Earlier last month, the major pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline was named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the parents of a child who was born with a birth defect after his mother took medication produced by the drug manufacturer during pregnancy. According to one national news source, the drug, called Zofran, was initially approved for treating nausea in cancer patients after they received chemotherapy. However, over the years, the drug started to be prescribed to pregnant women looking to lessen the effects of “morning sickness.”
Evidently, the couple filed suit in federal court in Ohio. They allege that the manufacturer marketed the drug for “off label” use to pregnant women back in the 1990s. Shortly after this time, the company allegedly started to get complaints from mothers who took the drug during pregnancy. They were reporting that their babies were being born with heart defects and kidney malformations. In fact, subsequent research has shown that mothers who take Zofran have twice the chance of giving birth to a child with a severe birth defect.
This lawsuit is not unique. In fact, there have been several dozen similar lawsuits brought by parents of children who have been born with severe birth defects after their mothers took Zofran.
Medication and Birth Injuries
All medication must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration prior to being marketed to consumers. Not only must a drug be approved in general, but it must be approved for a specific use. For example, Zofran was approved for the treatment of nausea in cancer patients but not necessarily for the treatment of morning sickness in pregnant women.
Of course, the pharmaceutical companies want as many people to take their drugs as possible, so they encourage off-label use as long as it is reasonably safe. However, in some cases the drug is more dangerous than it is initially thought to be, or the pharmaceutical company pushes the drug to consumers despite known complications that could arise. In cases such as these, the negligent pharmaceutical company may be held liable for the injuries sustained as a result.
Have You Given Birth to a Child with a Birth Defect?
If you or a loved one has recently given birth to a child who suffers from some kind of birth defect that you believe may have been caused by Zofran or some other prescription drug, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Keep in mind, however, that pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars each year on specialized defense teams to deflect liability in these kinds of cases. To make sure that you are treated fairly and not taken advantage of, contact one of the skilled personal injury advocates at the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410-654-3600. Meeting with an attorney is free and results in no obligation on your part.
More Blog Posts:
Mother Catches Pharmacy Error Before Providing Medication to Her Five-Month-Old Son, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, July 29, 2015.
Causes and Effects of Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog,August 14, 2015.