Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Fen-Phen Lawsuits Claiming PPH

Article in Chicago Tribune -- Wyeth sued by former Fen-Phen users over lung disease, by Jef Feeley of Bloomberg News.  The article discusses new claims brought by plaintiffs counsel Alex MacDonald and Kenneth Rothweiler that Fen-Phen caused primary pulmonary hypertension.  Here's an excerpt:

Wyeth was sued by five women who claim the fen-phen diet combination caused them to develop an often-fatal lung disease at least eight years after they stopped taking the drugs.

Renee Tedesco of Paramus, New Jersey, says in one of the complaints filed today in state court in Philadelphia that she was diagnosed in April with primary pulmonary hypertension, 10 years after she began using fen-phen. Wyeth has set aside more than $21 billion to resolve litigation over the diet aids since pulling them off the market in 1997.

Wyeth officials engaged in a ``knowingly false campaign of misinformation and disinformation'' about whether the drugs Pondimin and Redux can cause the lung disease, known as PPH, years after a user stopped taking them, Tedesco's lawyers said in the complaint.

The lawsuits challenge Wyeth's assertion that health risks linked to fen-phen persist only a year after use ends. Wyeth, based in Madison, New Jersey, has said it resolved almost all of the 175,000 claims by former fen-phen users, most of them alleging the drugs caused heart problems, through a national settlement and deals with individuals.

The original $3.75 billion settlement program didn't cover PPH claims. The company last month told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it faced 95 PPH suits as of Oct. 15 and more might be filed.



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