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Medical Uses of Risperdal

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014 in Defective Medication | 0 comments

Most people know that antipsychotic drugs help to manage the symptoms of behavior and affective disorders, but not how. Risperidone (brand name Risperdal) as an atypical (2nd generation) antipsychotic drug acts on the receptors of dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and histamine. It is the initial treatment given to psychotic patients alone or in combination with other mood stabilizing drugs such lithium or valproic acid, depending on the type and seriousness of the disorder, and it is most efficacious when given in the short term.

Risperdal enjoyed immense popularity since it was first introduced in the market in 1993 because it was more effective than 1st generation antipsychotics and patients exhibited less extra pyramidal side effects (movement disorders). This last improvement is thought to be due to the repressive action of risperidone on 5-HT2A/2C (serotonin) receptors at low doses.

Several studies done regarding the effects of risperidone since it was first introduced showed that it is a relatively safe and effective treatment protocol for children and teenagers with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder which is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disordered speech and thought, and poor social and emotional responses. It often manifests in people during the end of adolescence or in early adulthood, and successful management of the disease is greatly improved when the disorder is caught prior to onset (prodromal). This reduces the disruption in development and lessens the severity of the condition.  Risperidone co-administered with cognitive behavior therapy was found to reduce psychotic conversion at the 6-month prodromal period.

Early intervention (prior to the first episode) is also said to reduce the symptoms and slow down the progression of bipolar disorder. Also typically presenting in late adolescence and early adulthood, bipolar disorder is distinguished by the extreme fluctuations in mood, energy and activity levels. It is considered a serious mental illness because it can significantly disrupt a person’s ability to function.

While risperidone appears to be an effective short-term solution for controlling a wide array of symptoms of mental disease, recent events regarding serious side effects of the drug and subsequent litigation has prompted warnings regarding its use. Ongoing clinical trials and safety regulations are in place to address these issues, which will hopefully result in effective guidelines for safe administration, especially for the most affected populations.

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Family Business Concerns and Estate Planning

Posted by on Mar 8, 2014 in Business, Finance | 0 comments

There was a time when people accepted that the first-born child (or more typically the first male child) would inherit the bulk of the family fortune and provide for the other members of the family. It was also the traditional arrangement that the first-born would be taught the family business and take over from the parents when the time comes. However, this is no longer a practical arrangement from the modern family point of view, so there has been an increased interest in addressing family business concerns with estate planning.

A business is considered property, and for many Americans, the family business represents the bulk of their wealth. Unfortunately, the division of the interest, rights and responsibilities in the business can become a bone of contention among family members even if they more or less knew the eventual disposition of the assets. It can revive old hurts and jealousies, and it is the family business that suffers.

Estate planning eliminates much of the drama that happens after the parent dies. The Mokaram personal injury lawyers‘ website suggests that estate planning is something everyone should do because a fatal accident could happen at any time. Estate planning usually takes the form of wills and trusts that can be brought into play while the property owner is still alive, fostering a more business-like approach to the whole inheritance business. It also takes into account the business law that applies to inheriting a family business, such as taxes on business assets. For example, a trust is a common way to minimize inheritance taxes on a family business.

However, business law on family-business estate planning differs from state to state, and there are many ramifications that most people are not aware of that can significantly impact on the continued viability of the business. When considering how to pass on your legacy to your spouse, children, and other people, it would be best to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer practicing in your state. This will ensure that everything is shipshape and ready to go.

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Rights Concerning Medical Records

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

One of the basic requirements for a personal injury or wrongful death claim is that serious injury or death resulted from the negligent actions of others. In either serious injury or death, the medical records will provide objective information about the nature and possible causes of an injury or death. In the case of an injury, the records will also indicate the severity as well as the short- and long-term consequences.

In cases such as a negligent car accident, medical records are the key element for substantiating the personal injury or wrongful death claim before it will be accepted in court, and will then become part of the pre-trial discovery phase. It is important that the medical records are complete and verified to stand up under scrutiny, because the defendant’s lawyers (which is usually in the insurance company’s pay) will definitely go over it with a fine-toothed comb.

