February 2009

Monthly Archive

Iphone Screen Captures

Posted by on 25 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: technology

ABA Law Journal recently posted a comparison between the Blackberry Storm and the Apple iPhone in the legal context.  I posted some comment but wanted to supplement with some photos to show some of the useful capabilities of the iPhone.

Here is viewing an email on the iPhone, just to show an example of the full ability to see graphics and formatting.  Perhaps I should have chosen and HTML email.

Viewing an Email on the Iphone

Viewing an Email on the Iphone

Here are a few captures from the iPhone application Papers.  The first is a folder of articles on gross alpha and radiation from a search on my desktop:


Summary of article in Papers:


Reviewing PDF article in Papers (capture did not get full quality of text rendering):


Database options for searching in Papers


Viewing a PDF:


Viewing a Microsoft Word Document:


Viewing pdfs and Microsoft Word files.

FDA Issues Advisory on Raptiva (efalizumab) While EU Regulators Urge Removal From Market

Posted by on 20 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: pharmaceutical

European regulators recommend suspending sales of Raptiva (efalizumab) manufactured by Genenetech Inc. for the treatment of psoriasis after the drug was linked to three, and possibly four cases of a deadly brain infection.  The brain infection, known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML, has killed three patients taking Raptiva.  The U.S. FDA issued a public health advisory regarding the risks identified with using the drug, but has not sought removal from the market.  The health advisory provides the following advice for doctors and patients:

Healthcare providers should, in the interim, be aware of the following information and advice:

  • Raptiva increases the risk of PML.  Longer, continuous use may further increase this risk.
  • Inform patients using Raptiva of the potential risk of developing PML.
  • There are no known screening tests that can reliably predict PML or medical interventions that can prevent or treat this disease.  
  • Monitor patients being treated with Raptiva for the onset of neurologic symptoms.  Discontinue Raptiva if PML is suspected.
  • Patients treated with Raptiva should be periodically re-evaluated to ensure that the benefit of treatment continues to outweigh the risks.  Consideration should be given to use of other approved therapies to control the patients’ psoriasis.
  • The effects of periodic or intermittent use of Raptiva, or the concomitant use of other immunosuppressant drugs on the risk for PML is not known.

Patients using Raptiva should:

  • Be aware that Raptiva increases the risk of developing PML.  PML is a disease that is fatal or causes severe disability.
  • Talk with their healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of treatment with Raptiva.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of PML which may include unusual weakness, loss of coordination, changes in vision, difficulty speaking and sometimes personality changes.
  • Contact their healthcare provider immediately if they experience these symptoms.  
  • Understand that there are no laboratory screening tests for PML or medical interventions that can prevent or treat PML

The recommendation to remove the drug from the market is based on the conclusion by European regulators that the drug’s costs to the patient outweigh the benefits.

Alcohol in mouthwash shown causing oral cancers

Posted by on 01 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: cancer, litigation, product liability, toxic torts, toxicology

Dental researchers in Australia, M.J. McCullough and C.S. Farah, recently published a review of the data on mouthwash use and the risk of oral cancer.  The researchers reviewed the epidemiological evidence and the proposed mechanism of carcinogenicity of mouthwash and concluded that there is now sufficient evidence that regular use of alcohol containing mouthwashes contributes to the risk of oral cancer.  The research suggests that the risk is the result of the metabolic conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde, a mutagenic and carcinogenic compound.  Several Listerine branded mouthwashes topped the researcher’s list due to the high level of alcohol (ethanol) contained in these products, as high as 26 percent.  The newly established connection between oral cancer and regular mouthwash use raises the potential for legal claims against mouthwash manufacturers for personal injuries and deceptive or fraudulent marketing.  The abstract is included below.  

The role of alcohol in oral carcinogenesis with particular reference to alcohol-containing mouthwashes 

MJ McCullough,* CS Farah  

Worldwide, oral cancer represents approximately 5 per cent of all malignant lesions, with over 800 new intra-oral squamous cell carcinomas registered in Australia each year. Despite recent advances in therapy, the five-year survival rate remains around 50 per cent and the sequelae of treatment can be seriously debilitating. It has been long established that smoking and alcohol consumption are risk factors linked to the development of oral cancer. This review assesses the epidemiological evidence, supportive in vitro studies and mechanism by which alcohol is involved in the development of oral cancer. Further, we review the literature that associates alcohol-containing mouthwashes and oral cancer. On the basis of this review, we believe that there is now sufficient evidence to accept the proposition that alcohol-containing mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer and further feel that it is inadvisable for oral healthcare professionals to recommend the long-term use of alcohol-containing mouthwashes.