Pharmaceutical News: Legal Help for Mothers Who Took Antiepileptic Meds During Pregnancy

Legal Help for Mothers Who Took Antiepileptic Meds During Pregnancy

Taking antiepileptic or anticonvulsant medication such Depakote or Depakene to treat epilepsy, bipolar episodes of manic depression, and migraine headaches, during pregnancy may lead to birth defects.

(PRWEB) April 20, 2011

The Consumer Justice Foundation provides information and outlets for help for consumers who are experiencing legal problems with insurance companies, large corporations and pharmaceutical companies hereby announces the release of a new and specific legal resource designed to provide information and a pathway to legal help with This resource will provide information regarding the uses for Depakote, the alleged Depakote birth defects associated with the use of this drug during pregnancy, and will provide a connection to Depakote attorneys for those women who have suffered as a result of what they believe are Depakote side effects.

Depakote is a pharmaceutical medication that’s prescribed for people who suffer from different seizure disorders that include epilepsy, migraine headaches and the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. It is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories and has been available on the American market for more than 25 years.

Over time, different allegations regarding Depakote birth defects have surfaced. These alleged Depakote side effects have included the tendency for women who used Depakote while pregnant to have children who were born with birth defects that have included spina bifida, cleft palate, atrial septal defects (heart malformations), and other serious medical conditions(“Birth Defects Linked to Valproic Acid,” WebMD Health News, June 9, 2010).

As a result of these allegations of Depakote side effects and because of the data mined from several studies, the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA has classified Depakote as a Category D pregnancy drug, stating “There is an increased risk of neural tube defects, such as defects of the brain and spinal cord, and other major birth defects, such as craniofacial defects (abnormally formed face and skull enclosing the brain) and cardiovascular malformations (abnormally formed heart or blood vessels), in babies exposed to valproate sodium and related products during pregnancy” (“Birth Defects Related to Depakote and Similar Drugs”,, December 2009). Category D pregnancy drugs, according to the FDA are medications whereby:

“There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, BUT the potential benefits from the use of the drug in pregnant women may be acceptable despite its potential risks.”

Experienced Depakote lawyers can help mothers who have given birth to children with birth defects and suspect Depakote use to be the cause. There are many expenses and hardships that go along with taking care of a child born with spina bifida, cleft palate, heart defects, or skeletal malformations. Depakote attorneys can help extract compensation for these injuries to provide better care for children unknowingly affected by antiepileptic medication. Depakote lawsuits (St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-651) have already been filed by more than a dozen mothers across the United States, claiming that Depakote caused birth defects in their children.

About the Consumer Justice Foundation:

The Consumer Justice Foundation is an online resource that provides useful information to consumers who need help handling problems with entities that include large corporations, including insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, and one of the main functions of this resource is to help victims of pharmaceutical negligence so that they can obtain helpful information regarding their situation and information regarding how those who have been harmed can obtain legal help if necessary.

Retail Industry Continues to Lead in Online Ad Spending

Retailers are expected to spend $5.73 billion on online advertising this year, up from $5.16 billion in 2010, accounting for more than one in every five online ad dollars.

While the retail industry will see double-digit growth of 11% in 2011, other verticals will increase spending more quickly. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) spending will increase 29% to $2.66 billion this year, automotive spending will rise 14% to $3.24, and healthcare and pharma will boost online spending 13% to $1.17 billion.

The growth of online video ads—especially among brand marketers who have traditionally focused heavily on TV advertising—is a primary contributor to the growing market share of CPG and automotive companies. In 2009, CPG spending made up 6% of the overall $22.66 billion spent on internet ads that year, but by 2015 that proportion will rise to 13%. Automotive advertisers’ share of overall online spending is expected to grow from 11% in 2009 to 13% by 2015 as the industry continues to recover from the recession.

“Many industries that have traditionally focused on TV and print now see online video as an ideal and more cost-effective way to extend and complement their existing campaigns,” said Victoria Petrock, senior research analyst at eMarketer.

