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Zofran Heart Defect Lawsuit Massachusetts

Massachusetts couple files lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline alleging that Zofran caused severe heart defects in their child.

A Massachusetts couple is the latest to file a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) alleging that the anti-nausea drug Zofran caused severe heart defects in their child.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was injured by Zofran side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.

What’s the problem?

According to the lawsuit, the mother was prescribed Zofran for morning sickness early in her 1st trimester of pregnancy. Her son, referred to in court documents as H.B., was born in 2007 and subsequently diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), or “hole in the heart,” and systolic ejection heart murmur.

While minor VSDs sometimes close on their own without medical intervention, H.B., who is now 8-years-old, continues to suffer from the defect and “his physicians fear that he will contract an infection that will spread to his heart and require emergency surgery,” according to the complaint. Additional risks lie in the patchwork of tissues surrounding the boy’s VSD. If the tissues detach, they could potentially block arteries in the heart, requiring emergency surgery. Plaintiffs’ physicians have requested that the family remains close to an emergency cardiac facility at all times.

The lawsuit notes that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zofran in 1991 for the treatment of nausea in cancer patients, and that the initial marketing effort was headed by GSK’s Oncology Division sales force. However, as early as January 1998, the company began exploring strategies to expand sales of the drug for other uses. Obstetricians and gynecologists soon became the main targets of this new promotion, according to the complaint.

Initial attempts to attract physicians from these fields were unsuccessful, the lawsuit contends, so GSK next turned to previously established relationships with pregnancy specialists. The company’s Oncology Division teamed up with its Consumer Healthcare Division in an attempt to leverage the other sales team’s existing network of professional contacts, according to the suit. By 2001, plaintiffs allege that the two teams had formed a marketing agreement under which sales reps from Consumer Healthcare would promote Zofran to obstetricians and gynecologists.

Consumer Healthcare sales reps were already visiting OB/GYN’s to promote Tums antacid, allegedly to treat heartburn during pregnancy. Now they would be asked to market Zofran’s benefits for the treatment of morning sickness, according to the lawsuit. GSK incentivized these efforts, plaintiffs allege, by basing quarterly bonuses on Zofran sales.

By 2002, Zofran sales topped $1 billion in the U.S. alone, as the drug became America’s leading morning sickness treatment. More than 1 million prescriptions for Zofran are still written for pregnant women each year, according to the complaint. The lawsuit was filed July 17 in U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts under case #1:15-cv-12973.

Do I Have a Zofran Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Zofran lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defects cases in all 50 states.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if your child was born with a birth defect and you feel Zofran may be to blame, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

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