The antidepressant drug, Zoloft, made Pfizer a lot of money as the most prescribed drug of its kind. Unfortunately, the defective drug may also have led to serious birth defects when mothers used it while pregnant. One young woman who was born with birth defects, including a cleft lip and cleft palate, is suing the makers of Zoloft. Her mother took Zoloft during pregnancy and the lawsuit alleges that it was the cause of her conditions. Dozens of lawsuits are pending nationwide against Pfizer over the damage caused by Zoloft.
The most recent research indicates that Zoloft may also cause persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns, as well as an increase in the risk of autism. This is in addition to older studies linking the drug to birth conditions, including heart defects, intestinal defects and missing or incomplete limbs. Many victims wonder why these risks were not discovered in testing before the drug was ever released, or if they were discovered, why the risks were not made clear to women before they took the drug.
For the children who must live with the consequences of their birth defects, litigation may provide some financial and emotional relief. Holding drug makers accountable for the harm caused by their products is vital to ensuring proper testing and responsible policies among in the pharmaceutical business. Drug companies have a duty to warn patients of the side effects of their products. If Pfizer knew of the dangers Zoloft presented to women who were pregnant or who might become pregnant, the failure to warn those women was unconscionable.
Pfizer is attempting to have all the cases against it moved to a single court. The company claims that all the Zoloft birth defect litigation involves similar issues. A U.S. Judicial Panel is currently deciding whether to move all the cases to a single court. Anyone who has been harmed by Zoloft should consider taking legal action as soon as possible.
Source: News Inferno, “Chicago Woman Alleges Mother’s Use of Zoloft Caused Her Birth Defects,” 14 February 2012