Top 3 Pharmaceutical Lawsuits That Shocked the World

Mistakes are a part of life, and we learn from them. However, when a pharmaceutical company makes a mistake, it costs lives and money. 

Amgen’s corporate greed would be a notable example. They misbranded a drug to gain a competitive advantage. The company branded Aranesp as a treatment for anemic cancer patients, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not approve it. 

Their careless attitude harmed cancer patients. This situation gave rise to a lawsuit that compelled Amgen to pay USD 612 million as compensation. Similarly, there are various drug lawsuits in America, but only a few could change the medical industry altogether. 

The lawsuits discussed in this blog involved popular products and medicines people used for multiple years. 

#1. Tylenol Lawsuit

Acetaminophen or Tylenol is an over-the-counter drug that helps with mild to moderate pain and high fever. Pregnant women took the medication for their body aches. But their children had an increased risk of neurological issues due to prenatal Tylenol exposure. Some of them include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Cerebral Palsy, etc.

Affected individuals took legal action against the manufacturers and distributors of this drug, namely CVS, Costco, Safeway, etc. Hence, it gave rise to the infamous Tylenol lawsuit for autism in America. 

Over ten years of research concluded that Tylenol was indeed harmful to fetuses. Studies show that 34% of unborn children developed ADHD, while 19% had autism if the mother took Tylenol during pregnancy. 

TorHoerman Law states that the Tylenol lawsuit settlement ranges between USD 50,000 to USD 500,000, depending on the litigation. They suggest that affected individuals keep medical reports handy while looking for Tylenol autism lawyers. 

#2. Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson uses talc as the primary ingredient in baby powder. Benefits like moisture absorption, skin softening, and cooling effects ensured Talcum became a staple in American homes. However, studies have shown that prolonged usage of Talcum-based products can cause life-threatening diseases.  

Some illnesses include ovarian cancer, pneumonia, mesothelioma, talcosis, lung cancer, etc. The company claimed its Talcum products were safe, but the consumers were not convinced. 

They realized the company already knew their products contained asbestos, a silicate mineral harmful to the skin. Therefore, affected individuals filed lawsuits against this injustice.

They filed claims for exposure to asbestos from Talcum-based products that caused health issues in the plaintiff. Moreover, some victims filed wrongful death claims. A USD 8.9 billion settlement was offered in April 2023 to the affected individuals. 

#3. Zoloft Lawsuit 

Zoloft is the brand name for Sertraline which is an antidepressant. Pregnant women took these pills to help alleviate their mood. However, studies have shown that most of these unborn children started developing heart and birth defects

Other than these side effects, Zoloft causes constipation, dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, decreased libido, and more. 

Claims suggest that Pfizer knew about these side effects but failed to warn the consumers. Based on thousands of lawsuits filed due to Zoloft, the estimated settlement amounts could be USD 1 million. 

The amount is low because of unfavorable rulings or the dismissal of various Zoloft lawsuits. Even if there are no new updates on the litigation, medical professionals are asking patients to reduce or stop the use of this drug. Similarly, people are not giving up, and lawyers are still taking on Zoloft lawsuits. 

Why Do Companies Sell Defective Pharmaceutical Products?

The main reason such lawsuits occur is the yearning to earn more money and solidify brand loyalty. Pharma companies rely on false advertisements, malpractice, and the hiding of evidence. Pharmaceutical brands can sell more products if they claim their drug can be used for various purposes, irrespective of FDA approval. 

They want to cheat the system and make a profit out of it. Some drugs are not exactly unsafe. They are just not FDA-approved. Even then, unapproved distribution makes it harmful for vulnerable individuals like pregnant women and children. 

Money is the biggest motivating factor that compels brands to misrepresent products like Tylenol, Talcum, and Zoloft. Therefore, it is fair that the involved companies are getting punished for their negligence in the form of lawsuits. 

The Bottom Line 

There have been various instances where medicine failed, but lawsuits have prevailed. Examples include big pharmaceutical companies like Amgen, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and more. 

However, the worst situations arise from the long-term usage of harmful drugs people trust. Failure to warn consumers about drug defects leads to lawsuits with millions of dollars in payouts. Tylenol, Zoloft, and Talcum powder are great examples. 

Manufacturers and companies involved in the distribution of these products had to pay a hefty amount to the victims. Therefore, they should stop fraudulent conduct in the pharmaceutical industry as it can risk public health.