Studies have linked the rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra (tocilizumab injection) to serious side effects including psoriasis, stroke, heart attack and more than 1,100 deaths.
In early 2010, the FDA first approved the Roche manufactured drug, Actemra to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The drug works by reducing inflammation.
Over 1.5 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, which is a debilitating autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints of the hands, feet, knees, elbows, and ankles. Inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. This results in swelling and pain around the joints. If untreated, damage to cartilage and bone can occur. In some cases, irreversible joint deformity happens. This is why treatment is vital.
Roche cashed in on it, too. Actemra is Roche’s fifth highest-grossing drug, according to health and medicine publication STAT, netting $1.7 billion in global sales last year alone.
Actemra & Psoriasis
A common skin condition, psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. The patches come and go. There is no cure for it.
Patients using the RA drug, Actemra noticed a higher incidence of psoriasis while using the medication.
Lack of Warning
Many of the RA drugs on the market bring the same risk of developing psoriasis. The difference is the other drugs warn about it, and Acterma does not. Because of this, the FDA should monitor the safety of prescription medications. However, it doesn’t verify the adverse event reports it receives. If they did, they would have known to immediately consider warnings for a meniscus tear.
Not having a warning makes one medication seem safer than the other which has it.
Actemra & Psoriasis Symptoms
The symptoms of psoriasis are:
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Small scaling spots
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
How We Can Help
When you experience side effects from a dangerous drug, it can have devastating effects on your entire life. You may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses that can be recovered include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of an ability to work; and
- Pain and suffering
If a person dies from complications from a drug, family members may be able to recover damages for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Loss of economic support; and
- Loss of companionship
Therefore, if the conduct of a drug company in manufacturing and selling drug is found to be highly reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future. If you developed psoriasis after taking Actemra, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.
Case evaluations are free of cost and without obligation. Call us today at (877) 513-9517 or contact us online to speak with an attorney about your options. We may be able to get you the help you need.