US District Judge Amy St. Eve on Feb. 8 granted the class plaintiffs' motion to extend the Feb. 10 deadline to amend pleadings and join additional parties up to April 11, 2017.
The class action Nicole Keith et al v. Ferring Pharmaceuticals et al, Case No. 1:15-cv-10381, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division was filed in Nov. 2015 by 13 plaintiffs against Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Ferring BV and Ferring International Center SA. In 2016, Ferring BV and Ferring International Center were terminated from the case, leaving Ferring Pharmaceuticals as the remaining defendant.
Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit one month after Ferring voluntarily recalled all lots of Bravelle, the brand name version of the generic drug urofollitropin, sold in the US between Mar. 2014 and Oct. 2015. The recall occurred after Ferring's internal quality monitoring revealed that certain lots of the drug didn't meet potency specifications represented by Ferring.
Bravelle, which is used to treat infertility in women, stimulates egg maturation and multiple follicular development in women who are unable to produce and release eggs. Bravelle is commonly used in assisted reproductive technology including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Class plaintiffs claimed that Ferring failed to take appropriate steps to ensure that Bravelle's recalled lots met the pharmaceutical company's potency representations. Plaintiffs also sought damages for out-of-pocket expenses to purchase the drug and payments made to medical providers for fertility treatments using Bravelle.
Among class plaintiffs, out-of-pocket costs ranged from $2,500 to as much as $35,000.
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"Had plaintiffs known prior to purchase that the Bravelle they bought suffered from sub-potency issues, or even that it had the potential to suffer from sub-potency issues, they would not have purchased the drug and would not have paid the costs associated with the related medical treatment of which Bravelle was an integral part," states the complaint.
Judge St. Eve has also extended the deadline to May 12, 2017 for Ferring Pharmaceuticals to amend pleadings and join parties to the class action.