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Posts Tagged ‘DES drug disaster’

Caitlin McCarthyCaitlin McCarthy’s posts on the DES drug disgrace for this blog have been linked by the Huffington Post and read worldwide.  She will be reporting on the upcoming DES trial in Boston for our blog.

Caitlin received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College.  An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has two feature films in development: WONDER DRUG with producer/star Alysia Reiner; and RESISTANCE with director Si Wall. Caitlin is also partnering on writing/creating the TV series PASS/FAIL with Jim Forbes, a multiple Emmy, ALMA, AP and Golden Mic award-winning writer, producer, correspondent and narrator; and developing the TV series FREE SKATE with choreographer Michael Masionis. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school.

DES: More to the Story274_Logo_BreastCancerAware

By Caitlin McCarthy

DES: More to the Story
By Caitlin McCarthy
As you all know from this blogsite, the first historic DES breast cancer trial will take place at the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston, MA this January. Aaron Levine and Julie Oliver-Zhang of Aaron M. Levine & Associates will advocate on behalf of DES Daughters. About 20 lawyers will represent the drug companies, including Eli Lilly.
If you can be there in person to show your support for the plaintiffs, please do so. Currently, the trial is anticipated to last 3-4 weeks, starting on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. The hearings will likely begin at 9:00 a.m. and go until 4:30 p.m. each day, with lunch in between.
If you want any more information or feel you could help the case in any way, please call Aaron Levine’s office Toll Free at: 1-888-868-5380.
Below is the official press release:
jknknown j:images
DES Daughters Seek to Hold Eli Lilly Accountable for Breast Cancer in Historical Trial
On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., the attorneys of Aaron Levine & Associates will advocate on behalf of DES daughters in the first historical diethylstilbestrol (DES) breast cancer trial in Boston federal court. The case, Fecho v. Eli Lilly, seeks to hold pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company responsible for negligently marketing DES, a mega-dose synthetic estrogen, as safe for use in pregnant women. Eli Lilly ignored studies published as early as the 1930s that reported the carcinogenic and teratogenic risks of DES, and rushed to market the drug as a miscarriage preventative without controlled testing. Because of their prenatal exposure to the drug, DES daughters are at a 105% increased risk of developing breast cancer beginning at age 40. By age 50, the risk of DES breast cancer increases to 285%.

The Melnick sisters, a family of four DES daughters from Pennsylvania, will be the first DES breast cancer case to be tried in court. The four Melnick sisters were all exposed to DES in utero and all suffered infertility as well as a host of signature DES reproductive tract abnormalities. All four sisters contracted breast cancer on or before the age of 50. (more…)

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Caitlin McCarthyCaitlin McCarthy’s post SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD is reprinted below, after a DES update.  Caitlin received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College.  An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has two feature films in development: WONDER DRUG with producer/star Alysia Reiner; and RESISTANCE with director Si Wall. Caitlin is also partnering on writing/creating the TV series PASS/FAIL with Jim Forbes, a multiple Emmy, ALMA, AP and Golden Mic award-winning writer, producer, correspondent and narrator; and developing the TV series FREE SKATE with choreographer Michael Masionis. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school.

UPDATE: Caitlin received a supportive TWEET from star SUZANNE SOMERS:

DES, the monster fake drug hormone was a tragedy for women”

Watch this blog for upcoming updates on the DES trial.

DES (Diethylstilbestrol): The Story with No End

It appears that US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) will be named Secretary of State.jkimages

As many longtime readers of this site know, Senator Kerry worked jointly with Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) on obtaining an apology for the DES drug disaster from the FDA. The grassroots campaign for this apology started right here with a post by DES Daughter Caitlin McCarthy.

On February 22, 2011, Senator Kerry and Senator Brown received a 3-page response from the FDA, per their joint letter about a DES apology. The FDA’s letter did not contain an official apology from the federal government for the DES drug disaster. However, it acknowledged the devastating health consequences of DES, explained FDA initiatives to prevent future drug disasters, and talked about DES as a “tragedy” for the first time in 40 years.

But the DES story is far from over.

On for January 7, 2013 at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston, the historic DES breast cancer trial will begin. It’s just two lawyers for the plaintiffs and about 20 lawyers representing the chemical companies in the court room (including Eli Lilly). If you can be there in person to show your support for the plaintiffs, please do so. Currently, the trial is anticipated to last 3-4 weeks. The hearings will likely begin at 9:30 a.m. and go until 4:30 p.m. each day, with lunch in between. The courthouse is at:

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts — Bostonjknknown

1 Courthouse Way

Boston, Massachusetts 02210

If you want any more information or feel you could help the case in any way, please call Aaron Levine’s office Toll Free at: 1-888-868-5380.

Note there was already good news for the plaintiffs this past week: The Court has allowed the plaintiffs to proceed to trial on negligent failure to warn; and Eli Lilly’s other summary judgment motion on product identification was denied, allowing the plaintiffs to go forward in this historic DES breast cancer trial.

Caitlin McCarthy plans on writing about the DES breast cancer trial for this site. Until then, click ‘continue reading’ below to read her blog post that kickstarted the DES apology effort with the Senators and attracted worldwide attention. (more…)

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Caitlin McCarthy received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College.  An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has two feature films in development: WONDER DRUG with producer/star Alysia Reiner and Oscar-nominated director Joan Stein Schimke; and RESISTANCE with director Si Wall. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin teaches English at an inner-city public high school. 

