Elmiron is a very popular prescription drug used by millions for the treatment of chronic bladder problems. It is also a popular originator of mass tort lawsuits in 2023. We have the latest news on the Elmiron MDL lawsuit in this post and talk about the Elmiron settlement we expect to see in 2023.
Elmiron Appeared to Be a Great Drug
Elmiron started off as a miracle of scientific innovation. In October 2019, eye doctors at Emory University School of Medicine made a chance discovery that long-term use of Elmiron can cause a unique and serious eye disease called pigmentary maculopathy. Pigmentary maculopathy can cause blindness or vision impairment and the only known cause of this condition is the use of the drug Elmiron.
Since this initial discovery, a number of studies have confirmed the link between Elmiron and pigmentary maculopathy. This discovery has led thousands of individuals to stop taking Elmiron and nearly 1900 individual Elmiron lawsuits have already been filed in federal courts across the country as of March 20, 2023 (and consolidated in New Jersey) with many more filed in state court.
Evidence Linking Elmiron to Eye Damage and Vision Loss
In October 2019, three ophthalmologists in Atlanta announced that they had found an association between Elmiron use and a very particular type of macular eye damage. After noticing an unusual and unexplained eye disease occurring in some of their patients, the doctors performed their own investigation for a possible cause. The eye doctors started comparing the medical histories and records of the patients with this unique eye condition to look for commonalities that might explain the origins of the disease. It very quickly became apparent what the patients had in common. All of them were long-term users of the prescription drug Elmiron.
The doctors concluded that long-term, high-dose use of Elmiron can result in a type of toxicity that can cause a very unique type of macular eye damage. The condition is now known as pigmentary maculopathy. This discovery was first announced to the medical community in the November 2019 edition of Ophthalmology. Soon after this initial alarm bell was sounded, more comprehensive studies were done to assess the danger of Elmiron. Examinations and detailed retinal imaging were performed on a total of 91 long-term Elmiron users. The results confirmed the suspicions about Elmiron. 22 of the 91 Elmiron users who took part in the study showed clear signs of the unique eye condition. Most of these patients also had signs of Elmiron toxicity.
In a JAMA article published in July 2020, Emory University researchers formally identified this condition as Elmiron-associated pigmentary maculopathy. Doctors studied 11 people who had stopped taking Elmiron and looked at how their vision changed over time. The results showed that their vision did not get better after they stopped taking the drug. In fact, the area of the eye that was affected by the drug continued to get worse in most cases. This could lead to problems with central vision in the long run. The study highlights the need for more research to understand the impact of PPS on people’s vision.
So the JAMA article reviewed the findings of several studies and suggested that eye damage from Elmiron use can occur long after individuals stop using the drug. It also suggested that all long-term Elmiron users should get eye examinations twice a year to look for signs of maculopathy.
FDA Requires Update to Elmiron Warning Label
In June 2020, the FDA updated Elmiron’s warning label to include pigmentary maculopathy as a known risk. It mentioned that while many cases involve three years or more of use, retinal damage may occur in those taking it in a shorter period. The FDA also recommended that potential Elmiron patients have their ophthalmologic history examined before taking the drug. They also advised that current Elmiron users have their retinas checked regularly to detect retinal damage.
Elmiron Class Action MDL
The mounting evidence linking Elmiron to pigmentary maculopathy and vision loss has led to a wave of Elmiron lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Over a hundred individual plaintiffs have already filed Elmiron lawsuits in courts across the country. The Elmiron lawsuits in federal court are in the process of being consolidated into a “class action” MDL. In an MDL, mass tort cases involving a single drug or product are consolidated into a combined action assigned to a single judge for purposes of more efficient discovery.
Once the consolidated discovery is completed in the MDL, one or two test cases are selected and sent back to their home court for trial. The results from these test case trials are then used to facilitate the negotiation of a global settlement agreement. Right now, the Elmiron MDL lawsuits are just getting started so any global settlement is some time away.
The Elmiron class action lawsuit is in New Jersey. The lawsuit alleges that Janssen knew or should have known about the potential for eye damage, but failed to properly warn patients and healthcare providers. The lawsuit further claims that Janssen continued to market and sell Elmiron without adequately warning patients and healthcare providers about the risk of eye damage, even though it was aware of the potential for harm.
The federal class action lawsuit is seeking compensation for patients who have suffered eye damage as a result of taking Elmiron, as well as seeking changes to the labeling and warnings provided with the medication. The case is still ongoing and a resolution has not yet been reached. But there is talk of settlement in 2023. In fact, we think the Elmiron lawsuits will mostly settle this year. Which is why we are encouraging victims to reach out now to a lawyer – us or any attorney – to see if they are eligible for an Elmiron settlement.
Contact Miller & Zois About Your Elmiron Lawsuit
Our Elmiron vision loss lawyers are currently seeking new cases from ANY individual who has been diagnosed with Elmiron-related pigmentary maculopathy; OR anyone who has experienced vision impairment after taking Elmiron for longer than 1 year. If you meet these qualifications, call us today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.