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    Zofran Lawsuit Plaintiffs Receive Good News About MDL

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    The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced that all Zofran lawsuits will now be consolidated into MDL 2657.

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    The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation reported that on October 13th, 2015, they agreed to consolidate all Zofran lawsuits into MDL 2657.

    The motion to consolidate was filed by GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturers of Zofran. The motion indicated that the more than 60 lawsuits filed against GSK should be consolidated into one court, under one judge, for several reasons. The transfer order published by the panel indicated that, “Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.”

    The plaintiffs quickly agreed that a consolidation was a good idea. Both parties argued for the consolidation in front of the panel on October 1st, 2015.

    Each lawsuit has the same basic allegations, that the drug Zofran caused a birth defect in an unborn child. Noted birth defects include clubfoot, cleft palate, cleft lip, kidney defects, transposition of the greater vessels, atrial septal defect, and ventricular septal defect. In the majority of cases, these birth defects required several surgeries as well as ongoing medical care.

    Zofran, an anti-emetic, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1991. This approval indicated that the drug could be prescribed to patients experiencing nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy and radiation or anesthesia. The drug was not granted approval for the treatment of morning sickness.

    Despite this, GSK began a marketing campaign which led the public and the medical community to believe that the drug was safe for expectant mothers and their unborn children. Since beginning that campaign, GSK has allegedly received over 200 reports of birth defects in children whose mothers were prescribed the drug during their pregnancy.

    The U.S. Department of Justice sued GSK, alleging that the company had unlawfully marketed several drugs “off-label”, including Zofran. In 2012, GSK agreed to a settlement which included fines of three billion dollars.

    At this time, there is no word on when MDL 2657 trials will begin. This decision does not prevent new lawsuits from being filed and the number of plaintiffs continues to increase rapidly.

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