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Drug Maker Opposes Consolidation of Lawsuits Over Darvocet, Darvon

  • Written by: Staff Writers
  • 19 Comments

Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals is fighting an attempt to consolidate and centralize all of the lawsuits over Darvon and lawsuits over Darvocet that have been filed in the federal court system, where it is expected that thousands of cases will ultimately be filed in various different district courts over the recently recalled painkillers.

Both Darvon and Darvocet contain the active ingredient propxyphene, which is designed to relieve mild to moderate post-surgical pain.

A Darvon and Darvocet recall was issued on November 19, after the FDA determined that propoxyphene-based painkillers may increase the risk of fatal heart rhythm abnormalities, including heart arrythmia. Several lawsuits have already been filed against Xanodyne, alleging that the drug maker failed to warn doctors and patients about the potentially life-threatening side effects of Darcoet and Darvon.

Last month, one of the first plaintiffs to bring a claim, Kristine Esposito, filed a Motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation seeking to have the Darvon and Darvocet litigation centralized before one judge for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Two other plaintiffs have filed briefs in support of consolidation, but suggesting that the cases be consolidated in either the Eastern District of Louisiana or Western District of Louisiana.

Known as an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, such centralization is common in complex product liability claims involving a large number of lawsuits over injuries associated with a particular product. The process is designed to avoid duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent rulings by different judges and to promote the efficient litigation of the cases.

There are currently only five lawsuits filed in U.S. federal courts against Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals over the recalled drugs. However, Darvon and Darvocet lawyers expect that number to quickly grow in the coming months as additional cases are reviewed and filed on behalf of individuals who have suffered heart arrhythmia, heart attacks or other cardiac problems after taking the painkillers.

In a response filed last week, Xanodyne has opposed the Motion for Transfer, arguing that much of the evidence and discovery in the cases will focus on the individual health of each patient. The company also indicates that some of the plaintiffs took versions of Darvon Darvocet that were not made by Xanodyne, arguing that the drug maker could not be held liable in those cases.

In the event that the MDL Panel determines consolidation is appropriate in the litigation over Darvocet and Darvon, Xanodyne argues that the cases should be centralized in the Eastern District of Kentucky, which is where the drug maker is headquartered. They argue that the majority of witnesses and documents are located in close proximity to that court, and it is an easily accessible and centrally located district.

The MDL Panel has already released a schedule for its next hearing on January 27, so oral arguments on the motion for consolidation of the lawsuits over Darvocet and Darvon will likely not be considered until a hearing scheduled for March 30th in San Diego, California.

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19 comments

  1. L Jordan Reply

    Im very upset with the FDA for taking people off of Darvon/Darvoset in a blink of the eye.In the UK they phased it out over 2 years and in Europe 15 months. Why did the FDA do it cold Turkey for us. Alot of Chronic Pain suffers’s are left with nothing but their old pain back or going through many meds that dont work.Its awful to go through that again. Im sure some had withdrawels. The first I heard of it was when I turned on my computer and saw Attorneys Ads saying Darvon/Darvoset had been taking off the market. I was always so proud of myself for not taking strong meds.My dr. that put me on Darvoset for my Chronic Pain never told me there was anything wrong with it. I thought it was a safe med.It helped me so much.I do not have heart problems or liver problems. I only took 2 a day. One in the evening and one before I went to bed.

  2. L Jordan Reply

    When my old dr put me on darvocet I was told it was for mild pain and non addictive.I have rupered disks in my back and neck and other things in my spine.There are so many people that take these meds and take up to 6 or 8 a day.There are people in their 80s and 90s that have been taking them for 30 or 40 years.Now they want the ones with chronic pain to take stronger meds like vicoden’codeine,etc.I will not take them.My new dr gave me narco and I want take that either.I cant take codeine.Darvocet was a good med for chronic pain.It would only take the edge off. The FDA really messed up.I have never had any side effects from darvocet. I just hope the thousands of people that took either darvon or darvocet are finding something that helps their pain.Its so sad the people that went to their pharmacy to get their meds and was told it was off of the market.The FDA should have gave everyone warnings.

  3. L. Reply

    If I wanted to sue someone I should get on the bandwagon and get free money..Chantix made me have really bad nightmares about my daughter that I lost. I could not get any sleep. If I tried to sleep the same dream came back so I said no more of this.I took a med for my blood sugar that was took off the market..,can’t think of the name of it.Denture cream and now Darvovet that I think is a good med for people with chronic pain.. During the holidays my dr found that my B12 was low from metforman.The co that makes that didn’t tell the drs or patients so I dont know how long my B12 was low. My old dr never checked me for that.My bloodwork was all out of wack,White blood cells real high,red cells low.Calcium low,Was anemic.weight loss for no reason.Blood sugar out of wack,other stuff I dont understand.Dr thought I had cancer.(leukema or Lymphona) So he had my blood looked at under a microcope and no cancer cells were found..Blood tests got some better,and now I have to go back living in pain..No more Darvocet..Yes Im angry..very angry

  4. J Curry Reply

    Due to multiple disc herniations, over the years, I had formulated a successful chronic pain cocktail of the following: 2 – 65mg caps propoxyphene hcl TID
    1- 2mg lorazepam tabs TID
    2- 10mg cyclobenzeprine tabs TID

    This regimine would be modified, once per day, IF AT ALL, with 3- 325 mg of generic aspirin for migraines or inflammation, taken with one of the propxyphene hcl doses.

