Defective Drugs: Meridia

In 1997, Meridia was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a prescription medicine used for the long-term treatment of obesity. This weight loss pill was soon pulled from the market in 2010 by the makers and manufacturers, Abbott Laboratories. The FDA is known for having a partnership with many manufacturers and recalling drugs when they pose a threat or health risk that make them unsafe for usage by the public. So why was Meridia pulled from the market by the manufacturer and FDA? (1)

Abbott Laboratories was actually a bit skeptical when it was evaluated that Meridia may be unsafe to the public after all. According to the FDA, there was a risk of heart attack or stroke from taking the drug. The FDA’s advisory panel split in an 8-8 vote over whether or not the drug should stay on the market and it was agreed that the risks outweighed the benefits when people’s lives were on the line. Abbott Laboratories gave into testing of the drug that would prove if it was viable to be kept on the market and strongly disagreed with the FDA’s evaluation but agreed to the federal agency’s requests to avoid further problems. It was agreed that the estimated 100,000 patients taking Meridia should discard the pills in their possession and consult their doctors about alternative weight loss plans.

European drug regulators found it in best interest that Abbott conduct a postmarketing clinical trial to evaluate the heart risks mentioned. The trail was called SCOUT and enrolled obese patients with risk factors for serious heart disease. Abbott expected the study to show that these patients would benefit from the drug, however, Meridia ended up slightly increasing the SCOUT patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke. Showing no benefit and instead harm made the drug viable for being pulled. (2)

Can I sue if I have taken Meridia and it caused me bodily injury?

You or a loved one may have taken Meridia and experienced severe side effects like the ones mentioned. Prescription drug manufacturers have a duty to adequately inform the community and patients about known risks associated with drugs. Some manufacturers may fail to do so and, as a result, they can be held responsible to patients who are injured as a result of these inadequate warnings. This falls under “Product liability.”

Abbott Laboratories specifically removed this drug from the market due to its health risks which were, according to the FDA, a 16% increase of serious heart events. Therefore, if you have been injured as a result of taking Meridia, you will most likely have a defective product liability claim against Abbott Laboratories no matter what time you took the drug and experienced the issues from it. To have a successful time at trial, you would need an attorney that you trust with your case to prove that you would not have suffered the specified injuries had you not taken Meridia. They might also have to demonstrate that you were not informed about the heightened health risks of the drug before its usage. (3) Put your trust into the lawyer that you deserve and see if you have a case for this specific product liability by contacting us today.

(1) http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/meridia.html

(2) http://www.webmd.com/diet/20101008/fda-rejects-weight-loss-drug-meridia

(3) http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/meridia-frequently-asked-questions.html

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