What is Elmiron?
Elmiron (pentosane polysulfate sodium) is a medication that is prescribed to patients suffering from bladder disorders. While Elmiron has been on the market for over two decades, recent studies have shown a connection between long-term use of the drug and vision deterioration. While there have not yet been any recalls for Elmiron issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or voluntarily by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the drug may be recalled in the future. Here, we will discuss a full Elmiron lawsuit update.
The first plaintiff to file suit for injuries resulting from Elmiron use is Tina Pisco. Pisco was prescribed Elmiron in 2012 to treat a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, sometimes referred to as “painful bladder syndrome.” Pisco treated with the drug for six years before she began to experience rapid vision loss. By 2019, her doctor told her that she had suffered permanent retinal injury in both eyes and would likely never recover the vision she had lost.
In 2020, Pisco filed suit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the company that made Elmiron. Pisco contends that the drug is dangerously defective and claims that Janssen was aware of the risks associated with the drug when they designed and distributed the drug.
Elmiron first came onto the market in 1996 and was branded as a safe, effective treatment for bladder disorders, such as interstitial cystitis, from which Pisco suffered. In fact, it is the only FDA approved drug to treat interstitial cystitis. When the drug was released, there was no warning of potential retinal damage on the product itself nor any marketing material associated with the product. Janssen simply listed a handful of relatively minor side effects on their website, such as nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, bloody stool, headache, rash, and dizziness. As a result, consumers used the drug as directed for nearly two decades without any knowledge of the potential adverse effects Elmiron could have on their vision.
Another victim of vision loss as a result of Elmiron use is Valarie Hull. Hull participated in a 2018 study done by Emory Eye Care that established a link between prolonged exposure to Elmiron and vision loss. The doctors conducting this study found that most participants suffered from vision deterioration, including symptoms of difficulty reading and difficulty adapting to dim lighting that could likely have been avoided had they not been proscribed Elmiron.
The Current Status of Elmiron Litigation
As of February 2022, there are now 736 Elmiron lawsuits pending in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey under Judge Brian Martinotti. Courts often consolidate lawsuits into an MDL when many plaintiffs file cases in various courts against a single defendant. Consolidating the cases before a single judge makes the process more efficient and prevents avoidable delays in litigation.
Elmiron lawsuits allege that Janssen knowingly distributed a defective drug to thousands of doctors and patients and refused to recognize the harm the drug has caused. Plaintiffs in these cases hope to recover compensation for medical bills, emotional distress, and lost wages. Because of the nature of the injuries these plaintiffs have suffered, they also seek to recover compensation for the aid and care they now require as their vision deteriorates and the loss of quality of life that they now experience.
Lawyers are making significant progress in Elmiron cases and fact discovery is expected to wrap up at the end of March 2022. The first trial is set to begin in January 2023, though there is a chance the case will settle before the first trial begins.
No settlements have yet been paid, so there is no way to anticipate how much injured parties will be compensated, though similar successful lawsuits have resulted in large payouts for injured parties. Compensation will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injury and how much vision loss a particular claimant suffered.
Contact an Experienced Elmiron Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of using Elmiron, you may be able to obtain compensation for your lost earnings, medical bills and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our firm works with experienced Elmiron Lawyers across the nation, who are ready to talk to you about your case. Call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.