Dangerous Drugs

Elmiron, used to treat bladder pain, linked to severe eye degeneration

January 7, 2021

As more cases come forward against Johnson & Johnson, for failing to warn consumers of the risks associated with Elmiron, the cases have all been centralized in the New Jersey federal court. If you are a loved one have taken Elmiron and have experienced any serious eye problems, you may have a case against Johnson & Johnson.

As reported earlier, Elmiron, a medication developed to treat bladder pain or discomfort associated with Interstitial Cystitis (IC), has been found to cause serious eye problems. Since its FDA approval in 1996, the side effects associated with Elmiron have not included any warnings of possible loss of vision or other eye problems involving the degeneration of the retina. After additional investigations were launched, doctors have found there is a link between a specific pigmentary maculopathy with those who have taken Elmiron over sustained periods. These studies were able to show a direct correlation between the severity of the degeneration and the amount of Elmiron consumed by patients.

Last month, 42 lawsuits alleging that Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of Elmiron, knew that the drug could result in serious eye damage were sent to New Jersey federal court, where a judge has begun to take steps in organizing the litigation as an MDL that will be heard in New Jersey. While 42 cases have already been filed, several hundred additional lawsuits are expected to be filed with the NJ federal court within a few months. The lawsuits claim that the manufacturers were made aware that Elmiron could be connected to visual complications since 1997, over 23 years before independent studies were able to find the connection and force Johnson & Johnson to admit to the serious effects that Elmiron can have on its users.

As the decision was made as to where the cases will be centralized, the reality of the current pandemic became clear. Michael London of Douglas & London PC said, U.S. “Judge [Brian R.] Martinotti has had monthly status conferences almost every three weeks, he’s become very zoom-friendly, almost too much…Judge Martinotti clearly fits the bill.” While it is strange to see how this pandemic has altered the legal world, we are glad to see the ways in which judges and lawyers have made their best attempt to not let the pandemic disenfranchise those who are relying on the legal system to protect them.

London, in a comment to the media, stated “we are pleased that the cases were centralized. We are looking forward to continue to litigate these cases before an experienced judge, like judge Martinotti, who already has been moving the 40+ cases on his docket in a consolidated fashion for the past six months.” Another lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Melanie H. Muhlstock of Parker Waichman LLP, also agreed that the New Jersey federal court and Judge Martinotti was a good decision for all parties involved. She stated, “He is already proceeding in a manner inclusive of all parties currently before him.”

There is still far too much litigation that needs to happen before it is clear how this case will progress. We will make sure to update you on any developments that are announced as the case moves along the legal process. If you or someone you know has taken Elmiron and experienced difficulty reading, prolonged dark adaptation, or loss of vision, you may have a case against these manufacturers. To see if you are eligible and to learn what legal options you have, fill out our free case review. A legal representative will contact you to obtain further information. We only get paid if you do!

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