Defective Products, FDA Recalls and Infomercials Bombard Consumers

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Living in a World of Doubt

Following the news these days, especially on television, has become a treacherous emotional journey for the public mind. A pandemic explosion of defective products, FDA recalls and warnings, and infomercials has encapsulated the nation, making one wonder, is it safe to do anything anymore?

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Defective Products

BBQ Grills Catch Fire

Were you aware that after last year's recall of the Perfect Flame gas BBQ grill that there are still many of these gas grills on the market? Will your next family BBQ turn into a fireworks display? There are still complaints coming in regarding the meltdown of other models of the Perfect Flame gas BBQ grill. Apparently, not all the models (causing these grills to melt, catch fire, and explode), were included in the original recall.

How often do you think about the products you buy and whether or not they are really safe or simply a disaster waiting to happen?

Tire Problems

Are you planning a family vacation by way of our nation's roadways? Were you aware there is currently a recall of 1.8 million tire valve stems distributed by Dill Air Controls? Is your vehicle equipped with one or more of these valve stems?

Sara Monk lost her husband, Robert Monk, in a rollover accident on a Florida highway after a faulty valve stem caused a rear tire to blow out on his Ford vehicle. It took this fatal tragedy and a lawsuit that ensued thereafter for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to start investigating these faulty valve stems. Even though Dill Air Controls has finally recalled their faulty valve stems, manufactured by Topseal, there are still other faulty tire valve stems under investigation at the present time.

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Dangerous Medications

There are so many prescription drugs on the market today. Many of these drugs have recently been cited as dangerous and are currently being recalled by the FDA. Unfortunately, they are too numerous to list. Many of these prescription drugs which are currently under investigation are also the brunt of current class action lawsuits. Let's take a look at just a few.

Chantix

Currently, I am a smoker. I have a strong desire to quit smoking and have been contemplating doing so for a long time, like many other smokers. Unfortunately, I do not believe I have the willpower to do this without some help. I asked my doctor for a prescription for Chantix, a smoking cessation prescription drug that helps people quit smoking. I have a three-month supply of Chantix in my medicine cabinet right at this moment; however, I am terrified to begin my smoking cessation journey on Chantix due to the recent publicity Chantix has received and the horrible and deadly side effects smokers have experienced while using Chantix while trying to quit smoking.

For example:

One potential side effect of Chantix is something called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Although rare in Chantix users, there are documented cases. This serious skin disorder can cause a skin rash which rapidly spreads, which in turn causes the skin to develop red, purple-like blisters. As a result, the top layer of the skin dies (necrosis). Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a very serious skin disorder which requires emergency treatment and hospitalization; it can take weeks or even months to recover from this painful skin disorder.

Additional side effects from Chantix include but are not limited to depression, suicidal thoughts, abnormal behavior, and disruptive sleep patterns.

There are documented cases that prove Chantix helps with smoking cessation. I also personally know some people who have actually been able to quit smoking by using Chantix. However, I am still terrified of beginning Chantix. I don't believe any of the above-noted side effects are worth the risk of beginning Chantix. After much contemplation, I have surrendered to the good old-fashioned way of quitting smoking, cold turkey with a good support group!

The FDA is currently investigating the antismoking drug Chantix, manufactured by Pfizer, as thousands of complaints pertaining to side effects continue to mount.

Fosamax

As we age, our bones can become more brittle and porous and are susceptible to breaking more easily. This is a condition known as osteoporosis. Once thought to be a disease primarily attributed to older women, there is a new study showing that 20% of men are also at risk of developing this disease. Osteoporosis, if left untreated, can be painful and even fatal. Once bones become porous, this process cannot be reversed. If you have very brittle bones and end up falling and breaking your hip, for example, you may never fully recover, as the porous bones will never be able to mend properly, as they would in a person with healthy, nonporous bones.

Fosamax was approved in 1995 for the treatment of osteoporosis and Paget's disease. Now, 14 years later, Fosamax is currently under investigation due to debilitating side effects attributed to its use. What is so ironic is that some of the very side effects from Fosamax include serious bone complications! Here we have a drug on the market that is supposed to be preventing bone disease, when in fact it can actually induce and cause bone disease.

For example:

One bone disease related to Fosamax use is called jaw necrosis, the deterioration and eventual death of the bone in one's jaw. If that isn't bad enough, jaw necrosis can cause complications relating to mouth infections and even exposed bone in one's mouth. Even if the use of Fosamax is stopped, there is no way for the bone damage to be reversed.

