Zofran (generically known as Ondansetron) is a drug created by GlaxoSmithKline to treat nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery patients. However, this drug has been commonly prescribed “off-label” to pregnant women to treat morning sickness symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
What is the Zofran Lawsuit?
Recent studies show pregnant women who took Zofran or its generic equivalent during the first trimester of pregnancy (before ten weeks) resulted in an exponential increase in birth defects such as cleft lip, cleft palate, and heart defects such as heart murmurs, atrial septal defect (hole in the heart) and ventricular septal defect (hole in the heart). A 2014 study published in the medical journal Reproductive Toxicology indicated that women who took Zofran before ten weeks had a two times higher risk of babies being born with a congenital heart defect.
Lawsuits Against Glaxo
This is not the first incident GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of false promotional practices. In 2013, GlaxoSmithKline found itself in trouble for its faulty promotional practices of the drugs Avandia, Wellbutrin, and Paxil. This suit included civil and criminal charges for fraudulent drug promotional practices, false data reporting, and failure to report certain safety data. In the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, the Justice Department ordered GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion to settle these allegations.
In response to a number of lawsuits alleging Zofran caused various birth defects, GlaxoSmithKline moved to consolidate, at least for pretrial purposes, all federally-filed lawsuits under a procedure known as Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). The company seeks for the suits to be coordinated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania where GlaxoSmithKline maintains its headquarters. Multidistrict litigation is a procedure used to help effectively handle complex legal proceedings such as pharmaceutical litigation. MDL filings allow people from across the country to consolidate their similar claims into one court.
The Cochran Firm Attorneys Handle Zofran Lawsuits
Zofran is believed to be prescribed to roughly 1 million pregnant women each year. If you or a loved one took Zofran or Ondansetron during pregnancy and delivered a child with birth defects, please contact The Cochran Firm-Dothan for information about your options. Call 334-673-1555 for your free consultation.