Taking medications during pregnancy is something that most women do only after they have considered the effect the drugs will have on their unborn child. Sadly, the effects of the drugs aren’t always made readily available. When that happens, the woman and her doctor have to make the best choice they can with the information that is available. One couple has recently filed a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company, because they claim the company withheld information that would have changed her mind about taking the drug while she was pregnant.
The woman gave birth to a son in 2007. During her pregnancy, she was prescribed Effexor, an anti-depressant. Her son was born with congenital defects, including optic nerve atrophy and a heart condition. The lawsuit alleges that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and its parent company Pfizer were aware of the risks posed to unborn children. It alleges that the companies knowingly withheld information that could have impacted her decision to take the drug. According to the lawsuit, her doctor wasn’t aware of the potential side effects.
The lawsuit is seeking the statutory claim of more than $75,000 plus court costs and punitive damages. This lawsuit is one of many birth defect-related lawsuits related to Effexor that are being consolidated to the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court.
Drug companies have a duty to relay information about possible side effects in a proper manner to medical professionals and patients. When these companies don’t relay that information properly, patients can be seriously harmed. This family has to care for a child with severe birth injuries, which can be a costly endeavor. Plus, the child has to live a life fraught with difficulties.
Anyone who has been affected by the side effects of drugs that haven’t been properly conveyed might have the right to seek compensation. The compensation might help them to deal with the financial strain of the side effects.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Couple claims anti-depressant caused birth defects in infant son” Jim Boyle, May. 08, 2014