Lawsuits and Paxil
Paxil, a popular antidepressant prescription medication, has been linked to thoughts of suicide, mood or behavior changes and increased depression among those who have taken the drug. In addition, Paxil has shown an increased risk of heart and lung defects in newborns, causing the Federal Drug Administration to warn pregnant women to avoid the drug. Many believe that the manufacturer of Paxil, SmithKlineBeecham (now known as GlaxoSmithKline), knew of the dangers of the drug and did not inform the public in a timely manner. Indiana Judge A federal judge in Indiana allowed claims against SmithKlineBeecham to continue, stating that the company had failed to revise the warning label despite being aware of the potential dangers to those who took the drug. This decision reversed a lower court’s ruling that the lawsuit should be dismissed based on preemption grounds. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s argued that the manufacturer was well aware of the potential dangers of Paxil, but neglected to revise the warning label or to advise physicians and patients of the potential dangers. Preemption Based on Labeling The Supreme Court must decide whether the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of medications should preempt state product liability lawsuits when an injury occurs that was not specifically mentioned on a prescription drug’s warning label. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies often conceal evidence of adverse effects caused by prescription drugs, and therefore no warnings appear on labels designed to protect the consumer. In the case of Paxil, several severe side-effects were not included on the label, despite the fact that evidence showed the manufacturer was aware of the potential for these side effects. Pharmaceutical companies are among the richest in the world, and must be held accountable for actions that harm consumers, yet the courts could rule that they are protected against lawsuits. Severe Consequences Although the legal wording is confusing to the average person, the fact is that if you or a loved one has been injured after taking Paxil, this court ruling could eliminate your right to sue. Although everyone is aware of frivolous lawsuits that have given the entire industry a bad name, these cases are in the minority, and the majority of attorneys truly care for their clients. Drug companies often hide behind legal jargon in order to frighten the average consumer into silence. At Frenkel & Frenkel, we are your voice against the giant pharmaceutical companies. If you would like more information on how you can protect yourself, simply visit our website at frenkelfirm.com.