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Updates for Zofran MDL Heading Into Month Two Of Consolidation

The number of lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline continues to grow and be added to the MDL , while the plaintiffs have selected three lawyers to represent them in the federal proceedings.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 -

The Zofran birth defect lawsuits that were recently consolidated into multidistrict litigation in early October have reached 160 total cases. The MDL, which started at just 12 lawsuits with 42 tag-along actions, has ballooned to its current total in a matter of weeks. The amount of lawsuits are only expected to rise after the news of the consolidation spread around the nation, and the MDL has experienced steady growth up to this point in the litigation.

The MDL was consolidated to the District of Massachusetts federal court in Boston, where additional lawsuits filed around the country are likely to be transferred. The lawsuits are filed against pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which allegedly manufactured their Zofran medication to pregnant mothers without warning them of the possible increased risk of birth defects. GSK has maintained that the company has done nothing wrong in their dealing with Zofran.

The Zofran lawsuits focus on allegations against GSK that claim the pharmaceutical company marketed its strong anti-nausea drug Zofran off-label to be prescribed for morning sickness in pregnant mothers. The plaintiffs have brought evidence that demonstrates a number of studies have shown a strong connection between Zofran an increased risk in the development of birth defects in children. The plaintiffs have claimed that not only should GSK have been aware of the Zofran research being done in connection with birth defects, but that the company may have been aware of the work being done into the serious side effects and chose to protect the marketability of its popular drug.

Zofran is a strong anti-nausea medication made by GSK that was initially intended to be used for surgery and chemotherapy patients suffering from post-operative and post-treatment nausea. Plaintiffs claim that GSK saw an opportunity to market the drug to mothers having difficult pregnancies, but did not go through the FDA and did so off-label. This allowed GSK to avoid testing usually performed by the FDA to avoid side effects such as birth defects from occurring with prescribed medicines.

GSK has had a history of marketing drugs off-label to patients, and settled with the Department of Justice in 2012 for $3 billion that brought to an end a number of charges against the company including many off-label marketing claims. More than two decades of studies have been produced by medical journals, universities and newspaper that have found the increased risk of birth defects relate to Zofran can jump up to 30 percent when the drug is prescribed in the first trimester. The birth defects range from heart deformities, kidney failure, cleft lip, and a number of other serious problems allegedly caused by a fetu's exposure to Zofran in the womb.

The multidistrict litigation will combine the lawsuits included in the motion to transfer before a single federal judge, and likely include more as the news of the certification and the Zofran birth defect information spreads throughout the country. Lawyers for the plaintiffs will coordinate with the District of Massachusetts federal court for pretrial proceedings in the coming weeks.

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Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others, and other law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.