Plaintiffs attorneys in several states are preparing to file lawsuits against Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, a Kentucky-based drug company that marketed the painkillers Darvon and related brand Darvocet, both pain killers, according to an article that appeared in the Daily Record yesterday.
Some attorneys plan to also sue drug company Eli Lilly, which pioneered the drugs prior to selling them in 2002 to AAI Pharmaceuticals, which has since gone bankrupt. Xanodyne purchased the drugs in 2005.
According to the Daily Record Article, the drugs’ active incredient propoxyphene causes a condition called QT prolongation, a form of an irregular heartbeat. Plaintiffs’ experts allege that QT prolongation is a “signature” injury caused only by propoxyphene and several other drugs. This condition can cause severe problems. Additionally, the drugs have been linked to overdoses.
Britain, Canada and Japan withdrew the drug from the market prior to the FDA taking action.
In July 2009, the FDA declined to remove Darvon from the market, but required manufacturers to provide more information to help physicians and patients to decide whether propoxyphene is the appropriate pain treatment.
Under pressure, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals agreed to withdraw propoxyphene from the U.S. market on November 19, 2010, after the FDA received new clinical data showing the drug put patients at risk of potentially serious or even fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.
If you have been prescribed Darvon or Darvocet and have been diagnosed with a heart condition, please contact the Brassel, Alexander & Rice for a free consultation.