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Corporations are Retaliating Against Whistleblowers at an Alarming Rate

Retaliation against corporate whistleblowers is becoming epidemic, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched an aggressive lobbying campaign against the nation’s most impactful whistleblowing laws.

According to the Ethics Resource Center (ERC), 45 percent of U.S. workers have observed misconduct at their companies; 65 percent reported the misconduct and 22 percent report being retaliated against for doing so. Stephen Kohn, of the Whistleblowers Protection Blog, says this is an all-time high.  In 2007, an ERC survey showed that only around 10 or 11 percent of whistleblowers reported retaliation, according to Corporate Counsel. More Corporations are Retaliating Against Whistleblowers at an Alarming Rate

Reauthorizing the James Zadroga Act Would Allow Treatment and Research to Continue for 9/11 Survivors

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) are set to expire in October 2015 and October 2016 but Ground Zero volunteers and first responders will struggle with injuries and health problems for many years to come.

That is why a bipartisan group of lawmakers from across the United States banded together in September to insist that the WTC Health Program and September 11th VCF be expanded for another 25 years by introducing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. The bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Senate by senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Charles Schumer, Robert Menendez, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Elizabeth Warren, Jeanne Shaheen and Jeff Merkley and in the House of Representatives by representatives Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King. More Reauthorizing the James Zadroga Act Would Allow Treatment and Research to Continue for 9/11 Survivors

After a Decade of Guilt, a Woman is Cleared in the Death of her Boyfriend and General Motors Admits Guilt

On November 15, 2004, Candice Anderson lost her boyfriend in a car crash caused by a defective ignition switch in her General Motors- (GM-) made Saturn Ion, but it would be years until the 21-year-old would know the cause of the tragic accident.

For a decade, Anderson wrestled with guilt over the loss of her boyfriend, Gene Mikale Erickson, believing she had caused his death. She was behind the wheel when the vehicle suddenly lost control and crashed into a tree. Anderson suffered severe injuries, including a lacerated liver, but her physical injuries seemed the least of her problems. She was charged with criminally negligent homicide, which she pleaded guilty to in October 2007. Anderson’s parents liquidated their 401(k) to pay for a lawyer for their daughter. Though Anderson managed to avoid jail, she spent five years on probation, paid more than $10,000 in fines and restitution and struggled to find work, according to The New York Times (Times). More After a Decade of Guilt, a Woman is Cleared in the Death of her Boyfriend and General Motors Admits Guilt

FDA Warns Against Laparoscopic Power Morcellation in Uterine Surgery

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that laparoscopic power morcellation, a device used during uterine surgery in the vast majority of women, should be avoided.

Nearly 50,000 women a year in the United States undergo power morcellation surgery. The devices have been widely used in surgeries to remove fibroid tumors from the uterus, or to remove the entire uterus. Morcellators cut fibroid tissue into small pieces so they can be easily removed from the body, according to The New York Times (Times). More FDA Warns Against Laparoscopic Power Morcellation in Uterine Surgery

Health Canada Warns that Some Insulin Pumps have Risk of Tubing Detachment

Unomedical a/s in consultation with Health Canada waned that insulin pump infusion sets manufactured by Medtronic of Canada Inc., Roche Diagnostics, LifeScan Canada Inc, and Auto Control Medical Inc. have a risk of tubing detachment. In an urgent safety notification issued November 21st, Health Canada stated that manufacturers have been receiving growing reports of tubing become detached from the connect/disconnect location.

Insulin pumps are used to deliver insulin through a catheter in the skin in patients with diabetes. The infusion sets can be programmed to administer small doses of insulin continuously or a larger dose close to mealtime to control blood sugar. More Health Canada Warns that Some Insulin Pumps have Risk of Tubing Detachment

Knee Replacement Surgery does not Offer all Patients Relief from Pain and Disability

Knee replacement surgery may not be appropriate for everyone with knee problems. Many patients go through the pain and recovery of the surgery only to experience minimal improvement, and younger patients may have to undergo more than one replacement procedure in their lifetime.

The number of knee replacement surgeries surged to 600,000 in 2012 from 250,000 just 15 years ago, but not all of those patients regained their mobility and a pain-free life. An increasing number of younger people are opting for the surgery, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The number of knee replacements in people between 45 and 64 rose by 205 percent between 2000 and 2012; among people 65 and older, the number increased only 95 percent, The New York Times (The Times) reported. More Knee Replacement Surgery does not Offer all Patients Relief from Pain and Disability

Johnson & Johnson Admits to Improperly Marketing Prescription Drugs for Unapproved Purposes

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and the company’s subsidiaries will pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil liability related to allegations that the drug maker promoted the prescription drugs Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor for unapproved uses, and provided kickbacks to physicians and the nation’s largest long-term care pharmacy provider.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the deal on November 4. Holder said J&J improperly marketed Risperdal for treatment of psychotic symptoms in elderly, non-schizophrenic patients. The drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only for individuals with schizophrenia. The attorney general also accused J&J of improperly marketing Risperdal and Invega for treatment of dementia. As a result, insurance companies paid for claims they should not have been paying for, according to CNN.com. More Johnson & Johnson Admits to Improperly Marketing Prescription Drugs for Unapproved Purposes

General Motors Extends Deadline for Families of Individuals Killed or Seriously Injured in Vehicles with Defective Ignition Switches

Families of people killed or seriously injured in a car crash involving a General Motors (GM) vehicle affected by a defective key ignition switch will be given an extra month to submit claims to Ken Feinberg, the auto maker’s compensation expert.

Families of individuals killed or serious injured in one of the affected vehicles have until January 31, 2015 to file their claims, Feinberg said Sunday night. The original claim period ran from August 1 through December 31, but was extended, Feinberg said, “out of an abundance of caution,” according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). More General Motors Extends Deadline for Families of Individuals Killed or Seriously Injured in Vehicles with Defective Ignition Switches

Walgreens Facing Allegations that it Overcharges Consumers

The popular Walgreens pharmacy chain is being accused of overcharging customers for copies of their medical records.

In a recent lawsuit, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company is blamed for violating state law by charging a consumer an exorbitant fee for copies of medical records.  Walgreens allegedly charged the man a flat fee of $55 for his records, but state law dictates that companies may only legally charge: More Walgreens Facing Allegations that it Overcharges Consumers

Medications Most Frequent Trigger of Fatal Allergic Reactions, Study Suggests

Death from serious allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, is most often triggered by medications, a study suggests. Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Weill-Cornell Medical College published a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology analyzing the triggers for anaphylaxis-related deaths.

The study looked at 2,458 anaphylaxis-related deaths that occurred between 1999 and 2010 using diagnostic codes on death certificates identified in the US National Mortality Database. More Medications Most Frequent Trigger of Fatal Allergic Reactions, Study Suggests