The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has agreed to consolidate all Effexor lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country, centralizing the birth defect cases before one judge as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). The decision was made on August 6, and indicated that complaints involving birth defects or congenital malformations allegedly associated with the use of Effexor during pregnancy will be assigned to U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings. If your child has suffered from a congenital malformation or birth defect that you believe to be related to an antidepressant medication like Effexor, consult a product liability attorney in your area to explore your possible compensation options.
Effexor, generic name venlafaxine, is an antidepressant that belongs to a class of the drugs known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – similar to the more well-known selective serotonine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft and Paxil. Despite any differences between SNRIs and SSRIs however, Effexor and other SNRI antidepressants are known to have many of the same side effects as SSRI medications. According to pending litigation, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Pfizer, allegedly failed to provide adequate warnings to consumers and the medical community about the pregnancy risks linked to Effexor, and the adverse effects the antidepressant drug may have on unborn children.
In their Effexor lawsuits, plaintiffs claim that there was evidence of the potential pregnancy risks associated with Effexor use during clinical trials, and that there were signs that the antidepressant may affect children during pregnancy in post-marketing data as well. The complaints allege that Wyeth aggressively promoted the medication as safe for pregnant women, when available scientific data failed to support such a claim. There are currently at least nine lawsuits pending in U.S. District Courts against Pfizer, and given the widespread use of the medication, Effexor attorneys throughout the country expect that hundreds more product liability lawsuits will be brought against the drug maker on behalf of children who suffered birth defects after being exposed to the antidepressant in pregnancy.
Since Effexor entered the U.S. market in 1993, it has been labeled a pregnancy category C medication by the FDA, which means it has the potential to cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. Unfortunately, Effexor isn’t the only antidepressant with the potential to harm unborn children. U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe is also presiding over all Zoloft birth defect lawsuits pending against Pfizer over the company’s other popular antidepressant medication. If you took Effexor or another potentially dangerous medication while pregnant, and your child was born with a serious birth defect or malformation, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. Our advocates are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by drug makers, insurance companies and other big corporations, and we can help you get in touch with a lawyer in your area that has experience handling product liability claims.
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Source: http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/[/box]