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April 1, 2009

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In this issue:

Pfizer Resolves Rezulin Claims

The nation’s largest drug manufacturer paid about $750 million to resolve nearly 35,000 claims related to the withdrawn diabetes drug Rezulin, Bloomberg News reports. According to people familiar with the matter, the sum is about $200 million less than drug maker Pfizer Inc. had set in reserve to cover Rezulin-related lawsuits. Rezulin was recalled from the market in 2000 after it was linked to dozens of cases of liver failure.  Jef Feeley, Bloomberg 03/31/2009

FDA to Probe Risks of Diabetes Drug

A proposed diabetes drug could increase the risk for heart problems and thyroid tumors, according to some studies conducted by drug maker Novo Nordisk. In response, the Food and Drug Administration will ask scientific advisors to assess risks associated with the drug liraglutide. Current data were insufficient to determine whether potential heart or thyroid risks exist, researchers noted.  Reuters, Reuters 03/31/2009

Government Backs Sex Discrimination Case Against Wal-Mart

The Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission on Thursday filed a friend of the court brief in favor of plaintiffs involved in a massive class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart. In the brief, the EEOC opposed the retail giant’s bid to have punitive damage claims heard on a case-by-case basis. The class action stems from allegations that Wal-Mart consistently paid female workers less than males.  Dan Levine, 03/20/2009

Drywall Suits Raise Safety Questions

Scores of Florida homeowners are engaged in class-action lawsuits over Chinese-made drywall they say emits sulfur gases that corrode copper coils and electrical and plumbing components. The cases, which may ultimately affect homes in other parts of the country, also raise new issues about oversight of products imported from China. Attorneys familiar with the matter say more testing is needed to determine whether gases released by the wallboard could cause health problems.  Julie Schmit, USA Today 03/17/2009

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