April 2011 Archives

April 21, 2011

Plavix Allegedly Causes Abdominal Bleeding

Combining the perscription drug Plavix and aspirin may be dangerous to your health and may increase the likelihood of internal bleeding, according to reports.

As reported by CNN.com, a 2006 study revealed that combining Plavix and aspirin may be more dangerous than beneficial in people with no history of cardiovascular disease. The study also found that the combination does not lower the risk of heart attack or stroke for people with high risk factors for cardiovascular problems. According to research, Plavix and aspirin together may be beneficial for people with a history of heart attack or other cardiovascular issues, but combining the two drugs raises the risk of internal bleeding and death for those who only have risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

According to a 2006 CBS News report, the combination of the two drugs "is not significantly more effective than aspirin alone in reducing the rate of heart attacks, strokes, or death from cardiovascular disease in this broad population of high-risk patients," quoting Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Deepak Bhatt. Additionally, the combination could be more harmful than effective in people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Plavix (clopidogrel) is a blood thinner used in the prevention of blood clots in people who have recently suffered a heart attack or stroke, and in people with cardiovascular disorders. Plavix is marketed by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers. Plavix has been linked to several personal injury lawsuits alleging that the makers of Plavix did not properly warn doctors and patients about potential side effects. The suits also claim that Plavix may raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, severe ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and the blood disease TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpora).

Aspirin has long been known as a miracle drug to prevent heart disease. However, as with any other drug, seek your doctor's approval before starting a daily aspirin regimen. According to the Mayo Clinic, only people with a history of heart attack or stroke, or those at a high risk, should think about taking an aspirin daily. People with a history of bleeding, stomach ulcers and heart failure, for example, are advised against taking a daily aspirin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Talk to your doctor about whether taking an aspirin a day is right for you.

If you are taking both Plavix and aspirin, or have a family member who is taking both, get a second opinion from another doctor as to whether both are needed, particularly if you have no prior history of heart attack or stroke.

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April 5, 2011

Florida Legislators Oppose Homeowner's Insurance Report Card

Last year our firm posted insurance company rankings on our website as a way to help consumers compare how insurance companies (primarily auto) rate when it comes to paying claims.

Wouldn't it be great if consumers could additionally have an easily accessible tool that graded how homeowner's insurance companies handle claims? The good news is that tool is now available. The bad news is it is only available for a limited time.

Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate has compiled a list of homeowner's insurance companies operating in Florida. They rank the companies and assign grades A through E in different categories, including the handling of complaints, time until they pay claims and an overall grade. This easy access tool is great news for consumers looking to do research before buying homeowner's insurance.

However, our own Florida legislators now want to do away with the 2007 law that allows the Insurance Consumer Advocate to give insurance companies these grades. According to legislators, this grading system is too costly, difficult to execute, and may tarnish the reputations of insurers and result in lawsuits.

See these grades while they last, before our legislators abolish them into secrecy forever.

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