Quoted from http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-12/j-j-didn-t-warn-levaquin-riskier-than-rivals-lawyer-argues.html
J&J Didn’t Warn Levaquin Riskier Than Rivals, Lawyer ArguesOctober 12, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT
By Jef Feeley
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- A Johnson & Johnson unit never warned users of the Levaquin antibiotic that it posed a greater risk of tendon damage than rival medications, a lawyer for two men suing the company said today.
Executives of J&J’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical unit sought to protect sales by omitting information about Levaquin’s “comparative risk” from its warning label, Andy Alonso, a lawyer for Paul Gaffney and Robert Beare, said in closing arguments in the trial of their lawsuits against the drugmaker.
“They should be held to account for not fully disclosing” that they knew Levaquin generated a higher number of reports of Achilles tendon injuries than competing antibiotics, Alonso told a state court jury in Atlantic City, New Jersey, today.
The case is the third over Levaquin tendon injuries to go to trial since November and the first to be tried in New Jersey state courts. J&J faces more than 2,600 claims in U.S. courts over the drug, court dockets show.
A lawyer for the J&J unit countered today that for more than a decade starting in 1996, Levaquin’s labels contained repeated warnings about the risk of tendon injuries associated with the drug.
Gaffney’s and Beare’s own doctors said “they were aware” of the tendon risk posed by the drug, Christy Jones, one of the drugmaker’s lawyers, told jurors in her closing argument today.