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Seeking truth, transparency, and resolution for injured consumers

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Periscope Group provides information, resources, and compassionate legal counsel, advocating on behalf of those facing injustice due to prescription drug complications and medical device failures.

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Our in-house legal counsel, Matthew J. Daher, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah and his law degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law. Matt has devoted his entire practice to civil litigation, and has spent his career representing the rights of individuals who have been injured by pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical malpractice, defective products, and motor vehicle accidents. As in-house counsel for Periscope Group, Matt leads our internal legal team and liaises with our external partners.

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Periscope Group provides information, resources, and compassionate legal counsel, advocating on behalf of those facing injustice due to prescription drug complications and medical device failures. Contact us today to see how we can help!

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The Step-By-Step Guide To Taking Action

How to File for Financial Settlement After Injury from an Unsafe Drug or Device

LATEST ARTICLES

IVC Filters May Cause More Risks Than Benefits in Older PE Patients

“Inferior vena cava [IVC] filters are frequently used to prevent subsequent PE [pulmonary embolisms]; nearly one in six of elderly Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with PE received an inferior vena cava filter,” Behnood Bikdeli, MD and his colleagues wrote earlier this month in a popular medical journal. “However, the evidence supporting device efficacy and safety is scant.”

IVC Filters May Cause More Risks Than Benefits in Older PE Patients

Blood clots can occur in the body for a variety of reasons, but if they travel to your lungs, a major blood vessel or artery could get blocked and can cause severe damage to the lungs or possibly even death. There are several ways that doctors try to prevent PE, one of the most popular ways is to use a medical device called an IVC filter. Unfortunately, IVC filters have been linked to harming a large number of patients and recent studies are confirming that it may cause more harm than good.

An IVC filter is shaped like the frame of an umbrella and this “cage” is inserted into the IVC, the largest vein in the body, to prevent clots from traveling to organs where they could cause damage. Here are the important results to glean from this latest study:

  • Patients who received an inferior vena cava filter had a higher death rate compared with those who did not (11.6% vs. 9.3%).
  • For patients who survived past the initial 30 days, the 1-year mortality rate was 20.5% for those with an IVC filter and 13.4% for those in the control group.

The patients involved in this study were a minimum of 65 years old with the average age being 77.8 years and were diagnosed pulmonary embolism from 2011 to 2014. “Our study … does not suggest an association between inferior vena cava filter use and lower mortality rates,” Bikdeli and colleagues concluded.  “Instead, our study showed hypothesis-generating findings for increased risk.”

An alternative option to prevent PE is to take a blood thinner medication. David Brown, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who was not involved in the study, brought up a critical point: “The current study seems to have taken all-comers — those with and without a contraindication to anticoagulation. Clinical trials have already demonstrated that there is no mortality benefit to IVC filters in patients who can be anticoagulated.” This means that if a patient can take blood thinners, there’s no reason why they should have the added risk of an IVC filter implant.

IVC filters can erode, break apart, puncture tissue and organs, and cause severe damage in the body. If you have an IVC filter or have a history of blood clots, talk to your doctor today to protect your health.

 

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Sources
“IVC Filter Use May Be Deadly in Older PE Survivors”. MedPage Today. Accessed December 12, 2018. https://www.medpagetoday.com/cardiology/venousthrombosis/76835
“Inferior vena cava filter use does not lower mortality in PE”. Healio. Accessed December 12, 2018. https://www.healio.com/internal-medicine/cardiology/news/online/%7Be3686164-0118-4787-a1e1-8c3b3818d1ac%7D/inferior-vena-cava-filter-use-does-not-lower-mortality-in-pe
“IVC Filters May Increase Mortality Risk in Patients With PE”. Medscape. Accessed December 12, 2018.

Biased and Falsified Studies: The Truth Behind Medical Research

Doctors need at least eight years of higher education and another seven years training in a residency and fellowship before they can really practice on their own in their field. That’s just one reason why we, as patients, put our trust – and quite literally our lives – in their hands.

Biased and Falsified Studies: The Truth Behind Medical Research

Drugs, treatments, diagnoses, and everything else that goes into treating our symptoms are quite complicated so we rely on their expertise to make us well. Unfortunately, this is also a business and like all businesses, there’s the motivation to make money. The lack of accountability and financial perks have created a serious conflict of interest between research doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the medical professionals who rely on these studies to address their patients.

Why You Should Care About Medical Study Research

Okay, I admit it: I never even thought about how drugs or medical devices were put on the market until recently. Like most people, I didn’t have the time to care and I also figured that’s what my doctor is for. But the deeper I dug, the more I learned that millions of people are getting injured – and are even dying – because drugs and medical devices aren’t being properly tested.

Here’s one example: transvaginal mesh (TVM) was never tested in a vagina before it was put into millions of women’s vaginas. Johnson & Johnson paid the inventor of TVM, Swedish obstetrician and gynecologist Ulf Ulmsten, $1 million to prove TVM’s safety and effectiveness. Who wouldn’t do everything they could to skew the results in their favor? Now hundreds of thousands of women are living with pain, have broken relationships, and suffer from other complications due to this bad medical device.

The Core Conflict

Doctors don’t have the time or funding to do the research themselves, so they rely on experts in their respective fields to test new drugs and medical devices and to report the benefits and risks so they can best treat their patients. Like the TVM example, many researchers are getting funding and kickbacks for publishing papers promoting a certain drug or medical device in medical journals or for speaking at conferences. The main problem is the lack of transparency on the part of many doctors who fail to disclose that they are funded by the pharmaceutical company.  The New York Times reported that, “Dr. Jeffrey R. Botkin, an associate vice president for research at the University of Utah, recently argued… that researchers should face misconduct charges when they do not disclose their relationships with interested companies. ‘They really are falsifying the information that others rely on to assess that research,’ he said. ‘Money is a very powerful influencer, and people’s opinions become subtly biased by that financial relationship.’”

We, as patients, need to demand more accountability and transparency in the medical world. Researchers need to disclose their relationship with pharmaceutical companies so our doctors can take the information with a grain of salt to fully understand the capabilities and risk factors for the treatments they are prescribing. The more products a company sells, the more money it makes. We should be treated with the drug or device that works best, not offers the biggest perk.


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Sources
“What These Medical Journals Don’t Reveal: Top Doctors’ Ties to Industry”. New York Times. Accessed December 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/health/medical-journals-conflicts-of-interest.html

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

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