Lawsuits Alleging Birth Defects Filed Against Effexor®
According to a recent report, several lawsuits against Effexor® are being filed in federal courts nationwide alleging that the manufacturer – Pfizer – failed to adequately warn patients and the medical community about the potential risk of birth defects that children may suffer if Effexor® is used during pregnancy.
Effexor® (venlafaxine) is a widely-used antidepressant that was introduced on the market in 1993. The drug belongs to a class of antidepressants known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which are similar to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In fact, certain SSRIs, including Zoloft®, have also been linked to an increased risk of birth defects when used by expecting mothers.
Earlier this year, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) received a request to consolidate all Effexor® lawsuits filed in federal courts across the nation for the purposes of pretrial proceedings. The JPML is scheduled to hear oral arguments during the next hearing session on July 25, 2013, in order to decide whether these cases should be consolidated as a multi-district litigation (MDL) for pretrial proceedings.
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