Seeger Weiss Products Liability Actions Against Pfizer Involving Rezulin
Seeger Weiss serves as a court-appointed member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in federal Rezulin litigation and as a member of the Steering Committee in the New Jersey Rezulin litigation. Seeger Weiss has played a major role in products liability actions against Pfizer and Warner Lambert involving Rezulin, a prescription drug used to treat Type II diabetes. The firm is a court-appointed member of the Executive Committee in the federal suits coordinated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) before Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm is also a member of the New Jersey Rezulin Steering Committee in In re: Rezulin Litigation, currently pending before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County. The firm is counsel to numerous individuals who have commenced personal injury damage actions in various courts throughout the country.
Seeger Weiss Recovers $2 Million Verdict Against Pfizer For Liver Injury Resulting From Rezulin Use
In March 2003, following a six-week jury trial led by founding partner Chris Seeger, the firm achieved a $2 million verdict against Pfizer on behalf of Concepcion Morgado, a Brooklyn resident who sustained liver injury and was hospitalized for 10 days following her Rezulin use. The case was the first Rezulin matter to be tried in New York and represented a watershed result in the nationwide Rezulin litigation. Seeger Weiss subsequently reached a ‘global’ settlement with Pfizer, in which it recovered several million dollars on behalf of all of its Rezulin user clients.
Diabetes drug Rezulin was recalled and withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2000 due to hundreds of cases of liver failure that may have been caused by the medication.
Rezulin Drug Injury
Rezulin was approved in 1997 for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and was withdrawn less than three years later in March of 2000.
|Manufacturer||Parke-Davis, Warner-Lambert, Wyeth all acquired or merged with Pfizer|
|Dosage form(s)||200mg tablet
|Normal dosage||200 to 600mg daily with food|
Rezulin FDA Drug Warnings
Rezulin (troglitazone) was introduced in 1997 as one of the “new” types of antidiabetics to be used for Type 2 diabetes. It was a member of the thiazolidinedione group, also called “glitazones” that includes other medications such as Actos and Avandia. Rezulin’s application for marketing in 1996 was originally rejected due to concerns about liver damage, however the FDA official who had objected was shortly replaced and the drug was approved and marketed in March 1997. Company executives agreed to stipulations that drug monitoring be conducted to monitor for liver damage.
By December of 1997, the same year Rezulin had been introduced to the U.S. market, and only 6 months after its British approval, it had already been withdrawn in the UK. By March of 1999, epidemiologists at the FDA warned that monitoring patients for liver function would not be enough to prevent liver failure and by March 2000, at least 430 cases of liver failure had already been reported.
On March 21,2000 Rezulin was withdrawn from the U.S. market and withdrawal from the Japanese pharmaceutical market followed shortly afterward. By the time it was withdrawn, the drug had already been linked to 63 liver-failure deaths but had generated over $2.1 billion in revenue for Warner-Lambert.
Rezulin Liver Failure
Rezulin hepatotoxity had been known to be a potential side effect but experts who warned of its potentially fatal effects were overruled. The danger of liver damage appears to have come from a combination of problems including metabolic and non-metabolic issues, specific to the way the drug interacts with other proteins in the body and the way it is metabolized.
A single positive effect may have come after thousands of patients were harmed and hundreds may have died due to troglitazone’s effects on the liver, researchers have since then used this knowledge to expand breast cancer research.
By 2009, Pfizer had settled or resolved more than 35,000 Rezulin lawsuits in federal, state and local courts. Settling or paying damages awarded for Rezulin cases cost the companies and its subsidiaries an estimated $750 million. Most of the cases had been settled in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) which had been consolidated in federal court in New York but about one-third had been settled in various state courts.