Quoted from http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-06/j-j-failed-to-warn-about-drug-s-tendon-risks-lawyer-says.html
J&J Failed to Warn About Drug’s Tendon Risks, Lawyer SaysSeptember 06, 2011, 3:06 PM EDT
By Jef Feeley
Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson officials failed to properly warn two New Jersey men the drugmaker’s antibiotic drug Levaquin could damage their tendons, a lawyer told a state jury.
Officials of New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J and its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen
Pharmaceutical unit downplayed Levaquin’s risks in warning labels even after receiving reports from Europe about tendon ruptures, said Andy Alonso, a lawyer for Paul Gaffney and Robert Beare. The two men contend they suffered Achilles-tendon injuries after taking the antibiotic.
“J&J officials knew there was a problem and did everything they could to hide it” to protect Levaquin’s sales, Alonzo told jurors in opening statements in state court in Atlantic City, New Jersey, today.
In her opening statement, Johnson & Johnson’s lawyer countered the drugmaker repeatedly warned doctors and patients about reports linking tendon ruptures to Levaquin starting when the drug was approved for sale in the U.S. in 1996.
“From the very first label, Johnson & Johnson included information about reports of ruptures of the shoulder, hand and Achilles tendon,” Christy Jones, the company’s lawyer, told jurors.
Gaffney’s and Beare’s 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.
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