Class action lawsuit against Meridia can go ahead: B.C. court
The B.C. Supreme Court rules a class-action lawsuit can be launched against the makers of the anti-obesity drug Meridia.
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7:32AM EDT
VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled a class-action lawsuit against the makers of the anti-obesity drug Meridia can go ahead.
Six people were fighting for the right to launch a class action against drug makers Abbott Laboratories and generic manufacturer Apotex, arguing the drug caused them dire health effects, including heart attacks and a stroke.
Justice Robert Johnston agreed the six met the test of whether a case should be considered a class action.
Johnston said the lawsuit will be able to examine whether the drug contributes to heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmia and whether the drug companies recklessly breached a duty to warn patients of the harm from the use of the drug.
The lawyer for the group, Tony Merchant, says the judge's decision is also important because it allows the suit to go ahead against the generic version of the drug and Merchant notes generics are pushed on patients through provincial health plans.
In 2009, worldwide sales of Meridia topped $300 million, but it was pulled from U.S. and Canadian markets in 2010 after a study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine that looked at the long-term effects of the drug.