In general, an individual has the right to view the original as well as get a copy of all his or her own medical records as well as that of others under certain circumstances as provided under federal law, namely HIPAA or the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. If you are making a claim on behalf of another person, you may request for them if you are the:

  • Designated representative (with written permission)
  • Legal guardian (adult)
  • Legal guardian (child) unless the child’s medical care was court-mandated, the child’s parent preserves the doctor-patient privilege, or parental consent is not required by state law
  • Appointed representative by will or the court for a deceased person, or related by blood in which the deceased’s medical records has relevance for your own health

HIPAA requires health care providers and institutions to provide access to these records within 30 days of the request. Failure to do so compels the healthcare provider to give a reason for the delay.

However, there are some records that the healthcare provider can withhold, such as when the information:

  • May pose a danger to the life of the requester or another person
  • Is slated to be used in preparation for a lawsuit
  • Are notes from psychotherapy sessions

When the provider denies a legitimate request for the records, a letter of denial and explanation should be forthcoming. You may also have the option to challenge this denial.

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The Scope of Securities Litigation

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Business, Finance | 0 comments

Securities litigation is just one of the functions of a securities lawyer, but it is an important one. Because money is primarily the driving force behind securities, navigating its laws and regulations can be difficult. Many a lawsuit resulted from the inadvertent violation of the many laws and regulations to pertaining to securities such as the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Sarbanes Oxley, or the Dodd-Frank Act.

A brokerage firm may make a misstep and find itself in hot water with its clients. A publicly-traded company may be improperly managed and be accused of fraud by its shareholders. A fund manager may decide to take the money of clients for personal use. Such cases will require the services of a lawyer specializing in securities litigation, either to prosecute or to defend.

Because the field is so complex, there are no presumed victims and villains in this play. Securities attorneys may find themselves on either side of the fence, depending on the circumstances. While it is true that securities fraud, insider trading, and malfeasance are often carried out to the detriment of shareholders and investors, securities companies, brokerage firms and other financial services companies have also been hauled into civil court on frivolous and downright fraudulent grounds. Hence the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which provides financial and securities management institutions some protection against unfair litigation.

According to the Peter J. Berman, Ltd. website, securities litigation can be costly, so mediation or arbitration would be better alternatives. But when a dispute can reach no resolution, the courts will have to settle the matter for the concerned parties. To ensure the rights of the opposing parties are protected in accordance with the law, the services of an experienced securities lawyer would be indispensable.

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Bases for Pharmaceutical Product Liability Claims

Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 in Defective Medication, Personal Injury, Product Liability | 1 comment

Product liability is the general term used for claims against a manufacturer, distributor, seller, or retailer of a product which causes injury or harm to the user. When it comes to drug-related claims, however, there are three bases that it may fall under.

One basis for a drug-related product liability claim is defective manufacturing. This may encompass any type of error that makes the drug dangerous which would otherwise be safe. This can be a mistake in the formulation, tainted bottles or syringes, mislabeling, packaging mishaps, or shipping problems i.e. improper storage. An example would be the recent recall of batches of Excedrin and other over-the-counter medications because the bottles may contain the wrong medicine. Any person injured by this type of mistake may have a case against the drug manufacturer or packaging company.

Another basis for a claim would be dangerous side effects. While it is commonly accepted that most drugs even when properly manufacturer do have unavoidable side effects, the drug company still has the duty to warn physicians and patients, especially when they are potentially dangerous. In many such cases, claimants allege that the drug manufacturer knew about the dangers but concealed the knowledge. A good example would be birth control formulations Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, manufacturer Bayer Pharmaceutical knew the drospirenone-based contraceptives increased the risk of developing potentially fatal blood clots 1.5 times more than other types of contraceptives but failed to issue the proper warning.

Last but not least would be improper marketing of the product. Most commonly in drug-related product liability cases, the problem arises when the manufacturer or distributor markets the medication for off-label uses. For example, drug A is approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat illness B, and the label will specify this. But to sell more, the drug company tells its sales force to claim that drug A is also good for illness C and illness D. This is off-label marketing, and it can have serious consequences. This is what happened with the anti-epilepsy medication Depakote, which was being marketed to treat migraines and bipolar disorder although it was not approved by the FDA for these conditions. It caused birth defects in children whose mothers were prescribed with Depakote for migraines during their pregnancy.

If you sustained serious injury from dangerous or defective drugs, you should seek compensation for the pain and suffering it caused. Consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling drug-related product liability cases as early as possible.

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