Dialysis Deaths from Fresenius Granuflo Product
Levin Papantonio attorney interviewed by LAW360 about a breaking product liability scenario regarding Fresenius, the manufacturer of the dialysis agent GranuFlo. Apparently, the FDA was “leaked” an internal memo where Fresenius executives concluded that dialysis patients had a 6x higher likely hood of a death by cardiopulmonary arrest if they were using GranuFlo, as compared to other dialysis agents. Lawyers say patients are concerned about complications and side effects of the GranuFlo product, and we may see personal lawsuits and class action lawsuits involving Granuflo related deaths. Fresenius sells about $100mm/year of the Granuflo product for use by kidney dialysis patients. According to public information, the company is well financed, with a market capitalization of $20B.
In recent months, the German pharmaceutical firm Fresenius has been taken to task over its dialysis drug, Granuflo, over allegations that the drug has caused patients to suffer heart attacks.
As lawsuits pile up against Fresenius N.A., the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the dialysis drug GranuFlo – implicated in the deaths of hundreds of patients – it's worth taking a look at exactly what is allegedly killing them.
It was just over a year ago (June 27, 2012, to be exact) that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its Class I Recall Notice for Fresenius' NaturaLyte and GranuFlo Acid Concentrates, which can dangerously raise patients' blood pH levels (somewhat like injecting baking soda into the bloodstream). The result can be metabolic alkalosiss, which can cause cardiovascular complications resulting in spontaneous cardiac arrest.
On June 17, several media sources announced that Fresenius Medical Care North America had recognized one of its dialysis centers – located in the Southwestern Washington town of Walla Walla – for “achieving high standards in patient care in 2012.” The Center for Excellence Designation is given out by the company once every year to a particular Fresenius facility that has demonstrated a superior level of patient care.
Founded in 1871 – before which it was a loose confederation of duchies and principalities – the modern nation of Germany was the first to guarantee all its citizens the right to low-cost or free medical care. This has been a constant from the time the country was an empire ruled by the Kaiser, during the Weimar period, under Hitler and the Nazis, and in the decades following the Second World War as Germany transitioned into a modern, progressive democracy. Regardless of what form their government has taken, no German citizen has ever had to fear bankruptcy from medical bills or death from an inability to pay for treatment. German citizens today have the option of purchasing private insurance if they wish, but even those private insurers are forbidden by law to make a profit on basic medical services (they are allowed to profit from coverage for elective procedures, such as cosmetic surgeries and treatments).
Regular Ring of Fire Radio listeners and visitors to the show's website may have seen a recent article by the show's producer, Farron Cousins, regarding pending cases against German-based pharmaceutical firm Fresenius and its flagship product, Granuflo . In the article, Mr. Cousins reports that Fresenius is claiming plaintiffs injured by their dialysis drug have no case. Not only are allegations of “failure to warn” groundless, company attorneys say, there were no dangers in the first place!
NEWS ARTICLE – NY TIMES