GlaxoSmithKline PLC Thursday warned consumers about denture creams that contain zinc and said it had taken "voluntary, precautionary" measures to stop making and supplying those products, which it said have been linked with health problems if used excessively over a long period.
"We are taking these actions because we have become aware of potential health problems associated with the long-term excessive use of our zinc-containing denture adhesive products," the company said on its Web site.
Glaxo denture-cream products that contain zinc include Super PoliGrip Original, Ultra Fresh and Extra Care products. The company said it will reformulate the denture adhesives
There has been a succession of stories recently about people getting dreadful diseases from use of popular denture creams and Glaxo is probably feeling the liability heat.
Denture adhesive manufacturers “didn’t tell anybody the right amounts to use. They didn’t warn people that if they didn’t use the right amounts that they could be crippled,” said attorney Ed Blizzard, who filed a suit in Miami in December against GlaxoSmithKline on behalf of the family of Rodney Urbanek.
Urbanek, a longtime Super Poligrip user, started having trouble walking in late 2006, according to his wife, Gisela. Eventually he became paralyzed below the waist and died in May 2008 at age 64 in a hospital in South Carolina, where the couple moved after living in Miami for many years. Blizzard said an autopsy showed Urbanek’s paralysis and death were linked to his use of denture adhesive.
Blizzard has launched a web site called Denture Cream Justice to advise those who fear they have been harmed by zinc in their denture cream. He blogged about the dangers of denture cream at Huffington Post:
Last Thursday, the House and Senate passed budgets for fiscal year 2010. The House version of the budget includes critical language that could open the door for healthcare reform in 2009--and not a moment too soon. Unemployment is skyrocketing, increasing numbers of Americans are going without health insurance, and Democrats are looking to pass healthcare fast.
President Obama today used his presidential address to speak about food safety and to nominate Dr. Margaret Hamburg, a former New York City health commissioner, as commissioner of the F.D.A. The opening of the address was classic Obama: concede a right-wing frame only to turn it on its head to advance a progressive one.
"I've often said that I don't believe government has the answer to every problem or that it can do all things for all people. We are a nation built on the strength of individual initiative. But there are certain things that we can't do on our own. There are certain things that only a government can do. And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat, and the medicines we take, are safe and don't cause us harm."
It's clear that President Obama sees food safety as a national security issue, one that requires strict federal involvement and oversight. Yet another reminder that it's nice to have the adults in charge again.
How long before a conservative complains "doesn't the President have enough on his plate?"
The medical research world is alive with excitement as the FDA has just approved new stem cell research on the repair of spinal cord injuries. These tests will start this summer at the Geron Corporation in Menlo Park, California, developers of a stem cell treatment for such injuries. This is the first set of tests to be held on humans for a human-based stem cell therapy.
It shouldn't be long before stem cell tests are available in research on diabetes cures, Parkinson's Disease, and other much needed medical treatments which had been held up by the Bush Administration's ban.