10/15/2000 – Attention: Legal action in Paxil withdrawal

Victims suffering withdrawal symptoms from Paxil are
encouraged to contact the attorneys who are currently
prosecuting a civil action suit (a wrongful death of a father
and his two children) against SmithKline Beecham, the
drug’s manufacturer. On August 18, 2000, three California
attorneys brought suit against SmithKline Beecham in Santa
Clara County Superior Court alleging that the drug maker has
kept hidden the addictive traits of Paxil in order to enhance the
drug’s worldwide sales, which now comes to approximately
$2 billion annually.

In the lawsuit it is alleged that SmithKline Beecham has
intentionally understated the drug’s addictive traits. (To say
the least!) And the plaintiffs in this suit have asked the court
to compel SmithKline Beecham to divulge all they know about
that hazard to the federal Food & Drug Administration. This is
being done with the intention that proper warning labels about
withdrawal might be included with Paxil prescriptions in the
future to warn new patients of this adverse effect.

Victims of Paxil withdrawal are encouraged to contact the
attorneys in order that statements can be obtained and
evidence put before the court that the alleged harm is very
real. Any of the three attorneys handling the case can be
contacted. They are as follows:

(1) Donald J. Farber, e-mail: (n3dgt@…)
(2) Vince D. Nguyen, e-mail: (lawvdn@…)
(3) Skip Murgatroyd e-mail (skip-tracy@…)

They will need a complete description of the victim’s problems
with Paxil, including particularly “whether or not the victim was
warned on the drug’s addictive characteristics when the drug
was initially prescribed.” (Most likely to be featured on the
television program “It’s a Miracle” if they were warned about
withdrawal when Paxil or any other SSRI was prescribed!)
And they will need to detail the circumstances surrounding
the victim’s discovery of the withdrawal problem.

The attorneys do emphasize that reporting the problem to
them will not result in damage awards to the reporting parties,
but that any success in the lawsuit they are currently pursuing
will ultimately hopefully result in warnings for all future Paxil
users – the warning you did not get.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

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10/19/1999 – PFIZER REJECTS NEUTRAL, COURT-APPOINTED EXPERT

Here is news release in a pivotal wrongful death case involving Zoloft.
For more information on this case, you may want to visit
(drugawareness.org/memorial/matt-miller)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (OCTOBER 19, 1999):

PLAINTIFFS WILLING TO HAVE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE IN WRONGFUL
DEATH/SUICIDE CASE AGAINST MANUFACTURER OF ZOLOFT MEASURED BY NEUTRAL,
COURT-APPOINTED EXPERTS. PFIZER IS NOT.

MARK AND CHERYL MILLER OF KANSAS CITY HAVE FILED SUIT AGAINST PFIZER,
ALLEGING THAT ITS $2 BILLION DOLLAR PER YEAR PSYCHOACTIVE DRUG “ZOLOFT”
CAUSED THEIR 13 YEAR OLD SON TO COMMIT SUICIDE 7 DAYS AFTER HE WAS
GIVEN SAMPLES OF THE DRUG. PFIZER VEHEMENTLY DENIES THAT ITS DRUG
CAUSES ANY PATIENT TO COMMIT ACTS OF VIOLENCE OR SUICIDE.

TAKING THEIR CUE FROM A RECENT SUPREME COURT OPINION, THE MILLERS HAVE
SUGGESTED THAT THE JUDGE COULD AND SHOULD APPOINT A “NEUTRAL”,
OBJECTIVE EXPERT TO ADVISE HER AS TO WHETHER THE EXPERTS ON BOTH SIDES
ARE USING “SCIENTIFICALLY RELIABLE” METHODOLOGIES AND REASONING.

THE MILLERS’ COUNSEL, ANDY VICKERY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
(andy@…) SAID THAT HE WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH PFIZER’S
UNWILLINGNESS TO HAVE A NEUTRAL SCIENTIST ADVISE THE COURT. “THE DRUG
COMPANIES YAP AND YAP ABOUT JUNK SCIENCE ALL OF THE TIME,” VICKERY
SAID, “BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT `JUNK SCIENCE’ TO THEM MERELY MEANS
SCIENCE FROM SOMEONE THAT THEY AREN’T PAYING AND CAN’T CONTROL”. THE
MILLERS’ PRINCIPAL LIABILITY EXPERT, DR. DAVID HEALY, WROTE THE HIGHLY
ACCLAIMED HARVARD PRESS BOOK, “THE ANTIDEPRESSANT ERA”, AND HAS ALREADY
BEEN RECEIVED BY ONE FEDERAL COURT AS A QUALIFIED EXPERT IN THIS AREA.

FEDERAL JUDGE KATHRYN VRATIL OF KANSAS CITY WILL DECIDE THE MOTION.

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10/17/1999 – Fen-Phen Settlement on Shaky Ground

To our ICFDA Subscribers–

It was announced on Friday that American Home Products, maker of Redux
and Pondimin, is being sued by 11,000 plaintiffs. Now the majority
of those afflicted with heart and lung problems from the drug, 8,000
in all, say they are not interested in the proposed $3.75 billion
settlement offer.

Why should they be?

“I don’t know if there is an individual in the United States that would
qualify for $1.5 million under this settlement,” said Marc Bern, whose
New York City law firm represents 5,000 plaintiffs.

This case should serve as a warning to those companies now marketing
other SSRI medications which can have similar adverse effects in their
patient population. The users of these serotonergic medications
represent a much larger population than Fen-Phen users–now upwards
of 50 million individuals worldwide!

If this is the largest product liability suit to date, what might the
future bring?

For the full story, click on the link below.–Dr Ann Tracy, Executive
Director, ICFDA

Settlement on Shaky Ground
Thousands of Fen-Phen Users May Reject Offer

By Amy Westfeldt
The Associated Press

N E W A R K, N.J., Oct. 14 — Thousands of people suing American Home
Products Corp. for injuries allegedly suffered while taking the
fen-phen diet drug combination won’t participate in a proposed $3.75
billion settlement, threatening the resolution of one of the largest
product liability cases ever, lawyers say.

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/DailyNews/fenphen991014.html

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