    Now the FDA has screwed it all up! I was even beginning to decrease the lorazepam to eliminate the need for more sleep.

    Good diet, low impact exercise, and dietary supplements made life halfway bearable without being chopped up, considering the level of chronic pain.

    Now I understand the FDA wants to screw with my dietary supplements. Way to go!

    It’s the acetaminophen that is killing people…

  5. L Reply

    To J. Curry..I agree totally with you about the acetaminophen. I had no idea there was that much tylonal in darvocet.It scares me about my liver now but I get blood tests every 3 months .I had people tell me that taking darvocet didn’t help them at all. They said even 2 didn’t help them. I believe people were looking for a high or more pain meds and overdosed. I only took 2 a day and it only took the edge off and thats all I wanted..I did take neuronton and the 2 helped me..I never wanted to take strong meds.I agree about the FDA..And I will never understand why they took it off in one day..

  6. Suzanne Reply

    I am so mad I scream and cry—my age and you take off the market the only pain pill I can take, and helps me. Been through all the rest and there side effects. Maybe the people on Darvocet and their DNA somehow just works for them, and that’s why you have to put it back on the market ASAP. Just because some lawyers hocked up with the FDA and got them to pull it off the market—-so they can make money. Please Xanodyne–Bring back ASAP

  7. Lucy Reply

    I had spinal fusion 20 years ago. I also suffer from osteoarthritis pain along with restless leg during the day and at night when it becomes very severe. I took Darvon which is the propoxephene without the actaminophen for the past 20 years. Two years ago Gabapentin was added at night for nerve pain.This combination worked very well for me. I have been fully functional. A busy working person with a family. I complained very little about my problems. I also am a working registered nurse. I do not wish to go the route with strong narcotics as I see the effects it has on people. I had nor had my Dr. heard of any of these problems until the day of the recall. Now I am taking Tramadol which is causing severe ringing in my ears and Sinemet at night which is for Parkinson’s Disease. I wake up with my hands and legs feeling like lead weights. I am depressed which is one of the side effects of Tramadol which has no more of an effect than taking a Tylenol. A person who does not suffer from chronic pain does not know the effects it can have on the body and the mind.Why are we not being allowed the benefit of being informed of the so called problems and then signing a waiver releasing anyone from being liable. My mother also has RLS and has taken this drug for 30 years.

  8. joyce Reply

    Ive taken darvocet for years for one reason or another.I dont take anything else for pain .I cant take other meds Im allergic to most and asprin upsets my stomach.But I have been in and out of hospital and emergency rooms for heart problems but till this day I never thought it was from darvocet,I have one doctor and one hospital i have been going to for 30 years and I was again seen for heart fibulation this year in april I remember taking half a darvocet for headache ,but still dont know if the medicine is the cause but if it is I now know why I have so much trouble with the heart .I still have the last bill I cant pay for emergency visit over 3,000 .

  9. E Reply

    I cannot believe this medication was taken off the market. The trial lawyers are now making decisions about our quality of life. I have been on this medication on and off for 10 years for arthritis and disc problems. My mother was on it for 20 years and did not die from heart trouble. My husband takes two celebrex a day and if you see the ads for this medication, it has many side effects and can cause heart problems, too. There are many meds I cannot take and am now taking 3 and still in pain. Thank you FDA for ruining my quality of life. I hope Xanodyne can do something to get this medication back on the market. I am being treated by a rheumatologist that didn’t know this medication was being taken off the market until informed by patients. Why so much secrecy. Maybe the trial lawyers were involved. I am 70 years old and have had several cardiograms which were fine. I always thought living in America gave me a “choice” but that has been taken away by the FDA. Medication is not “one size fits all” science. Too there are many people out there that make a living on lawsuits that are not attorneys. As one ages, heart problems can occur either from genetic make up or other reasons. This was not a reasonable decision.

  10. Suzanne Reply

    PETITION TO BRING DARVOCET BACK—YES–SIGN TODAY!!!!!!!!!! Go to regulations.gov sign in second page petition by Barbara L. Maw Peoples Petition you can make your comments heard.—-some hints—you can click on Drugs and in other question, organization enter Barbara L. Maw peoples petition

  11. L Reply

    To Lucy..I also took gabapentin (neurontin brand name) With darvocet and it really helped me..I had finally found something that would help me..
    Shame on the FDA for taking it off the market when it was helping so many people..I cannot take the drug my dr gave me..I have had so much pain..But I refuse to take the stronger more addictive drugs..Darvocet is a good mild pain med..Good Luck to all of you that are in pain since someone took our meds off the market and in one day with no warning..Shame on the FDA..

