Elmiron Eye Lawsuit News

Only Multi-Million Dollar Jury Awards May Convince Janssen To Stop Selling Elmiron

Elmiron continues to be prescribed by doctors and sold by pharmacists despite evidence that it causes blindness

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - More than 300 women that have experienced macular degeneration have filed a lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals accusing the company of fraud and negligence for failing to warn them that their anti bladder pain drug Elmiron could cause night blindness. Many more cases are expected to file in the days and weeks after the first bellwether trials conclude. The first Elmiron vision damage trial is scheduled for around January 2023. Elmiron alleged vision damage can prevent one from seeing in less than perfect lighting conditions and prevent clear focused vision by day.

Since 1996, Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate or PPS) has been a respected, FDA-approved medication that is prescribed by leading urologists around the world to treat interstitial cystitis (IC), better known as painful bladder syndrome. Elmiron-prescribing doctors and their patients were not warned until June of 2020 that the drug caused blindness, a fact to which Janssen Pharmaceutical admits on their website. Janssen now warns: "Pigment changes in the retina of the eye (also referred to as pigmentary maculopathy in medical journal articles) have been reported with long-term use of Elmiron. While the cause of the pigmentary changes is unclear, continued long-term dosing with Elmiron may be a risk factor." Scientists think that Elmiron eye problems are permanent, progressive, and irreversible. Elmiron macular degeneration will not improve and will continue to progress even if the patient stops taking it. Women blame Jansen for failing to warn prescribing doctors of the drug's side effects and have told their attorneys that had they known about the drug's toxicity they would have made the informed decision not to take it. Elmiron continues to this day to be recommended by doctors and sold by pharmacists.

At issue on the upcoming bellwether trials is whether or not Elmiron causes vision damage, and also when did Jansen pharmaceuticals and parent company Johnson and Johnson know about it. Daubert hearings will start on September 30, 2021. US District Judge Brian R. Martinotti will interview scientific experts from both sides. Only four or five witnesses that the judge thinks are the most credible will be allowed to testify before juries. Judge Martinotti may take six months or longer to analyze the testimony before making his decision.

The judge's decision on the science and how the jury reacts during bellwether trials will go far in determining if Johnson & Johnson will attempt to litigate or settle the cases. Given Johnson & Johnson's recent legal history. checkered as it is with scandals in marketing baby powder, transvaginal and hernia repair mesh devices, and opioid pain medication, one would presume the company would be up for a fight. There is so much legal action against the company that Johnson & Johnson doubled their monetary reserve for legal-related costs to more than $4 billion for 2021. That number could double and double again should plaintiffs prevail.


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