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By FROM STAFF REPORTS | October 18, 1997
Four people filed a class-action suit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore yesterday against the makers of three controversial weight-loss drugs they allege put them at risk for heart and lung conditions.Georgiana Donlin of Whiteford, Robert Patro of Elkton, Barry Steeley of Woodstock and Julie Watson of Timonium sued 12 drug companies seeking payment for continued medical monitoring for ailments they allege can be caused by the drugs fenfluramine and phentermine -- together called fen-phen -- and dexfenfluramine, also known as Redux.
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NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | May 28, 2012
Dr. Mark E. Molliver, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor emeritus of neuroscience and neurology, died of complications after cardiac arrest May 10 at Hopkins Hospital. The Canton resident was 75. Colleagues said his discoveries had an impact on analyzing the structure of the brain and its response to drugs. "Mark was one of the country's greatest neuroanatomists," said Solomon Snyder, founder and longtime director of Hopkins' department of neuroscience. "He made major discoveries about the role of serotonin," the brain molecule connected to well-being and happiness.
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NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | October 16, 1997
Four Maryland women filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt yesterday against the makers and distributors of two controversial weight-loss drugs, alleging the drugs caused health problems that put their lives at risk.Linda S. Higgs of Laurel, Maria Montgomery of Potomac, Judith A. Pino of Bowie and Joann M. Woodward of Annapolis allege that taking fenfluramine and phentermine exposed them to "potentially life-threatening side effects and diseases."Plaintiffs attorney Phillip L. Feliciano said the suit is one of several filed across the country by women who might suffer heart problems from the drugs, often used in a combination known as fen-phen.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | January 1, 2002
When Valerie Wright learned about a weight loss drug from a friend in her car pool, she decided to try it. Wright, a mother of three from Charles County, lost 20 pounds when she took fen-phen for six months before it was taken off the market in 1997. But she also lost her energy and developed a heart condition that will one day force her to have heart surgery, she says. "It was like everything changed overnight. All of a sudden, I was too tired to do anything," she said. Wright, 43, of White Plains is one of thousands of people nationwide - and among at least 20 in Maryland - to file suit against the New Jersey company that marketed fen-phen, American Home Products Corp.
FEATURES
By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D. and Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.,SPECIAL TO THE SUN King Features Syndicate | November 11, 1997
I lost about 40 pounds this past year while taking fen-phen. I stopped taking these diet pills right after the scary headlines and the recall. Since then I have gained back about 12 pounds and it is getting me down.It is my understanding that only the "fen" part of this combination was recalled. When I asked my doctor to renew my prescription for Ionamin (phentermine) he was reluctant. What's the problem? I never experienced any side effects while taking fen-phen.Your physician may be nervous.
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Dail Willis contributed to this article | October 2, 1997
A Timonium doctor who calls himself "the father of fen-phen" therapy says he will continue to treat patients around the globe, despite a raid of his office by federal agents who claim he prescribed the drug to people he never met."Of course I'm going to continue seeing patients. I'm a doctor, that's what I do," said Dr. Pietr Hitzig, who uses the controversial drug combination to treat obesity, alcoholism, Persian Gulf war syndrome and other disorders. "The world sometimes can't appreciate a new idea."
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | January 1, 2002
When Valerie Wright learned about a weight loss drug from a friend in her car pool, she decided to try it. Wright, a mother of three from Charles County, lost 20 pounds when she took fen-phen for six months before it was taken off the market in 1997. But she also lost her energy and developed a heart condition that will one day force her to have heart surgery, she says. "It was like everything changed overnight. All of a sudden, I was too tired to do anything," she said. Wright, 43, of White Plains is one of thousands of people nationwide - and among at least 20 in Maryland - to file suit against the New Jersey company that marketed fen-phen, American Home Products Corp.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | June 26, 2001
Pietr Hitzig, the once-famous Internet diet doctor and self-proclaimed "father of fen-phen," was convicted yesterday on 34 counts of illegally prescribing medicine, in many cases to patients he never met or examined. A federal jury in Baltimore deliberated almost 20 hours over three days before convicting the former Timonium doctor on all charges brought against him in 1999. Hitzig, 58, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. His attorneys said they would file an appeal. Authorities said Hitzig was seeking fame and fortune when he prescribed the fen-phen drug therapy to thousands of patients across the country in the mid-1990s.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | June 12, 2001
A former Timonium doctor who once called himself the "father of fen-phen" continued yesterday to promote the drug combination's benefits, even as he defended himself against federal charges of illegally prescribing the medicine. Testifying during his 3-week-old trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Pietr Hitzig said the results were "extremely remarkable" for the 5,000 to 7,000 patients across the country who followed his fen-phen protocol for everything from weight loss to depression to alcohol and drug addiction.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | May 18, 2001
Pietr Hitzig once called himself "the father of fen-phen" and was known nationally as a vocal proponent of the drug therapy that he claimed could not only help people lose weight but also cure other ills, ranging from drug addiction to gulf war syndrome. The Timonium doctor drew attention for one other claim, as well. Hitzig said he didn't need to see patients in person or administer physical exams before prescribing drugs, and he set up a booming online business that he described as a progressive "telemedicine" practice but that federal authorities said put patients at risk.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | November 10, 2001
