Approved by the Food and Drugs Administration in 1993, Propulsid was a heartburn drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. This drug was prescribed for really severe heartburn that occurred at night, and during the seven years that the drug was on the market it was used by an estimated thirty million Americans, including the ex-President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
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At the time of approval it was thought that the FDA was aware of only minor side effects caused by the drug, and certainly nothing life threatening. However, as time went on other far more serious problems began to come to light. These included: “ sudden cardiac death, heart attack, irregular heartbeat and QT interval prolongation”. The heart problems that were apparently linked to the drug resulted in strengthened labeling warning on Propulsid packaging, imposed by the FDA.
As the problems continued, the FDA was forced to once again strengthen the warning on Propulsid packaging. In March 2000 the FDA decided to withdraw the drug from the US market altogether as the increased strength of warning seemed to do little to stop the problems associated with the drug. The drugs company, Janssen, initiated the withdrawal voluntarily. However, by the time that the recall was initiated on Propulsid, the FDA had already received hundreds of reports relating to adverse effects linked to the drug, mainly relating to heart problems.
By the time Propulsid was pulled from the market, the FDA had also received reports of eighty Propulsid related deaths. However, the odd thing was that eleven of these deaths were children – and the drug had never been approved for prescription to children. It was revealed that Propulsid had been prescribed to treat a number of children and babies for colic.
Although Propulsid was recalled it March 2000, it remained on sale for several months, which was supposed to give patients time to find a suitable alternative treatment. This extension was opposed by Public Citizen, the watchdog group, who claimed that letting the drug stay on the market for a few extra months was a bad idea. Public Citizen later reported that another 23 deaths occurred between this date and the date that the drug was withdrawn.
Since the discovery of the lethal side effects associated with Propulsid, a number of lawsuits have been filed in both state and federal courts. These lawsuits have been filed by those adversely affected by the drug, and also by family members of those that died due to the effects of Propulsid. The compensation awarded on these lawsuits is to cover pain, suffering and medical expenses resulting from the ill effects of Propulsid.
Those affected by Propulsid are advised to contact a Propulsid lawyer with a view to filing as part of a class action lawsuit. However, depending upon the strength of your case, you may be advised to opt out of a class action suit, and instead pursue an individual claim, which could increase the amount of compensation you get from your claim. A trained and experienced Propulsid lawyer will be able to quickly determine which is the best cause of action based upon your personal circumstances.
A Propulsid lawyer will be familiar with the legalities surrounding this drug, and can therefore put together a solid case in order to give you’re the maximum chance of success. Your Propulsid lawyer will also know how to maximise on the amount of compensation you may be able to get as a settlement on your claim. With a free consultation available from most drug litigation lawyers these days, potential claimants are advised to contact a lawyer even if they are unsure as to whether they have grounds to claim for compensation, as an experienced Propulsid lawyer will be able to determine this after hearing the facts.