Pharmaceutical companies have produced amazing medications that have saved millions of lives throughout the world. But they’ve also caused irreparable harm for millions of others – all in the name of profit. When they do this, they often face incredibly huge monetary criminal fines, as well as millions – in some cases, billions – of dollars lost through civil lawsuits. The following is a list of some of the biggest prescription drug lawsuits in the history of the United States.
If you believe you’ve been harmed by a medication that was supposed to help you, get in touch with McEwen Law Firm as soon as possible. We have a long history representing clients in pharmaceutical lawsuits, harmed by such well-known medications as Truvada, Elmiron, Zantac and more.
Give us a call at (800) 732-3070 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so you can learn more about how we may be of assistance.
1. Prescription Opioids (Various) – $26 billion
The scourge of prescription opioid overdoses has reached every state of the country, leaving millions of family members to mourn the loss of loved ones. Several companies have been forced to pay dearly as a result. Distributors such as McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen will pay up to $21 billion. And one manufacturer, Janssen, is required to pay up to $5 billion.
2. Vioxx (Merck) – $4.85 billion
Merck agreed to settle lawsuits and pay $4.85 billion for misrepresenting the benefits of the painkilling drug Vioxx. Additionally, the company has paid $322 million in criminal fines.
3. Paxil, Wellbutrin, Avandia (GlaxoSmithKline) – $3 billion
GSK has paid $1 billion in criminal fines since 2012, as well as another $2 billion in lawsuits. The company was guilty of unlawfully promoting medications, as well as failing to report safety data. It was also found guilty of deceptive marketing, paying kickbacks to physicians, and more.
4. Bextra, Geodon, Zyvox, Lyrica (Pfizer) – $2.3 billion
Pfizer was fined $1.3 billion in 2009, and has since paid another $1 billion to settle lawsuits stemming from the company’s violation of the False Claims Act. The company was found guilty of off-label promotion, deceptive marketing, making false claims to governmental healthcare programs, and other violations.
5. Risperdal, Invega, Natrecor (Johnson & Johnson) – $2.2 billion
The pharmaceutical giant has paid out nearly $2 billion in lawsuits since 2013 for unlawfully promoting the benefits of these drugs, as well as deceptive marketing. They were also fined for providing illegal kickbacks to doctors and other healthcare professionals. In addition, the company was fined nearly $500 million.
6. Depakote (Abbott) – $1.6 billion
Abbott was charged with many of the same practices as other pharmaceutical companies. These include deceptive marketing, unlawful promotion, kickbacks to medical professionals (as well as employees of nursing homes), and more. These practices have cost the company $700 million in criminal fines, as well as $800 million in lawsuits, since 2012.
7. Zyprexa (Eli Lilly) – $1.42 billion
Ely Lilly was found guilty of not only providing kickbacks to physicians, but also employees in nursing homes. The company also unlawfully promoted Zyprexa, as well as misbranding the drug through off-label promotion. Eli Lilly has paid $615 million in criminal fines, as well as another $800 million in lawsuits.
8. Aranesp (Amgen) – $762 million
Amgen paid more than $600 million after being found guilty of defrauding government insurance programs, including Medicaid, Medicare and others. The company produced a medication designed to help people with anemia. However, Aranesp was marketed in an illegal manner. Companies are not allowed to bring medications to the market for off-label use. This means for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Amgen not only sold the drug with the intention of it being used for non-FDA approved uses, but also at non-FDA approved dosages.
9. Seroquel (AstraZeneca) – $520 million
AstraZeneca has paid out $520 million in lawsuits since 2010 for claims involving not only kickbacks and deceptive marketing, but also unlawful promotion.
10. Tracleer, Ventavis, Veletri, Opsumit (Actelion) – $360 million
Actelion was found to have illegally paid copayments for thousands of patients enrolled in government healthcare programs. As a result, they coerced patients to pay artificially low prices for these drugs. They illegally manipulated the market in a manner that allowed them to eventually raise the price for Tracleer by almost 30 times the inflation rate. The company has paid more than $350 million in civil lawsuits since 2018.
What to do if You’ve Suffered Injury from a Defective Drug
It’s almost unfathomable that pharmaceuticals can do so much good and cause so much harm at the same time. But they do, and they do it on a regular basis. When this happens, they must be held accountable – even if that means having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars.
But in order for plaintiffs to be able to obtain full and fair compensation, they must have the help of an experienced attorney. A legal representative must be skilled enough to deliver the evidence needed to prove that use of a prescription drug led to the harm they suffered. This will often include the testimony of medical experts, as well as researchers, who can show a connection between the drug and any negative side effects it may have produced.
If you are considering taking legal action after suffering an injury after taking a prescription medication, you’ll need a law firm that has enough resources to take on some of the largest corporations in the history of the world – pharmaceutical companies.
At McEwen Law Firm, that’s exactly what we do. We’ve helped clients obtain significant compensation for medical expenses, emotional and mental trauma, pain and suffering, lost wages, and many, many others. If you need our help, we’ll be more than ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us as soon as you can to schedule a free case review. We’ll listen to the details of your case, and then tell you how we may be able to work on your behalf to help you get the money you deserve. Use our online contact form or call (800) 732-3070 for a free review of your case.