If You Knew You Were 23 Times More Likely To Suffer PPH Would You Take Fen Phen?
On September 15, 1997, American Home Products Corporation issued a recall of Pondimin (fenfluramine) and Redux (dexfenfluramine) from the market due to a formal request from the Food and Drug Administration. The popular weight loss product in question is a combination of these two. The FDA’s recall came following clinical trials at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota found that users of the drug combination resulted in a 23-fold increase of pulmonary hypertension (PPH), and showed 24 cases of its leading to a rare valvular heart disease. Because it was administered to over 18 million people in 1996 alone, finding a Fen Phen attorney became prevalent during the late 90s.
The FDA’s 1997 recall resulted in over 11,000 cases being filed against the company. The majority of plaintiffs sought monetary damages in connection with irreversible pulmonary hypertension, valvular heart disease, and other adverse conditions. The class action settlement resulting from lawsuits cost the company $4.83 billion, the largest product settlement of any kind to date. An FDA reviewer stated that American Home Products (now known as Wyeth) was aware of the danger of taking the medication but failed to report those concerns.
In January 2005, Wyeth announced that it would increase litigation costs for a fourth time to a total of $21.1 billion. Over the years, Fen Phen class action and other lawsuits had proven to be controversial as the company was accused of covering up side effects in order to keep the drug on the market. Although the FDA never approved the drug, doctors wrote millions of prescriptions every year before it was removed from the market. However, as patients suffering from symptoms of the illnesses were not included in the national class action settlement, they must file suit separately to make legal claims.
Medical experts have testified that there is a potential latency of 10 to 20 years from the last dosage until the onset of symptoms. Therefore, many people who took the drug over a decade ago are just beginning to experience adverse effects, resulting in a renewed demand for legal assistance. Cardiologists have urged former users of the drug to see their doctors in order to be screened for valvular heart disease or primary pulmonary hypertension, as both diseases can prove fatal. Treatment for PPH is costly due to the chronic nature of the disease.
Wyeth has said that as many as 70,000 lawsuits have been filed against them, so far. Symptoms of PPH include:
The chronic nature of the illnesses associated with this medication often leads to high medical bills and time lost from work. It can also become difficult to perform simple tasks such as climbing stairs. If you would like to know more about your rights or the company’s liability regarding an injury, speak to a qualified attorney today.
Fen Phen PPH Lawsuits Attorneys