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U.S. District Judge Refuses to Dismiss Fen-Phen Lawsuits

Posted on September 5, 2012

It has been 15 years since the deadly diet drug combination fen-phen was withdrawn from the market after it was linked to severe heart and lung damage. Recently, a U.S. Circuit Judge in Philadelphia rejected pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s attempt to throw out the remaining litigation tied to fen-phen.

Attorneys argued that cases of primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), a deadly lung ailment, showed up in their clients a decade after they took the deadly drug-combination in the 90s. Wyeth, now a subsidiary of Pfizer, withdrew the drugs Pondimin and Redux (the “fen” element of fen-phen) in 1997. Pfizer challenged the “latency” argument, saying there was no reliable evidence that the prescription drugs were responsible for the fatal lung disease.

While a spokesman for Pfizer stated in an e-mail to Bloomberg News that the company was disappointed with the ruling, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs told Bloomberg that the decision is “a total victory for plaintiffs, who only sought to keep the courthouse doors open so they could have juries hear how their loved ones died of a horrible disease because they took prescription diet drugs years ago.”

The judge, in rejecting Pfizer’s arguments that the cases should be thrown out, decided that it should be up to a jury to decide whether fen-phen was responsible for the plaintiffs’ PPH.

Some 6 million prescriptions were written for the diet combination before it was withdrawn from the market. Wyeth reserved some $21 billion to fund settlements.

If you believe that a prescription drug has harmed you or a loved one, you have the right to seek compensation for damages. Statute of limitations may apply, so contacting the Gainesville prescription drug injury attorneys at Farah & Farah immediately is in your best interest when you decide to pursue a legal remedy for your injuries. Call one of our experienced attorneys at (800) 533-3555 to see if you have a case.