Product News and Recalls

MDL panel considers consolidated Zoloft and Propecia litigation

Amid news of lawsuits concerning the antidepressant Zoloft and the hair-loss drug Propecia, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Legislation held a hearing on March 29 in San Diego, California.

The panel of judges meets every two months to consider whether various lawsuits should be consolidated before a single judge for pre-trial proceedings.

Pfizer, the maker of Zoloft, is facing litigation from nearly 90 lawsuits by families who claim their children have suffered birth defects as a result of in utero exposure to the antidepressant, including autism, cardiac problems and cleft palate.

Merck, the maker of Propecia, is facing lawsuits from young men who claim they suffered permanent sexual side effects as a result of taking the drug.

About 25 federal cases have been filed so far, which is a small number for multidistrict litigation. The petition to establish the multidistrict litigation mentions, however, that at least 300 additional cases have yet to be filed.

The notice and schedule for the March 29 hearing can be found here.