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Xeljanz Multidistrict Litigation Lawsuit – A Comprehensive Overview

The landscape of pharmaceutical litigation has seen a surge with the opening of multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases centered on the harm caused to patients by specific drugs. One such case which is currently receiving significant attention is the Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR, and Jakvinus multidistrict litigation lawsuit. This article will delve into the intricacies of this ongoing legal battle and its implications for both manufacturers and consumers alike.

What are Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR, and Jakvinus? 

Xeljanz (tofacitinib), Xeljanz XR (tofacitinib extended release), and Jakvinus (tofacitinib’s version in Europe) are medications produced by Pfizer. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these drugs are primarily used to treat arthritis and other similar ailments. However, they have faced scrutiny due to the serious side effects they may potentially cause. [1]

The Cause for Legal Action: 

The Xeljanz MDL arose after numerous patients alleged adverse side effects from taking the medication. These effects reportedly include blood clots, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and death, leading to the restructuring of the warning label by the FDA in 2019.[2]

The ongoing Xeljanz multidistrict litigation suit alleges that Pfizer failed in its duty to sufficiently warn consumers and medical professionals about the potential risks associated with using these products. The plaintiffs argue that had they known about these risks, they might have opted for different treatment options or monitored their health more scrupulously during treatment. [3]

Multidistrict Litigation (MDL): 

In the American federal legal system, when large numbers of plaintiffs sue a defendant or defendants with related claims, these actions may be consolidated in one court for pretrial processes through an MDL. Centralization of these cases aims to prevent duplication of discovery, and inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties, attorneys, and judiciary. [4]

Establishment of the Xeljanz MDL: 

In December 2021, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized litigation involving Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR, and Jakvinus. This centralization combines various federal lawsuits lodged against Pfizer into a single courtroom. The decision was mainly based on avoiding inconsistent rulings and conserving resources. 

The Assignment: 

The Xeljanz MDL was assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron of the Middle District of Florida, known for his previous involvement in important drug and device injury MDLs. He will oversee the coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. [5]

Future Implications: 

While the establishment of the Xeljanz MDL is a significant milestone, it’s important to remember MDL is not a class action lawsuit. Each claimant maintains their lawsuit. Additionally, the creation of the MDL does not preclude new claims from being added. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR, or Jakvinus, it may be in your best interest to consult a qualified attorney specializing in pharmaceutical litigation.  

This Xeljanz MDL lawsuit highlights the accountability of pharmaceutical companies to ensure the safety of their products and provide accurate, comprehensive information on potential risks. This case will undoubtedly significantly impact future pharmaceutical litigation. 

Please note, this blog article does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for personalized advice. 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This article may not contain the most up-to-date legal standards and regulations. It is advised to seek professional legal counsel for personal advice. 

If you or a loved one has been injured by Xeljanz, give us a call at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm at 888-585-5970. 

Date: June 30, 2023

Author: Brandon Salter and Anoop Desai

Citations

[1] https://www.fda.gov/drugs/fda-drug-safety-podcasts/fda-approves-boxed-warning-about-increased-risk-blood-clots-and-death-higher-dose-arthritis-and

[2] https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/safety-trial-finds-risk-blood-clots-lungs-and-death-higher-dose-tofacitinib-xeljanz-xeljanz-xr

[3] https://www.drugwatch.com/xeljanz/lawsuits/

[4] https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/28_usc_1407.pdf

[5] https://www.flmd.uscourts.gov/judges/paul-byron

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