Tainted Diabetes Drug Pulled from Market

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After several lots showed excessive amounts of NDMA, Kansas City-based Nostrum Laboratories recalled some Metformin HCl extended release tablets.

The manufacturer only agreed to recall the medicine after the Food and Drug Administration applied extensive pressure. Norstrum said it had not received reports of any adverse incidents, but was recalling the medicine out of an abundance of caution.

Other drugs, most notably Zantac, have been pulled from the shelves due to potential NDMA contamination.

NDMA Contamination

N-Nitrosodimethylamine is essentially a by-product of the manufacturing and storage process. This chemical is rather common in chlorinated drinking water, rocket fuel, and cured meat. NDMA is also highly poisonous. In 2013, Chinese graduate student Lin Senhao laced his roommate’s drinking water with NDMA. Huang Yang died shortly thereafter. Lin claimed the incident was just an April Fool’s joke, but he was convicted of first-degree murder and executed for his crime in 2015.

NDMA is a cancer-causing agent in quantities as small as seven nanograms per liter. The chemical is also connected with liver disease and other serious conditions.

There is no conclusive link between NDMA and cancer. But there is definitely an increased risk. However, Nostrum Laboratories refused to warn consumers or doctors about the elevated risk. These failures are common. Largely due to the high cost of bringing a new drug to market, manufacturers must sell as many pills as possible as quickly as possible. Any negative information could depress sales and decrease profits. These profits are the only thing most drug companies care about.

Choosing a Defective Drug Lawyer

At first blush, these claims seem very straightforward. After all, a St. Louis defective drug lawyer need not convince a jury that NDMA caused the victim/plaintiff’s cancer. An attorney must only prove that there was an elevated risk, and the drug company failed to warn consumers.

But drug companies like Nostrum Labs have posses of lawyers who fight these claims tooth and nail. To go toe to toe with these lawyers, your attorney must have considerable resources and considerable experience.

Attorneys must partner with expert witnesses who are not only knowledgeable, but also able to connect with skeptical jurors. Additionally, Multidistrict Litigation cells handle most dangerous drug claims. So, an out-of-state court normally handles pretrial procedures and supervises settlement negotiations. That’s not an environment for amateurs.

There is a lot at stake. In addition to compensatory damages for economic and noneconomic losses, many dangerous drug victim/plaintiffs are eligible for additional punitive damages. Frequently, jurors award three or four times the amount of compensatory damages as punitive damages. 

Unsafe drug claims are legally and medically complex. For a free consultation with an experienced dangerous drug attorney in St. Louis, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.

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