Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was unsuccessful in getting claims dismissed over fen-phen, a diet drug that has been the subject of numerous lawsuits. The company acquired the original manufacturer, Wyeth, in 2009 and sought to get lawsuits over the side effects of the drug thrown out. Specifically, it was trying to get lawsuits alleging that the lethal side effects of this drug could be experienced many years after usage had stopped.
A popular diet drug up until its 1997 recall, fen-phen was found to have potentially fatal side effects. The drug is linked to primary pulmonary hypertension and, according to some lawsuits, that condition can result from usage of this drug more than a decade after a patient has discontinued using it. At its peak, there were more than 6 million prescriptions written for fen-phen. In the year since it was recalled, fen-phen has been the subject of of nearly 200,000 lawsuits.
The Side Effects
The lawsuits filed over fen-phen alleged that the drug had side effects that were deliberately hidden by the manufacturer so that they could continue making profits on the drug. Since the drug was recalled from the market, however, fen-phen has cost the manufacturer a great deal of money. Some of the largest jury awards and settlements have taken place in Texas.
In a lawsuit over the wrongful death of a woman who was using fen-phen, a Texas jury ended up awarding her surviving family $900 million in punitive damages and $113 million in compensatory damages. To deal with the lawsuits that they were certain they were going to face, the original manufacturer of the drug had put aside $21 billion, according to reports.
Suing a Pharma Company
Pfizer and other large pharmaceutical companies, as you can see from the $21 billion figure, have plenty of money to protect themselves in court. In cases where you know you’re going to be up against such a huge company in a lawsuit, it’s easy to be cynical and think that you would never be able to win when a company can put up that kind of money. The fact of the matter is, however, that the law is on the side of a person who was wronged by a company that was irresponsible and people routinely win lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies when it can be established that those pharmaceutical companies deliberately and cynically endangered their customer’s lives.
If you believe that you were injured by a pharmaceutical company, whether it was from using fen-phen or any other drug, make certain that you contact a Texas personal injury attorney. They will be willing to sit down with you for a free consultation about whether or not filing a lawsuit is a good option for you.