According to Reuters (7/7/15), GlaxoSmithKline filed a motion before the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate around 12 lawsuits for pretrial proceedings. Consolidation is generally approved to prevent duplication of discovery when the lawsuits filed all share similar material questions of fact. GlaxoSmithKline has requested the cases be transferred to Pennsylvania federal court, which is where the headquarters of the drugmaker’s US operations are located.
Zofran is an anti-nausea medication approved to treat patients who are post-operative or undergoing specific cancer treatments. Although it is not approved for use in pregnant women, it is frequently prescribed off-label to treat nausea associated with pregnancy. Women who have filed lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline allege they were not adequately warned about the potential risk of side effects associated with the medication.
In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve allegations that it illegally marketed some of its drugs, including Zofran, for off-label use. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe medications off-label, it is illegal to market them for such uses.
READ MORE ZOFRAN BIRTH DEFECT LEGAL NEWS
Some studies have been conducted regarding the risk of Zofran side effects. Those studies have found conflicting results. A 2014 Canadian study by The Toronto Star (6/25/14) reportedly found at least 20 women who used ondansetron (the generic of Zofran) and had babies who experienced side effects. Those effects included infant death, low birth weight, heart murmur and atrial septal defect. Other studies, however, have found no birth defect risk associated with Zofran.