Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of the anti-nausea drug, Zofran. Parents have been filing claims against the company due to the drug’s link to birth defects.
Zofran is a top selling medication that is often prescribed to pregnant women who are suffering from morning sickness. The first lawsuit was filed in February 2015, and since then many more lawsuits have followed. The lawsuits are being handled by the US District Court of Massachusetts and have been consolidated as a “Multi-District Litigation.”
As of January 22, 2016, GlaxoSmithKline’s attempt at having all lawsuit again them dismissed was thwarted and the suits were permitted to proceed through pre-trial steps.
On February 22, 2016, the manufacturer requested the court to require “product identification” immediately, as the company no longer holds a patent on ondansetron, the drug’s active ingredient. The hope in this move was that any lawsuits involving generic ondansetron be dismissed, as at least 30 other companies currently manufacture ondansetron.
As of March 8, 2016, Plaintiffs of the lawsuit state the product identification should take place during discovery, and not prior to the fact-finding process. Plaintiffs also believe that Zofran should be help accountable for any cases that stemmed from use of a generic drug, since Zofran was illegally marketed as a morning sickness pill, and in a manner, set the stage for other companies that came along.
The issue at hand has yet to be ruled on by Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV.