Legal counsel for Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals have been working over time.Â Johnson and Johnson themselves are involved in a variety of drug recalls, spotty quality control issues and now they are accused ofÂ less than adequate patient education that has cost many their health.Â In a most recent case, Johnson and Johnson, in conjunction with their drug making counterparts are facing accusations that they â€œfailed to warnâ€ patients and physicians about the risk of tendon damage after the use of the drug Levaquin.
Levaquin is a high-powered antibiotic often given by IV or taken in pill form to treat a variety of infections.Â A highly popular drug, Levaquin made Johnson and Johnson $957 million in 2010 and it is estimated that it has been prescribed over 430 million times worldwide. However despite its popularity, the medication comes with a price. The case in question revolves around Mr. John Schedin, 82 who suffered permanent damage to his Achilles tendons after use of the drug.Â Tendon damage after Levaquin useÂ has proven to be more severe when prescribed in conjunction with other medications–like steroids and anti-rejection medications for organ transplants.
Mr. Schedin was prescribed Levaquin in combination with an oral steroid for treatment of a respiratory infection in 2005 and soon after developed permanent complications to both Achilles tendons.Â In the recent jury trial, he was awarded $700,000–just a drop in the bucket for Johnson and Johnson–as the twelve agreed with Mr. Schedinâ€™s attorney that J&J attempted to conceal the facts surrounding the medication and did not properly notify physicians about the potential problems with the drug.Â This is the first of over 2,600 claims that have been filed in the U.S. Courts over Levaquin.
Lawyers for the plaintiff contend that Johnson and Johnson did not do enough to educate the public about the risks of tendon damage, while Johnsonâ€™s attorneys claim they did nothing wrong, and claim that there is no proof that Levaquin had anything to do with Mr. Schedinâ€™s complications.Â It must not have had anything to do with the 2,600 other peopleâ€™s injuries either. He continues to seek punitive damages related to the case and defense attorneys are fighting back–claiming that its not an issue of â€œdeliberate disregardâ€ but â€œwhether or not the company provided enough information.â€ said one attorney for J&J.
In fact, if enough information had been given Mr. Schedlinâ€™s physician could have prescribed a different medication and perhaps avoided all complications.Â Mr. Schedlin has never fully recovered from his injuries and continues to struggle with limited mobility that he did not have prior to the incident.