilities hard in two heart-breaking waves eight months apart. Covid-19 caused the institutions’ fatalities to spike by almost a third over the year before, leaving roughly 170,000 of the elderly, injured, and ill dead, as well as 4 in 10 Medicare-covered residents infected.

Those are some of the grim statistical views of what occurred in nursing homes, notably to residents covered under the federal Medicare program, according to the Office of the Inspector General in the federal Health and Human Services agency (the HHS IG).

The top health watchdog examined “excess deaths” that occurred in 2020 during the pandemic among Medicare beneficiaries, noting that federal officials had exempted nursing homes from reporting Covid-19 cases and deaths in the early part of the year and such infections and fatalities often were not noted in official records, such as death certificates. As the Associated Press reported:

colorectalcancerhotspotmap-300x230While technological advances may help provide crucial warnings to young men, especially those who are black, about their heightened risk of early-onset colorectal cancer, the rise of other high-tech diagnostic aids may only worsen built-in, harmful racial biases in an array of medical practices.

Researchers at the University of Chicago, to their credit, have sought the assistance of health providers across the country to inventory and assess increasingly common medical software and the algorithms on which they rely to ensure whiz-bang decision-making tools don’t discriminate against patients of color.

The early results are distressing, showing how well-intentioned experts inject prejudices into programs that can lead to racially unfair choices about patient care. Ziad Obermeyer, an emergency medicine physician and co-author of the Chicago research, told Stat, the science and medical news site, this about algorithms used in many diagnostic tools:

devicemakerdocpay-300x225Billions of dollars have flown from medical device makers to specialists performing back, spine, knee, and hip surgeries, with unsavory cash and practices also accompanying that fiscal tide.

Industry officials and doctors defend the sizable and growing payment program, saying it results in better medical hardware that ultimately benefits patients, the independent, nonpartisan Kaiser Health News service reported. Data show the bulk of payments from medical-device makers to doctors were for royalties and licensing of products and consulting on them.

But investigative reporters Fred Schulte and Elizabeth Lucas have found that the enriching bonanza concerns regulators, ethicists, and patient advocates:

tbbacteria-300x200A rare outbreak of tuberculosis among dozens of surgical patients — some of them at hospitals in northern Virginia — is under investigation by federal health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The CDC  suspects the infections may be tied to a malleable bone putty used in spinal and other orthopedic procedures.

The substance includes human cells harvested from cadavers, according to Aziyo Biologics Inc., a regenerative medicine company that has voluntarily recalled 154 containers of its FiberCel product.

Patrick Malone & Associates represents patients infected with tuberculosis apparently from this FiberCel bone putty product. Our firm is actively investigating what happened to determine the legal liability of everyone involved and to see where the  breakdowns occurred in the checks and balances intended to keep medical products safe.

usawaterpolo-150x150It may be time to rewrite that country western tune and advise mommas maybe to not let their babies grow up to be athletes,  because of the rising chance that they may be sexually mistreated at high amateur levels, even with the complicity of legendary coaches now stained by ugly legacies of abuse.

The disturbing and increasing problems affecting young female and male athletes were only fueled further by a $14 million settlement reached by women in California over five years’ of wrongdoing in a program approved by the sport’s governing body USA Water Polo.

boschembechler-150x150The nightmarish accusations involving an abusive health service doctor and men in the athletic programs at the University of Michigan, meantime, took a grimmer turn with further tawdry revelations about football coach Bo Schembechler by his adopted son and his onetime players.

UM-Cap-Region-Medical-Center-300x225Poorer communities of color in the region around the nation’s capital are inching toward getting more equitable hospital care — with new facilities slowly coming online to replace decrepit and risky institutions.

Politicians and public leaders in Maryland celebrated a decade-long fight to see the opening in Largo of a new hospital,  a “620,000-square-foot, glass-paneled facility [that] will replace the 75-year-old Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly,” the Washington Post reported.

The new University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center, near the Largo Town Center Metro station, had been stalled for years in political and regulatory battles over its size and funding. It will be part of the University of Maryland Medical System’s network of 13 hospitals, and officials hope it will anchor major development in Largo.

Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C. listed in Best Lawyers Rated by Super Lawyers Patrick A. Malone
Washingtonian Top Lawyer 2011
Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Best Lawyers Firm
Contact Information