Additional side effects from Fosamax include decay and death to other bones in the body, specifically, the hips, knees, and shoulders.

Merck, the drug maker of Fosamax, is currently being investigated, and many lawsuits have come about due to the fact that it is believed that Merck knew about these side effects but still put Fosamax on the market anyway.

The two prescription medications above are only a few of the many prescription drugs on the market which are being prescribed to patients, who unfortunately have little or no knowledge of their potentially dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects.

Why are we allowing these companies to profit by their mistakes? What is mind boggling to me is that not only are these dangerous medications out there in the first place, but physicians still prescribe these very medications to their patients. The pharmacies then dispense these prescription medications to patients, but how many patients actually read the literature accompanying their medication? Even if they do, unless you are in the medical field or know someone in the medical field who can accurately explain the meaning of these potentially dangerous and often deadly side effects, the general public really has no idea just how dangerous these medications can actually be.

Most patients trust their doctors. As a result, many patients simply follow their doctor's orders, take their medication, and think nothing about the potential harm their medication may be doing to them.

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Infomercial Class Action Lawsuits

I am typically a night owl. I often times have the television on in the background while doing other things for companionship's sake. The television is usually muted or at a very low volume. Lately, while glancing up at the television in the wee hours of the morning, I cannot help notice the numerous infomercials being televised which relate to class action lawsuits. These infomercials include but are not limited to prescription drugs, insurance settlements, medical devices, and others too numerous to list.

What the public does not realize is that many infomercial companies typically participate in an ongoing blame game. These infomercial companies are actually exchanging lawsuits between one another and are essentially just suing each other. There are some legitimate infomercials relating to class action lawsuits out there on television, and they are very informative and helpful to the public. However, the majority of these infomercials are really just propagating class action lawsuits that may or may not be legitimate at all, leaving the consumer not knowing which class action infomercials to actually believe in.

Furthermore, for the millions involved in legitimate class action lawsuits, there is one important key factor that should be noted. Class action lawsuits can go on forever. They are drawn out by orders, appeals, and some, after years and years, are finally thrown out by the courts. Before cashing in on these class action lawsuits, especially relating to a prescription medication or a faulty medical device, one would probably succumb to the mitigating factors of the debilitating illness or potentially die first.

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Infomercial Scams

Infomercial scams are used to prey on the general public and entice them to order and buy some new conventional product.

Some of these "As Seen on TV" products include:

  • magicJack
  • Jupiter Jack
  • George Foreman's Life-Shakes
  • Touch N Brush Toothpaste Dispenser
  • Booty Pop
  • Smooth Away
  • BarkOff
  • ShamWow

Celebrity-hosted infomercials, in my opinion, are the biggest scams. While perhaps some celebrities have actually used the product(s) they are endorsing, a lot of celebrities are just scamming the public, trying to make money for themselves. These products are often times nothing but a total rip-off.

Then we have the celebrities who try to convince you to "call this number" to find a good foreclosure attorney. If you are one of the millions of Americans caught up in our nation's foreclosure crisis, do yourself a big favor. Find a reputable local attorney and check out their background through Martindale-Hubbell, a great resource for finding an attorney or reliable law firm. The majority of the foreclosure attorney infomercials are nothing but scams as well.

As far as these "As Seen on TV" infomercials go, the majority of these products are typically complete rip-offs. Some consumers who purchase these infomercial products never even receive their order in the first place, leading to endless frustration and eventually the loss of the consumer's hard-earned money.

In addition, a lot of products offered on infomercials are recurring products, meaning that once you order them they continue to arrive on a scheduled basis, and your credit card is charged for these products as well. Many people don't realize this until it is too late. Then, in order to stop shipment of these products, one must contact the company from which the original product was ordered. These companies employ very skillfully trained con artists with brilliant brainwashing tactics, taunting you into keeping the worthless product. You end up with a worthless product and recurring credit card charges. Many consumers fall for this scam and continue to have their money taken from them, which is exactly what these infomercial scams set out to do in the first place, take your money!

Taking a Hard Look at Your Daily Routine

If you get up each morning, take your daily prescription medication, drive off to work, and spend your free time enjoying a family BBQ and watching television, you have just opened yourself up to a slew of potential dangers that you probably never realized.

Again, this begs the question, is it safe to do anything anymore?

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