Prior to losing its patent protection on January 1, 2014, the antidepressant drug Cymbalta was the top-selling drug for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. Now, the company is facing a growing number of lawsuits claiming the medication caused debilitating withdrawal side effects.
Last month, lawyers representing former Cymbalta users around the country asked a federal judicial panel to move all cases to one central court for more efficient handling. If granted, the move would create a Cymbalta multidistrict litigation (MDL) court where victims can share legal resources and pursue their individual suits.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is scheduled to meet next on October 2nd in Louisville, Kentucky to decide on a number of issues. However, since the Cymbalta lawsuit consolidation isn’t listed on the hearing order, lawyers say it could be until December 4th, the next hearing, that the issue of an MDL is decided.
Cymbalta has been used by millions for major depressive disorder, anxiety and pain since it was introduced in 2004. However, many find it harder than most antidepressants to stop using.
Some of the reported Cymbalta withdrawal side effects include sickness, headaches, seizures, irritability, dizziness, nightmares and electrical shock sensations. The symptoms, which can last for weeks or even months, can damage patient’s relationships and employment.
Now, reports suggest Eli Lilly hid the fact that more than half of users could have these withdrawals, while they told the public only around 1% would be affected.
They also didn’t give patients a feasible way to taper use of the drug, even though they strongly encouraged users to do so.
Those hurt by Cymbalta may qualify for substantial compensation. Even while the JPML waits to decide the fate of cases, lawyers continue to help those damaged file claims.
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.