A jury Friday awarded $8.3 million to a former prison guard who accused Warsaw-based DePuy Orthopaedics of knowingly marketing a faulty hip implant that was later recalled, according to the Associated Press. Jurors found that the ASR XL implant was defectively designed and caused metal poisoning and other health problems suffered by Loren Kransky after he underwent surgery in 2007. The fraud and negligence suit is the first of nearly 11,000 similar cases involving an all-metal ball-and-socket hip joint that was pulled from the market two years ago to reach trial in the United States. Others like Kransky claim the implants have left them with crippling injuries or in need of other replacement surgeries. DePuy, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, has set aside about $1 billion to cover costs of the recall and lawsuits.
Eli Lilly and Co. has built up a stockpile of $21 billion in overseas profits as the nation’s largest drugmakers continue to use accounting mechanisms to avoid paying U.S. taxes. According to an analysis by Bloomberg News, the nation's six biggest drugmakers avoided paying $7.05 billion in U.S. taxes last year by shifting their profits overseas—nearly double the savings they achieved a decade ago. Now those legal practices are getting increased scrutiny from members of Congress. “The right kind of tax reform could do a lot to bring corporate profits back to the United States for investment and job creation,” said Charles Grassley, a U.S. senator from Iowa, in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “The current system provides an incentive for companies to keep money overseas indefinitely.” By moving patents and trademarks overseas, drugmakers can legally record sales of their products in foreign countries, avoiding any U.S. taxes until those profits are brought back into the United States. The maneuvers helped Lilly boost its earnings per share by 16 percent last year, according to Bloomberg. Other companies increased their earnings even more. Lilly declined to comment on the story.
IUPUI students can now pursue an academic minor in neuroscience, in addition to the neuroscience major that began in the fall. The School of Science at IUPUI launched its new neuroscience program to “take advantage of a booming neuroscience industry in Indiana and across the country,” according to a statement issued March 4. The school noted that the Indiana University Health hospital system recently opened a $120 million neuroscience center next to Methodist Hospital. And the IU School of Medicine is building a neuroscience research center next door to the IU Health facility. Neuroscience is one of several fast-growing segments of the life sciences industry in Indiana. A forecast by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development predicts that life scientist positions will increase by more than 22 percent in the next five years.