We are now investigating claims involving Serzone® (nefazodone), an old line anti-depressant drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1994. Last week, drug maker Bristol-Myers, Squib Co. announced it would pull this drug off the market with distribution to end on June 14. Even though Bristol-Myers blamed lagging sales as the reason, the facts are that Serzone® is blamed for dozens of cases of liver toxicity, resulting in liver failure, death or transplantation.
Iii the years since FDA approval, Bristol-Myers has marketed Serzone® as superior to other anti-depressants used to treat mild to serious depression because Serzone® supposedly does not cause sexual dysfunction or sleep disturbances as do similar drugs. For this reason alone, physicians wrote millions of prescriptions of Serzone® and many patients stayed on the product for years.
On December 7, 2001, the FDA informed Bristol-Myers that it must include a black box warning after it learned that Serzone® was responsible for life-threatening liver failures. The FDA at that time claimed there were 109 “serious hepatic events” world-wide. It follows that Bristol-Myers knew of the serious liver complications at least as early as December 7, 2001, but they continued to reap huge profits, ignoring reports of life-threatening side effects.
On January’ 8, 2003, European markets pulled Serzone®; Canadian regulators followed suit and pulled the product on December 24, 2003. Still, Bristol-Myers did not halt lucrative global sales, including those in the United States, until this week, long after they knew of the dangerous potential for liver complications.
We would be interested in working with any of your clients who have been injured by Serzone®, as we believe these victims deserve the dedication and skillful legal representation that we can provide.
For further information please call our office 973-696-7900