Pfizer, Inc., the company that makes the antidepressant Zoloft, is being sued. The grounds for the Zoloft lawsuit are that the popular drug gives no true benefit to patients and that it is nothing more than a dummy pill. The Zoloft lawsuit is asking that patients who took the drug be reimbursed for the money they spent on it.
Pfizer, which is the largest drug manufacturer in the world revenue-wise, has disputed the claims. A representative from the company told the Associated Press that there have been clinical studies performed for more than two decades and that patients have had experiences throughout that time frame that prove that Zoloft is an effective medication. Four psychiatry experts and Pfizer have called the lawsuit “frivolous.” A Zoloft attorney is currently handling the case to defend the drug manufacturing company.
However, a plaintiff by the name of Laura A. Plumlee, who took Zoloft over the course of three years, disagrees. Her attorney, Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman states that the Food and Drug Administration should not have approved Zoloft due to Pfizer’s negligence in publishing clinical studies that determined that the drug was just about as effective as a mere placebo.
Wisner stated that the lawsuit was about the drug manufacturer intentionally withholding the pertinent information from the public and subsequently advertising it as being effective.
The lawsuit accuses the drug manufacturer of fraud and additional offenses. One of them claims that Pfizer quietly paid certain prominent physicians to push Zoloft onto colleagues or to be named as authors of positive articles in medical journals that Pfizer created for publication. Pfizer, which is based in New York, failed to directly respond to these allegations.
The company issued a statement that it provided to the AP and insisted the lawsuit, which was filed in California, is groundless. It added that the FDA approved Zoloft in 1991 after a thorough review that determined it to be efficient and safe after studies that included over 5,000 patients.
Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president of the American Psychiatric Association, stated that the lawsuit is ridiculous and lacks merit. He stressed that the medication has to be taken at the recommended dose and used for several weeks up to months in order to be fully beneficial to patients. In addition, Lieberman stated that patients should refrain from avoiding taking Zoloft or any antidepressant without first consulting their doctor. He claimed that the medication is extremely effective and can control symptoms by up to 80 percent in patients who battle depression.
The Zoloft lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 in San Jose in federal court. It asked a judge to approve two class action cases, one of which is for residents of California and the other being for individual throughout the United States who took the medication.
A Zoloft attorney will be handling the case for Pfizer, but if the judge orders the company to correct any information that may be seen as misleading, it will be required on the packaging for the drug in the future. In addition, patients will be refunded directly by Pfizer. As consumer fraud laws differ in each state, Wisner has stated that if the plaintiffs win the case, he will most likely sue in other states afterward.
A pair of law school professors, Fordham University’s Benjamin Zipursky and the University of Richmond’s Carl Tobias, stated that the lawsuit could very well end up being dismissed based on a ruling by the Supreme Court a decade ago in which it was determined that plaintiff’s cannot recover damages when claiming the FDA was defrauded by the company to get a drug approved.
Although drug manufacturers are sued often by patients who allege that a medication caused harm to them and that attorneys for the company hid side effects and risks from the public, a case such as this Zoloft lawsuit, which claims the drug doesn’t work at all, might be a first, according to experts. The Zoloft attorney in the case may also point out that the drug has had competition in the form of cheap generic drugs since 2006 and that it is no longer advertised.
However, the Zoloft lawsuit brings about a debate about how effective and safe some other antidepressants are, including Prozac, Effexor and Paxil. The Zoloft attorney will work to prove that the drug is completely safe and effective and will bring to light the reports from the FDA and doctors in their clinical experiments with patients in the past.
If you have taken Zoloft in the past and have found it to be ineffective in treating your depression symptoms, you will need a good Zoloft attorney to handle your case. Please contact our 24 hour hotline at 800-732-3070 to discuss your case at your earliest convenience.