Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Levaquin Trial: J and J Didn't Hide Risks

News from a trial involving Levaquin:

In a pending lawsuit, Plaintiff Clifford Straka claims he hurt his two Achilles tendons after taking the drug Levaquin for pneumonia. He sued J&J and its Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical unit in 2008. Straka said his doctor wasn’t aware when she prescribed the drug that Levaquin was linked to an increased risk of tendon damage in elderly patients.

The lawsuit is the third federal case to go to trial in Minnesota alleging J&J and its unit, now known as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, downplayed the risks of the antibiotic to boost sales. J&J lost the first, a jury verdict for $1.8 million in 2010, and won the second last year. The company also won the first state case in October. 

Counsel for the defendant  has argued that “the label from day one in 1996 was adequate,” James Irwin, J&J’s lawyer, said in closing arguments. “The information was out there and available to the doctors and everyone else.”