Last week, DrugNews reported that lawyers have filed lawsuits in 15 different states for victims of severe Cymbalta withdrawal side effects, and see the number of cases growing quickly.
In an attempt to streamline the growing litigation against Eli Lilly for the defective drug, and give thousands of patients a more efficient means of legal recourse, lawyers last month asked that cases be combined under one judge in a special federal court, instead of being spread around the country.
Lawyers representing Cymbalta patients overwhelmingly support the move, as it will create a Cymbalta MDL just for these cases and allow a quick determination of whether Eli Lilly covered up side effect occurrence rates and severity.
However, sources reported this week that the pharmaceutical giant opposes the creating of a special Cymbalta lawsuit court, arguing that cases are vastly different and that the publicity will lead to additional litigation.
Until recently, Cymbalta was Lilly’s top-selling med, earning billions of dollars each year. On the market since 2004, it is now prescribed for a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and pain.
Initially, maker Eli Lilly told patients that around 1% of users may experience side effects while trying to stop taking the medicine. However, reports now show the company hid data showing the occurrence rate of severe withdrawals could be over 50%.
Also, Lilly didn’t give patients a viable means of tapering off Cymbalta. Thousands so far have complained of symptoms ranging from headaches and irritability to strong electrical-like shocks to the brain.
Regardless of Eli Lilly’s resistance to litigation, lawyers expect the company will be liable for damages to its patients. They are currently helping anyone affected file lawsuits.
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.