The Avalanche of Pharmaceutical Lawsuits
September 05, 2006
More than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed in recent years against four drugs: the hormone-replacement Prempro, the birth-control patch Ortho Evra, the anti-psychotic Seroquel and the anti-seizure drug Neurontin.
Plaintiffs claim that the manufacturers either failed to disclose the drugs' risks or failed to properly test them in the first place.
Cancer, Diabetes, Suicide
Prempro may cause a higher risk of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease. Neurontin could increase suicide risk. Ortho Evra birth-control patch may cause blood clots due to inadequate safety testing, and Seroquel might result in diabetes or high blood glucose.
The adverse effects of many other drugs are also causing lawsuits. Over the past six years, more than 65,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against drugmakers, more than any other industry. And the lawsuits are likely to continue increasing, given the number of drugs on the market and the number of consumers taking them.
Likely to Continue
The lawsuits, however, will do little to stop companies from releasing similar drugs with large market value. Seroquel had 2005 sales of $2.8 billion, and both Neurontin and Prempro had sales of greater than $2 billion.