Dear Friends,

As a DES Daughter, I’m appalled that on Friday the FDA refused the call to ban BPA from food packaging. BPA is the “chemical cousin” of DES – and we all know about the generational devastation of DES exposure. (For decades, DES or diethylstilbestrol was seen as a medical miracle to help women with pregnancy issues and one of the first cash cows for pharmaceutical companies – but was in fact a toxic, carcinogenic drug and one of the biggest medical disasters in history, affecting millions of people worldwide.)

As you know, US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) jointly sent a letter to the FDA about a DES apology in 2010.  In 2011, the Senators finally received a 3-page response from the FDA. The FDA’s letter did not contain an official apology from the federal government for the DES drug disaster. However, it acknowledged the devastating health consequences of DES, explained FDA initiatives to prevent future drug disasters, and talked about DES as a “tragedy.”

In light of the Senators’ championing of DES victims, please ask them to speak out against the FDA’s refusal to ban BPA from food packaging.

The Senators can be contacted in two ways:

** Fill out email forms for Senator Kerry and Senator Brown. You don’t have to live in Massachusetts to write to them. Also, it doesn’t matter what political party you belong to – the  Senators are friendly with each other and willing to work together on issues: http://kerry.senate.gov/contact/ and http://scottbrown.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme. (more…)

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UPDATE: New coverage on the FDA letter in the Boston Globe
FDA LETTER IS NATIONAL NEWS (& IT ALL STARTED HERE…)
Our blog is proud that Caitlin McCarthy’s series of impassioned guest posts on the DES drug scandal has resulted in an important news-making letter of acknowledgement from the FDA about the DES tragedy.
The offices of Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Scott Brown have put out a joint national press release on the FDA letter, which was prompted in part by Caitlin’s posts on this blog and her request that readers contact Senators Brown and Kerry.

One of Caitlin’s DES posts for our blog was linked by the Huffington Post‘s own Diana Bianchini, who wrote about Caitlin and the DES apology effort, reaching a worldwide readership.  This week’s letter from the FDA breaks new ground and will have political and legal ramifications that are likely to help DES victims around the world.

Our thanks to all the readers who contacted the senators and to Caitlin for showing that one voice can make a difference.
(photo of the senators: Yahoo.com)

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Watch for blog news on ZOOEY DESCHANEL & a livestream interview & on our film Celebrities in Disgrace…                  PROGRESS ON OUR CAUSE CELEB… by Elizabeth Searle

As we contemplate Cause Celebs this week, we’re happy to report progress on our own screenwriting star Caitlin McCarthy’s fight for a public apology to victims of the DES drug scandal.

Caitlin McCarthy‘s ground-breaking Guest Post on DES was linked by Diana Bianchini on the Huffington Post and on a DES activist blog in Australia.  Her message was endorsed by rock star John Payne, of ASIA featuring John Payne.  This week, Caitlin reports an encouraging new letter from Senator Scott Brown.  Brown reports that both he and Senator Kerry have taken action.  He told Caitlin:

I understand your concerns regarding the exposure of millions of women and children to DES since 1938.  At this time, please know that I have been working with my Massachusetts colleague, Senator John Kerry, on this issue.  We have sent a letter to Commissioner Hamburg at the Food and DrugAdministration toinquire about an apology from the FDA in recognition of the hardshipsendured by families across the country. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

If you should have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit my website at www.scottbrown.senate.gov.

Readers, please help spread the word.  We’re happy to see Caitlin’s Guest Post on our little blog having a big impact…

For the full MESSAGE FROM SENATOR BROWN TO CAITLIN, continue reading… (more…)

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THANKS Diana Bianchini for her powerful piece in the HUFFINGTON POST inspired by- and linking- Caitlin’s Post.  Welcome first-time readers.  Please visit our film website… Thanks also to John Payne, lead singer of ASIA Featuring John Payne, who says that the fight for the DES apology has his “full support.” And THANKS to supporters in AUSTRALIA plus producer TED HOPE for his help on Twitter

An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin McCarthy has two feature films in development: “Wonder Drug” with director Tom Gilroy (“Spring Forward”); and “Resistance” with director Si Wall (“The Dinner Party,” premiering November 2010). She also has a TV series treatment, “Free Skate,” which is currently being considered by top production companies.

SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD…By Caitlin McCarthy

Caitlin & Sen. Brown

Politics and apologies. They’ve been on my mind this week, what with Tuesday’s primaries and Elizabeth Searle’s recent blog post “I TAKE THAT BACK”: Public Apology Twists, Two-Steps, Tweets & Tunes by Pastor Jones, Kanye West & more.

We live in a country where kids are taught to apologize if they hurt someone. But how often do adults apologize for this – let alone countries?

I am a big believer in the power of an apology. As such, I have been working jointly with the offices of Senator John Kerry and Senator Scott Brown to secure a long-overdue apology from the US Government for the DES (diethylstilbestrol) tragedy.

DES (diethylstilbestrol) is a toxic and carcinogenic synthetic estrogen that was prescribed to millions of pregnant women for decades: from 1938 until 1971 (and in a small number of cases for several years thereafter) in the United States; and until the mid-1980s in parts of Latin America, Europe, Australia, and the Third World.

DES is the world’s first drug disaster, often referred to as the “hidden Thalidomide.” The currently proven effects of exposure include a rare vaginal cancer in DES Daughters; greater risk for breast cancer in DES Mothers; possible risk for testicular cancer in DES Sons; abnormal reproductive organs; infertility; high-risk pregnancies; and an increased risk for breast cancer in DES Daughters after age 40. There are a number of other suspected effects, including auto-immune disorders, but many of these effects are still awaiting further research. (more…)

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