Elmiron Eye Lawsuit News

Elmiron Eye Damage Multidistrict Litigation Grows To More Than 675 Plaintiffs

The charges made against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson are also expanding to include failure to perform the necessary post-market testing

Thursday, December 23, 2021 - As 2021 winds down, we look past 2022 to 2023 as the year that courtrooms around the country open up and operate normally once again. Virtual trials where the jury, plaintiffs, and defendants are in dozens of different physical locations but meet up on a Zoom conference call have had little success. Courtrooms were shut down completely in 2020 and opened up at about 25% of capacity in 2021. During that time about 675 women with pigmentary maculopathy or another form of permanent, irreversible eyesight damage filed eyesight damage lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and their parent company Johnson & Johnson. Cases against Janssen and J&J have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) to avoid duplicating routine administrative court proceedings hundreds of times. The lawsuits allege that taking anti-interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron regularly for many years caused them to develop pigmentary maculopathy, a form of permanent, irreversible night blindness. Bellweather trials will not begin until 2023 at the earliest. Hearings that were scheduled for October 2021 looking into the science behind Elmiron vision loss allegations were postponed and have not been rescheduled. About 20 cases, ten from each side, have been selected to serve as a pool that will perform scientific discovery, and then 3 cases will serve as bellwether trials in January 2023, according to lawsuit-information-center.com. The number of cases could double in 2022 as more women with eyesight damage make the connection between taking the eye disease and taking Elmiron. Lawsuit-information-center.com tells readers to expect Janssen to offer a settlement after the three bellwether trials conclude.

In the meantime, lawsuits continue to be filed by Elmiron patients that have developed pigmentary maculopathy. About Lawsuits.com reports that Gloria Granberg, a Minnesota woman, and her husband filed a lawsuit in New Jersey federal court seeking "compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and costs" for the eyesight damage the plaintiff suffered as a result of taking Elmiron as prescribed by their doctor. Ms. Granberg took Elmiron from 2001 until 2019 during which time no warning was given by the drug's manufacturer about the drug's vision damaging side effects. The lawsuits allege that Janssen and Johnson & Johnson either knew or had an obligation to know, that pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), better known by the brand name Elmiron, could cause permanent vision damage. It is interesting to note that the lawsuit also alleges that Elmiron was mislabeled as being effective at treating the pain associated with interstitial cystitis (IC) when in fact the drug must be taken for more than 3 months before it can become effective and that it only works in about 40% of patients. The suit further alleges that the companies failed to perform the required post-market studies of patient complaints. Janssen Pharmaceuticals has enjoyed a monopoly on selling Elmiron since receiving FDA approval in 1996. Elmiron was earning more than $150 million in sales every year at the time that the first lawsuits against them were filed. Janssen failed to update their Elmiron product warning literature until 2020 with a warning about the side effects of vision damage. Studies indicate that about 25% of women that take the drug for more than five years experience vision loss.

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