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Topamax Settlement in Birth Defect Lawsuits

Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC: A Legacy of Legal Innovation

Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parents company, Johnson & Johnson, have recently agreed to settle Topamax birth defect lawsuits. Plaintiffs allege that Topamax, which is commonly prescribed to treat epilepsy, can cause birth defects including, cleft lips, palates and other congenital malformations. Three trials have been held in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, each resulting in multi-million dollar damage awards against the companies. These initial trials likely paved the way for a global settlement. The global settlements, announced last week, stated that agreements have been reached in 76 complaints. However, reports indicate that the drug manufacturers will likely face an additional 60 cases that are centralized in Philadelphia. Topamax was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 for the treatment of epilepsy and migraines. A generic version of Topamax has been available since 2006. In March 2011, the FDA issued a warning regarding the Topamax oral cleft birth defect risk present in babies born to mothers who had took Topamax during the first trimester of pregnancy. Furthermore, the FDA has urged doctors to avoid prescribing Topamax to pregnant women or women who are of child-bearing age and at a high risk of pregnancy. A cleft palate or lip occurs when part of the lips or palate fail to completely join together. The severity of the defect is variable. The defect can cause problems eating, swallowing, speech and corrective surgery is sometimes necessary.

Drug safety is at the forefront to our minds when it comes to treating medical conditions. The experienced Missouri product liability attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC will fight for you if it is discovered that you have taken an unsafe medicine and have suffered serious side effects. Contact our knowledgeable family of attorneys at (314) 436-9958 or (800) 391-4318 if you have suffered from a loss due to the negligence of a manufacturer of consumer products such as a medicine that is later found to be unsafe.

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