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666 Sickened by Tainted Peanut Corp. Products

At least 666  people have been sickened by salmonella-tainted peanut products made by Peanut Corp. of America (PCA).  PCA is now the focus of a criminal probe being conducted by the US Justice Department.   Earlier this month, the company filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy.  A statement from PCA’s attorney blamed the fallout from the salmonella scandal for the filing.

At first, the salmonella outbreak was traced to PCA’s plant in Blakely, Georgia, resulting in its closure and a recall of all ingredients made there.  Food & Drug Administration (FDA) inspections last month found that the company knowingly shipped products from that plant that had tested positive for salmonella. (more…)

Raptiva Future in Doubt Following PML Warnings

European regulators have recommended that sales of the psoriasis drug Raptiva be suspended after it was linked to three cases of the fatal brain infection progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)   The recommendation came the same day that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced a review of Raptiva because of its association with PML.

Following these developments, one analyst told Reuters that it is becoming. “increasingly likely” Raptiva would be pulled from the U.S. market.  In October 2008, the FDA had already required Genentech to place a Boxed Warning on the Raptiva label regarding the drugs’ risk of PML and other infectious diseases. (more…)

Florida Tobacco Plaintiff Awarded $8 Mill

The first of 8000 tobacco injury lawsuits to go to trail in Florida has resulted in an $8 million award to the widow of a man who died as a result of his smoking addiction.

As we reported last week, the jury had already ruled that the death of  55-year-old Stuart Hess in 1997 from lung cancer  was the result of his nicotine addiction.  In the second phase of the trial, the jury ordered  Altria’s Philip Morris unit to pay his widow $3 million dollars in compensatory damages and another $5 million in punitive damages, The Wall Street Journal said. (more…)

Six Colorado Salmonella Cases Linked to Peanut Corp. Plant in Texas

A closed Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) plant in Texas has been tied to six cases of salmonella poisoning in Colorado. The PCA Plainview, Texas plant was closed last week after possible salmonella contamination was found there.  Despite having been in operation since 2005, the Plainview facility was unlicensed, and had never been inspected before the salmonella outbreak.

Late last week, all products made at the Plainview facility were recalled after Texas Health Department inspectors discovered appalling conditions there.  Those conditions included dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in a crawl space above a production area.  According to the Associated Press, the plant’s air handling system was pulling debris from the infested crawl space into production areas.  (more…)

Buffalo Plane Crash Leaves 50 Dead

Fifty people are dead following the crash of Continental Express flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York last night.   The dead included all 49 passengersgers and crew aboard, as well as one person on the ground.

The Continental Express plane, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 74-seat turboprop, was on its way to Buffalo from Newark, New Jersey when it crashed around 10:20 p.m. in the suburb of Clarence.  The flight, which was operated by Colgan Air, went down just 7 miles outside of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. (more…)

Peanut Corp. of America Caught in a Lie

Peanut Corp. of America (PCA), the company behind a massive salmonella outbreak, has been caught in a lie.  Apparently, some batches of peanuts shipped from its Blakely, Georgia plant in 2007 and 2008 that had tested positive for salmonella contamination were not subjected to more testing before they were distributed, as PCA had previously asserted.

So far, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed 575 cases of salmonella poisoning in 43 states linked to tainted PCA products.  The outbreak may have contributed to eight deaths, the agency said. PCA, which provides ingredients to 85 other food firms, has recalled everything made at its Georgia plant since January 2007. Hundreds of  products made by other firms, including the Kellogg Company and General Mills, have also been recalled. (more…)

Xigris Safety Review

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing the sepsis treatment, Xigris, after a study showed that the drug increased the risk of death in people with bleeding problems.

The study cited by the FDA Early Communication announcing the Xigris review followed 73 sepsis patients who were treated with Xigris.  The study found that serious internal bleeding occurred in 35 percent of patients with a history of bleeding problems, compared with 3.8 percent of patients with no such history. (more…)

Another ETHEX Recall

ETHEX Corp. has expanded an earlier generic drug recall due to f manufacturing problems at its parent company, KV Pharmaceuticals.

Last month, KV Pharmaceuticals suspended manufacturing and shipping of all of its products, including those made under the ETHEX name.  That  announcement followed an inspection that began in December by the FDA of the company’s operations and inventory.  Because of the manufacturing problems cited by the  FDA, ETHEX  has issued several recalls in the past year.  Earlier this week, ETHEX issued a recall of its prescription infant vitamins and prescription iron supplements. Just last week, the problems at KV Pharmaceuticals prompted ETHEX to recall scores of generic drugs that might be defective. (more…)

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