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Fen-Phen Lawsuits Still Working Their Way through Courts

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Philadelphia, PAAlthough it has been years since Fen-Phen pills were taken off the market, Fen-Phen lawsuits continue to work their way through the courts. The lawsuits, filed against Pfizer, allege Fen-Phen side effects included a life-threatening condition known as primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).

One reason that the lawsuits are still in the news is that it can take a long time for symptoms of PPH to develop. Patients could reportedly take the drug for a very short time - as short as a month - and develop PPH years after taking the weight loss pill. According to some experts, PPH may not even arise until 15 years after the patient used fen-phen.

Pfizer has attempted to have fen-phen claims thrown out of court. In August 2012, the company asked a judge to dismiss lawsuits alleging fen-phen caused PPH, arguing there was no scientific evidence to support the claims.

But a judge refused to dismiss the claims, rejecting Pfizer’s argument. In his ruling, the judge found that there is reliable scientific evidence to back up the plaintiffs’ claims. Lawsuits filed against Wyeth (maker of fen-phen and now subsidiary of Pfizer) alleged the company hid the risks of its diet drug in an attempt to increase profits.

According to Businessweek (8/30/12), lawsuits have resulted in verdicts or settlements in the tens of millions of dollars. That includes a 2004 jury verdict for $1 billion to the family of a woman who died of PPH after using the diet drug for five months. Some jury trials, however, have resulted in findings for the defendant, with juries finding that the use of fen-phen did not cause the plaintiffs’ health problems.

Despite allowing the lawsuit to continue, the judge noted that it would be up to a jury to determine if the plaintiffs’ use of fen-phen caused her health problems.

Bloomberg (8/23/12) reports there were more than six million prescriptions written for fen-phen before it was pulled from the market in 1997. It was pulled from the market due to concerns about serious, life-threatening side effects.

The lawsuits are In re Diet Drugs Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1203 and Brown v. American Home Products Corp., 2:99-cv-20593, US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

READ ABOUT PPH AND FEN-PHEN LAWSUITS

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I took the fen-phen late 70's then off and on 80's I can remember after that it could be also early 90's too

Posted by

on
My sister took fen-phen for a year. She had physical each year. She stopped taking them and then got sick and had to open heart surgerys and died. What info do I need to see if that's what killed her?

Posted by

on
I KNOW THIS FEN PEN HAS DONE ALOT TO ME SIDE EFFECTS
AND ITS NOT FAIR I DID TAKE IT ALONG TIME 1982 1996

Posted by

on
I took adipex for i year in 2000 and during that time pick at myself and have scars on my arms from it. I'm unable to sit still and move around constantly like it messed up my nervous system. I don't have heart trouble but the other effects it has caused are just as bad.

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