Claimants In Lawsuit Are At Increased Risk For PPH From Taking Diet Drug Fen Phen
Fen Phen lawsuits began after September 15, 1997, when American Home Products Corporation issued a recall of its diet drugs Pondimin (fenfluramine) and Redux (dexfenfluramine) from the market due to a formal request from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug in question, which was broadly prescribed for weight loss, is a combination of the Pondimin and Phentermine. The recall came following clinical trials from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota that found that uses of 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, Fen Phen lawsuits became prevalent during the late 90s.
This recall of the new diet drug resulted in over 11,000 cases being filed against the company. Patients in the majority of these legal actions sought monetary damages in connection with irreversible pulmonary hypertension, valvular heart disease, and other adverse conditions. The class action settlement resulting from these suits cost the company $4.83 billion, the largest product settlement of any kind to date. An FDA reviewer stated that American Home Products was aware of the danger of taking the medication and failed to report those concerns.
In January 2005, Wyeth, formerly known as American Home Products, announced that it would increase litigation costs for a fourth time to a total of $21.1 billion. Over the years, the suits 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 Food and Drug Administration never approved the pill, Doctors wrote millions of prescriptions every year before it was removed from the market. However, patients suffering from symptoms of the illnesses that were not included in the settlement must file separate legal claims. Thousands of these cases have now been filed to date with the help of experienced attorneys.
Medical experts have testified that there is a potential latency of 10 to 20 years from the last dosage of the diet pill 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 emergence legal cases. 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 can prove costly due to the chronic nature of the disease. Wyeth has said that as many as 70,000 suits have been filed so far. Symptoms of PPH include: dizziness, weakness, fainting, difficulty breathing, coughing blood, and blue lips, hands and feet.
It is important to learn more about your legal rights if you may have been affected. The serious, chronic nature of these illnesses can lead to high medication or healthcare bills, as well as lost wages from time off of work. If you have suffered from a Fen Phen injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, or tragically, for wrongful death on behalf of a loved one. You may even be able to be part of one of the existing class action suits. Informing a legal expert about your situation will allow them to evaluate whether litigation would be appropriate. Browse these articles to find further information on the side effects; LegalTube can also help connect you to an experienced attorney who can inform you of your rights.
Fen Phen PPH Lawsuits Attorneys