Healthcare and pharma spending will continue to move online, but spending will likely be affected by the loss of patent protection for several blockbuster drugs and forthcoming guidelines from the US Food & Drug Administration, which many in the industry hope will provide clearer direction for how pharmaceutical products can be marketed online.

As a result of this growth, more mature online advertising verticals—including telecom, financial services and travel—are expected to lose share through 2015.

“Online spending in these industries will grow,” Petrock said. “But they will constitute less of the online spending pie because many are already heavily invested online.”

To learn more about eMarketer’s estimates for online ad spending in specific industries, or to speak with Ms. Petrock, please contact Clark Fredricksen.
April 5, 2011 — Online and digital Radio revenues projected to grow 14.1% over next five years (0)
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Drugs shortfall solution sought

Drug distributors, public and private hospitals and all pharmacies will be required to provide monthly updates on what medications are available on shelves, so that drug shortages can be avoided.

The mandatory monthly reports will be used to populate a database of available medications on the website of the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (Haad) from next month.

“The problem of drug shortages is present worldwide, for various reasons, even in those countries where drug manufacturing companies exist,” said Dr Mohammed Abu Elkhair, section head of drug and medical products regulations at Haad. “We are not immune here, neither in the UAE or in Abu Dhabi emirate, but it is our responsibility to find as many solutions as we can,” he said.

A Haad-led survey among pharmaceutical providers in 2008 and 2009 revealed that of the 7,039 medications registered in the country, only 4,036 were routinely available, according to Dr Abu Elkhair.

Although the survey is now two years old, it is still representative of the current situation, he said, as there has been only a slight increase in drug registration since then, with 7,226 medications currently registered.

The results of the survey illustrated that “this is a very critical issue”, said Dr Majdolin Abu Musallem, an import and export drug regulation officer at Haad.

“Our biggest concern is when there is a shortage of life-saving, essential medications that have no alternative, where the unavailability of the medicine can lead to the death of a patient,” she said.

Such incidents did happen, said Dr Abu Elkhair, citing the example of a patient who died last year in Al Gharbia because the hospital did not have Dantrolene, an antidote to hyperthermia or high fever.

“The patient was at the dentist, and after being given an anaesthetic, the doctor discovered that the patient was allergic to the anaesthesia. The antidote, Dantrolene was not available, and no alternative was present, so the patient unfortunately died of complication,” said Dr Abu Elkhair.

Another shortage is in psychiatric and narcotic medications, said Dr Abu Musallem, many of which are new and not yet registered.

“With the increase in psychiatrists and in diagnosis, there is a larger demand for medications, and yet we still face problems because importing psychiatric and narcotic medication takes a long time and the profit is not big enough for the distributor,” she said.

Today in Abu Dhabi, there are at least three registered medications, all life-saving and considered essential, that are not available. Warfarin 1mg, an anticoagulant used to prevent strokes, is only available in 3mg or 5mg, and patients must cut their pills in order to take the lower dosage, which is “very dangerous”, said Dr Abu Musallem.

Glucagon injections, used by diabetics in case of a sudden drop in blood sugar, are also unavailable.

“This is why we wanted to launch this online tool, so that we can look ahead, see what medications have alternatives and what don’t; see the trends of market history to know what drugs are more likely to be in shortage,” Dr Abu Elkhair said.

Instead of addressing a shortage after a doctor, hospital or patient files a complaint, Haad hopes the monthly reports will help shortages.

“We recently had a case of a patient in Abu Dhabi visiting three or four pharmacies looking for Noortropil 800mg tablets, that he later found in Dubai,” said Dr Abu Elkhair.

“Our programme will help map out exactly where medications are all over the country, so a patient or doctor knows where to go.”

Through monitoring the online reports, Haad will be able to advise hospitals and pharmacies on the availability of alternatives, restrict the use of drugs in short supply, monitor usage and resupply, facilitate the import of drugs across the region, and, when needed, make them available in Abu Dhabi.

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