According to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, as of November 16, 2015, there were 112 lawsuits included in MDL 2657 before US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor in Massachusetts. By comparison, there were only 15 lawsuits included in the MDL as of October 15, 2015. Consolidation of lawsuits is done when lawsuits have similar questions of fact, but is not a comment on the merits of the lawsuits.
The MDL was only set up in mid-October, so there is still time for plaintiffs to file a lawsuit and potentially be added to proceedings.
Zofran lawsuits allege women were prescribed the antinausea medication for vomiting and nausea associated with pregnancy even though the medication was not approved for such use. Zofran was approved to treat nausea and vomiting linked to surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Doctors are within their rights to prescribe medications off-label, but marketing of drugs for unapproved uses is illegal.
GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Zofran, has previously faced sanctions linked to alleged illegal marketing of drugs, including Zofran. Plaintiffs allege in their lawsuits that their infants had birth defects, including heart and kidney defects, as a result of exposure to Zofran prior to birth. Furthermore, they allege GlaxoSmithKline not only illegally marketed Zofran but did so without having done any studies in pregnant women to prove the drug was safe or effective.
READ MORE ZOFRAN BIRTH DEFECT LEGAL NEWS
GlaxoSmithKline has reportedly responded to the lawsuits saying they are unfounded and noting that the FDA recently denied a citizen petition to change the pregnancy risk category for the medication, according to Fox News (11/16/15).
But plaintiffs say Zofran wasn't adequately tested to prove the risks are worth the benefits, and they say their babies’ birth defects - some of which allegedly require open heart surgery and feeding tubes - are directly linked to the use of Zofran.