With 80 product liability lawsuits already filed and hundreds more likely to follow, lawyers are discussing the coordination of multi-district litigation (MDL). To date, legal action has been taken against Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., and other pharma companies.
Plaintiffs allege that these companies knowingly withheld risks connected with long-term use of the drug. Complaints list such outcomes as retinal damage and blurred and distorted vision.
More on Alleged Problems With Elmiron
Two studies, one conducted in 2018 by the American Academy of Opthalmology from The British Journal of Ophthalmology in 2019, underscored a prevalence of pigmentary maculopathy—a distinct form of retinal damage—in participants who had been receiving chronic pentosan polysulfate sodium therapy, a popular medicine taken for interstitial cystitis. This medication came in the form of Elmiron, manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
The 2019 study concluded that within seven years of taking Elmiron patients were assessed as suffering a markedly heightened risk of being diagnosed with a new macular disease. The median intake exposure for patients in the study was 14.5 years.
The study further expressed concern about the fact that Elmiron is the only FDA-approved oral medication for treating interstitial cystitis. The authors reviewed data from a national U.S. insurer claims database and speculated that hundreds of thousands of people have likely suffered exposure to the negative effects of the drug.
On August 12, 2020, Clara Johns and Shirley Ruth Levy filed their complaints against Elmiron makers in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. They are seeking recoverable damages that include not only medical expenses and physical impairment, but also compensation for mental anguish, anxiety, and pain and suffering.
According to the complaints, the manufacturers are guilty of several civil wrongs, including a failure to warn consumers of the risk they took with Elmiron treatment. They also allege that the makers were negligent in their design of the drug, resulting in a medication that is defective and harmful. Finally, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants fraudulently misrepresented the risks their drug presented to consumes.
What Consumers Should Know
Between lawsuits filed by Johns, Levy, and other plaintiffs in lawsuits against Elmiron makers, the following hazardous side effects are associated with long-term use of the medication:
- Blindness (rare)
- Vision distortion
- Blind spots
- Trouble adjusting to lighting changes
- Loss of vision
- Difficulty focusing
The National Law Review recommends that patients who have taken Elmiron schedule a full eye examination. Even if you have not been taking the drug for a long time, you should have your eyes checked, as some users have experienced symptoms of eye disease as early as 30 years of age.
Any adverse incidents should be reported via the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch online voluntary reporting form.