Pietr Hitzig, who sought fame prescribing the drug fen-phen over the Internet, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to 45 months in prison after a hearing that focused on his ego-driven style and the toll exacted by his experimental approach to medicine. Hitzig, 60, showed no emotion as U.S. District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz pronounced sentence, but broke down and cried moments later when a deputy marshal led him out of the nearly empty courtroom in handcuffs. "I can't tell you how much I hate this," Hitzig told his lawyers.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | June 27, 2001
In their case against Internet diet doctor Pietr Hitzig, federal prosecutors focused on fen-phen, the drug combination that the former Timonium doctor claimed could treat everything from obesity to drug addiction. But as the case heads to appeal after Hitzig's conviction Monday on 34 counts of illegally dispensing medicine, it could turn on two seemingly incidental charges involving the prescription painkillers Dilaudid and Percocet. Those two drugs are more strictly regulated than fenfluramine and phentermine, the "fen-phen" drugs which made up the remaining 32 charges.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | June 26, 2001
Pietr Hitzig, the once-famous Internet diet doctor and self-proclaimed "father of fen-phen," was convicted yesterday on 34 counts of illegally prescribing medicine, in many cases to patients he never met or examined. A federal jury in Baltimore deliberated almost 20 hours over three days before convicting the former Timonium doctor on all charges brought against him in 1999. Hitzig, 58, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. His attorneys said they would file an appeal. Authorities said Hitzig was seeking fame and fortune when he prescribed the fen-phen drug therapy to thousands of patients across the country in the mid-1990s.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | June 22, 2001
Pietr Hitzig was chasing fame and ignoring patients' needs when he cavalierly prescribed the now-banned fen-phen drug therapy as a treatment for everything from depression to drug addiction, federal prosecutors said yesterday. Closing the five-week trial of the former Timonium doctor, prosecutors described Hitzig as a "pill pusher" and asked a federal jury to find him guilty on 34 counts of illegally prescribing medicine to patients around the country, many whom he never met or examined.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | June 12, 2001
A former Timonium doctor who once called himself the "father of fen-phen" continued yesterday to promote the drug combination's benefits, even as he defended himself against federal charges of illegally prescribing the medicine. Testifying during his 3-week-old trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Pietr Hitzig said the results were "extremely remarkable" for the 5,000 to 7,000 patients across the country who followed his fen-phen protocol for everything from weight loss to depression to alcohol and drug addiction.
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | May 18, 2001
Pietr Hitzig once called himself "the father of fen-phen" and was known nationally as a vocal proponent of the drug therapy that he claimed could not only help people lose weight but also cure other ills, ranging from drug addiction to gulf war syndrome. The Timonium doctor drew attention for one other claim, as well. Hitzig said he didn't need to see patients in person or administer physical exams before prescribing drugs, and he set up a booming online business that he described as a progressive "telemedicine" practice but that federal authorities said put patients at risk.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | November 10, 2001
Pietr Hitzig, who sought fame prescribing the drug fen-phen over the Internet, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to 45 months in prison after a hearing that focused on his ego-driven style and the toll exacted by his experimental approach to medicine. Hitzig, 60, showed no emotion as U.S. District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz pronounced sentence, but broke down and cried moments later when a deputy marshal led him out of the nearly empty courtroom in handcuffs. "I can't tell you how much I hate this," Hitzig told his lawyers.
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Patricia Meisol and Melody Simmons contributed to this article | October 1, 1997
Federal agents raided the offices of a Timonium doctor who describes himself as an international pioneer in the controversial fen-phen weight-loss program yesterday, seizing computers and records relating to his solicitation of clients over the Internet.Dr. Pietr Hitzig -- who has built a worldwide patient list through his "Fen-Phen Crisis Center" Web page -- was not charged with any crime. Authorities said they are examining Hitzig's records to determine how his business worked and how he prescribed diet drugs to patients, some of whom he never met.Hitzig, angry over what he called a "grandstand play" by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, said last night that he did not think he violated any law by prescribing drugs to "desperate patients suffering excruciating pain."
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,SUN STAFF | November 27, 1997
A Timonium doctor whose office was raided by federal agents investigating his use of the Internet in prescribing fen-phen to patients he had never met has filed for bankruptcy protection, saying the raid has nearly crippled his business.But Pietr Hitzig, who once called himself "the father of fen-phen therapy," said yesterday that he hopes to continue practicing "telemedicine" not only here but in other states."I'm still a player. The last hasn't been heard from me," said Hitzig, whose offices were raided Sept.
FEATURES
By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D. and Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.,SPECIAL TO THE SUN King Features Syndicate | November 11, 1997
I lost about 40 pounds this past year while taking fen-phen. I stopped taking these diet pills right after the scary headlines and the recall. Since then I have gained back about 12 pounds and it is getting me down.It is my understanding that only the "fen" part of this combination was recalled. When I asked my doctor to renew my prescription for Ionamin (phentermine) he was reluctant. What's the problem? I never experienced any side effects while taking fen-phen.Your physician may be nervous.
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