January 31, 2004: Wyeth Estimates $21.1B Fen-Phen Litigation Costs
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of withdrawn "fen-phen" diet drugs Redux and Pondimin, has raised its estimate of fen-phen litigation costs to $21.1 billion. The New York Times reports that "Of the estimated litigation costs, $13.9 billion has already been paid and $7.2 billion remains in reserve."
January 3, 2002: Fen-Phen Class Settlement Receives Judicial Approval
A nationwide class action settlement agreement over fen-phen has received judicial approval. According to the American Home Products Corporation (now known as "Wyeth Pharmaceuticals") Diet Drug Settlement web site, the settlement agreement provides for a number of benefits, including refunds for costs of Pondimin and Redux, monitoring of Pondimin and Redux patients for medical problems, medical treatment, and compensation for specific heart conditions.
September 15, 1997: Fen-Phen Drugs Withdrawn from Market
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked dexfenfluramine and fenfluramine manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw the drugs from the market, and the companies have agreed to do so. The FDA's withdrawal request came after echocardiogram testing of fen-phen patients suggested that fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were the likely cause of heart valve problems. In announcing the withdrawal, the FDA recommended that patients using either of these products stop taking them, and advised patients to contact their doctors to discuss their treatment.
July 8, 1997: FDA Warns on Fen-Phen Links to Heart Valve Damage
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to health care professionals on a possible link between use of fen-phen diet drugs and heart valve damage. In a Public Health Advisory, the FDA states that it has received 33 reports of heart valve damage or "valvular disease" in American women who had received fen-phen treatment for at least one month. FDA reports that about half of the 33 women were also diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.
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