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Sept 20 – US: Levaquin Lawsuits Continue to Accrue

From: Real Estate Law

Individuals who have suffered serious injuries and side effects from the medication Levaquin could soon have access to what could potentially be the most important litigation against the drug’s manufacturers and distributors. In an announcement that may set the precedent for future legal action regarding Levaquin, the law firm of Carey and Danis made public their fillings of four lawsuits naming Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., as well as Walgreen Co., one of the largest distributors of the drug, as defendants. The civil suits, filed to represent twenty plantiffs, allege that Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil knew about the severe risk of tendonitis and possible tendon rupture, especially in patients over 60, and yet continued marketing the drug as a safe and efficacious treatment option for several different types of infections; these included lung, sinus, skin and urinary tract infections.

Through 2007 and 2008, the FDA instituted a requirement for the packing of Levaquin, requiring an extended side effect list to be present with the medication as well as giving the drug the FDA’s strongest warning label, the Black Box label. The FDA has been quoted recently saying that Levaquin, , “poses a serious and significant public health concern.”

The lawsuit asserts that Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil had knowledge of these side effects years before cases began surfacing, yet they continued to market the drug as a safe and viable alternative. Additionally, the lawsuits allege that the two companies manipulated study data in order to circumvent potentially damning evidence against the drug and that the companies minimized the risks to patients when marketing the drug to physicians. The suit charges Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil with negligence, breach of warranties, and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, just to name a few.

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