There’s something about autism that invites scapegoating. The latest attack was on makers of Lexapro, the anti-depressant medication, when used during pregnancy. Six plaintiffs recruited three experts to testify to a supposed causal connection between the drug and their children’s affliction. The court rejected the expert testimony outright and dismissed the case. Three weeks ago, the Second Circuit affirmed. The decisions, while applaudable, are problematic.
A series of class action cases claim that Zantac can cause cancer. It is not Zantac per se, but a degradation-produced, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which may cause cancer at high doses. What do we know about NDMA?
Acid indigestion. Just the words give me heartburn. Multiple remedies are available, both prescription and over-the-counter. But hundreds of thousands of people are claiming that they got cancer from one of them: Zantac. Their cases are pending in various courts around the country. The decision regarding the admissibility of their expert testimony in federal cases was just released. So, how did the plaintiffs fare?
Two large data-mining studies show an association between the most common type of medication for heartburn and ulcers PPIs (e.g., Nexium, Prilosec) and heart attacks. This type of analysis cannot support cause-and-effect, but the data encourage prospective trials.