Fen Phen Lawsuit Overview


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Fen Phen is a drug that was used widely in the late 1990s for weight-loss purposes.  Fen Phen was approved by the FDA as an appetite suppressant to be used for a few weeks to manage obesity.  A combination of fenfluarmine and phentermine, it was never approved for long-time use, nor were those drugs studied and approved in combination.  When heart problems began to appear in women who had taken the combination, the drugs were removed from the market.  Because of that announcement, many women who had taken the drug were examined for heart issues similar to those named in reports, and were found to have those same conditions.  As a result, a class-action suit was filed and received judicial approval.  Many other lawsuits have been filed by individuals, as well, over the damage done by Fen Phen.

Damages from Fen Phen

Many of those who used the Fen Phen weight loss drugs, including Redux and Pondimin, were found to have heart valve problems.  Although there are no symptoms in the early stages, the long-term results can be destructive.  Fen Phen may cause tightness or weakening of the heart valve, producing severe heart and lung disease.  The consequences may eventually be severe, beginning with:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Chest pain     
  • Edema, or swelling of the legs

Lawsuits for Fen Phen Damage

As a result of these findings, there have been numerous Fen Phen lawsuits, as well as a national class action lawsuit against the manufacturer, American Home Products Corp., now known as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which has received judicial approval.  Thousands of Fen Phen users have now received a number of benefits, including

  • Refunds for the purchase price of Fen Phen weight loss drugs
  • Medical costs
  • Compensation for those diagnosed with the specific heart condition resulting from Fen Phen use

Originally a Weight Loss Drug

While many physicians did prescribe the fen phen weight loss drug in the late 1990s, it was originally designed for short-term use.  Because of the off-label use, and the obvious lack of clarity and misuse by many physicians and consumers, American Home Products Corp has been held liable and continues to make compensation payments.  It is estimated that it will cost Wyeth Pharmaceuticals over $21 billion in Fen Phen litigation costs.  However, the patients who used the drug and suffered life-altering consequences are paying a much higher price.

Getting Legal Help

Every product manufacturer has the responsibility to study the results of the use of their product.  Fen Phen is no different.  Fen Phen users still have the opportunity to contact a product liability attorney and file private suits if they have been hurt by this drug.  Some patients not only can, but also they should do so, to ensure that their rights are protected and they receive the compensation they are due.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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