  12. Joy Reply

    Shame,Shame, Shame on the FDA for taking this viable medication from those of us who it has helped!!! I too cant take anything else. Follow the money thats what this is about!!
    What happened to choice?????
    I have taken this med for 12 years,before during and after having congestive heart failure at 40. Now 52 no CHF!!!!!
    There are so many worse drugs that should be looked at, rather than be bothering with this old drug.
    The FDA is a total sham, it doesnt care about the people.
    Its maddening to have this happen!!
    Go and sign the petition, lets not take this without a fight!

  13. DEBBIE Reply

    DARVACET HAS ALWAYS HELPED MY PAIN,PLEASE BRING IT BACK

  14. Don Reply

    After taking Darvocet for 30 years for chronic back pain, I was shocked to find in Nov. 2010 that I couldn’t have it anymore. I knew as soon as I heard it that a group named Public Citizen and a doctor named Sidney Wolfe was behind it because he decided to make war on Darvon in the 1970’s. He has now womred his way into a job with the FDA where he can really create havoc. His goal is probably to get rid of all pain killers and damned the suffering people. His latest target is a statin named Crestor which I take for high cholesterol. Don’t blame the drug companies, the FDA or your family doctor. These people are innocent. Fight the guilty one.

  15. paulette Reply

    I DO NOT SEE HOW THE GOV CAN DO THIS..I HAVE DEGENERATIVE DISK DISEASE AND I WHERE A FENTENYL PATCH AND I TAKE VICODON FOR BREAK THROUGH PAIN. I EVEN GET SHOTS IN MY BACK EVERY 6 MONTHS SO IF THEY TAKE AWAY THE MEDICINES THAT WORK, I WILL BE IN A WHEELCHAIR ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THEY ARE GONE..IS,NT THERE SOMETHING WE CAN DO? THIS SHOULD BE OURS AND OUR DOCTORS CHOICES NOT THE GOVERNMENT!!!

  16. JOHN Reply

    polio in both legs,lymphoma,torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders-not repairable.have used darvocet 4 over 10 yrs.please briong it back!

  17. Regina Reply

    What happens to the millions of us who have used Darvocet successfully for over 20 years without one side effect? There are millions of MS, Lupus, and Disk Degenerative patients that have taken Darvocet and it allowed them to function with their pain. They held down jobs and were independent because they had Darvocet. Darvocet is the mildest, safest narcotic ever made. Now they have lost their jobs, and their independence and gone on disability because a handful of morons who took this medication had a reaction. Well here is a suggestion, if you have a reaction then just don’t take it!! But how could you be so self righteous as to demand that all of us have to do without Darvocet because you can’t take it? It is time that we stop bowing to the demands of a few people and take into consideration the millions of us that it worked for. We are the true victims here, one of the MS patients was “caught” by her boss crying in the bathroom and she was sent home, and it took the neighbors and paramedics 45 minutes to get her out of her car because she didn’t have her Darvocet. She has since lost her job, and then her house and her independence, and all because a handful of shady characters want to file a lawsuit and get money because they had a reaction to a medicine. Lawyers should represent us against the FDA and not those idiots. Millions of lives have been devastated by this action and it should be reversed as soon as possible.

  18. Lewis Reply

    I am a stonemaker (kidney stones) and darvocet was the only painkiller to which I was not allergic. Recently I developed intense bursitis in the hip along with severe knee and shin pain. My doctor tells me that there are no
    alternatives due my to reactions to a long list of pain killers. Is there actually scientific proof from an independent source that substantiates the danger of darvocet? Anyone suffering from kidney stones will immediately agree that OTC medications simply won’t touch such agonizing pain. Is there a petition availble to sign? Please advise.

  19. Sandra Reply

    i had taken DarvocetN 100 for 35 years. If I needed it!!!! I never have had heart problems and am healthy except for chronic pain due to a failed back surgery! I now have nothing to take…I am allergic to Codeine, Demerol, Morphine, Vicodine, and all synthetic Codeines, i cannot take Torodol due to severe swelling, so I am allergic to all the known drugs for pain…I am in need of a surgery, and cannot have it due to no pain meds post op!!! The other problem, is I took too many OTC anti inflammatory medicines, I am now in Stage 1 kidney failure…So I can no longer take OTC medicine for pain!!!! Except Tylenol, and it does not help decrease inflammation. How bad is that!! I am so disappointed in the FDA and the industry for taking the only medicine I can use off the market!! if there is a way at all, to put it back on, or get it approved to those like myself, signing a waiver or whatever, PLEASE try to do it! Desperate!!! PLEASE!

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