The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict litigation held a hearing on October 1 to help decide whether or not it will consolidate all pending federal Zofran birth defect lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation.
Zofran is an antiemetic drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients who have undergone surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. While Zofran is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of morning sickness, many doctors prescribe it off-label to help pregnant women with their nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately for these women, Zofran has been linked to increased risk of birth defects in children whose mothers took the drug during pregnancy. A 2012 study showed women who took Zofran during their first trimester were twice as likely to give birth to a baby with a congenital defect; and another study in 2014 revealed a more than twofold increase in the rate of cleft palate and other defects in children whose mothers took Zofran during pregnancy.
Plaintiffs who have filed Zofran birth defects lawsuits claim that GlaxoSmithKline promoted their drug unlawfully to pregnant women, putting mothers and children at risk in order to secure profits. Zofran plaintiffs further allege that Zofran’s makers failed to properly warn patients and practitioners about the drug’s birth defect risk.
Both Zofran plaintiffs and GlaxoSmithKline have requested that the Zofran lawsuits be centralized, though there is disagreement as to where. GlaxoSmithKline favors the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the company is headquartered, but Zofran plaintiffs fear this would give it a “home court” advantage. According to GlaxoSmithKline, there are at least 33 Zofran lawsuits filed in 20 different federal jurisdictions. If and when the cases are consolidated in a multidistrict litigation, hundreds if not thousands more are expected to follow.
Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have. If you or someone you know gave birth to a child with a congenital defect after taking Zofran during pregnancy, contact the lawyers at Lopez McHugh now to schedule your free legal consultation. You may be eligible to receive compensation through a Zofran birth defect lawsuit.