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Hearing Over Invokana Litigation Consolidation Scheduled For December

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The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has scheduled oral arguments for December, to consider whether to establish centralized pretrial proceedings for all Invokana lawsuits filed by users who allege they were not adequately warned about the side effects associated with the new-generation diabetes drug.

There are currently at least 57 product liability lawsuits pending throughout the federal court system against the makers of Invokana, involving claims that the medication caused diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney failure, heart attacks and other injuries.

A request was filed to centralize the Invokana litigation last month, asking the U.S. JPML to transfer cases pending nationwide to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues in the cases, avoid conflicting rulings from different courts and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and judicial system. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, which manufactures Invokana, indicated last month that it agrees the cases need to be consolidated, and that the District of New Jersey was an appropriate forum.

In a Notice of Hearing Session (PDF) issued October 14, the U.S. JPML indicates that any oral arguments over the motion will be heard on December 1, at the Charles R. Jonas Federal Building in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Failure to Warn About Invokana Side Effects

Invokana (canagliflozin) is a type-2 diabetes treatment introduced by Janssen in March 2013, which has been aggressively marketed as a superior treatment option for diabetics. However, as more individuals have switched to the medication, a steady stream of serious health concerns have emerged about the side effects of Invokana.

In December 2015, the FDA required Janssen and the makers of other new-generation SGLT2 inhibitors to add new diabetic ketoacidosis warnings to their medications, urging users to stop taking the drug and seek immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms like abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea, respiratory problems or vomiting.

In addition to concerns about ketoacidosis, a number of lawsuits filed against the drug maker alleging that the drug makers knew or should have suspected that Invokana increases the risk of kidney failure.

In May 2015, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) conducted a detailed review of adverse event reports submitted to the FDA during the first year Invokana was on the market, and identified a potential risk of kidney damage with Invokana and other SGLT2 inhibitors, raising questions about whether the benefits provided by the medication justify the risk.

In June, the FDA released a new Invokana safety warning, indicating that the medication may increase the risk of acute kidney injury and other severe health problems. There have also been growing reports of heart attacks linked to the drug.

Recently, a growing number of Invokana heart attack lawsuits have also been filed, alleging the medication poses serious cardiovascular risks.

As Invokana injury lawyers nationwide continue to review and file claims for individuals who suffered an injury after using the new diabetes drug, it is widely expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of additional lawsuits may be filed in the coming months and years.

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