Following the overwhelming evidence that iron deficiency anemia medication Injectafer is unsafe, in Pogust Millrood filed the nation’s first lawsuit against the big pharma companies responsible for Injectafer in December 2018. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiff Katherine Crockett, who developed a dangerous case of severe and prolonged hypophosphatemia (HPP) after receiving Injectafer injections. By doing so, the firm intends to hold Injectafer manufacturers accountable for the pain and suffering that their negligence has inflicted onto innocent patients’ lives.
Since then, Pogust Millrood has carried on with its pursuit of justice against the manufacturers, developers and sellers of Injectafer by filing four additional cases on behalf of similarly injured individuals.
Injectafer, or ferric carboxymaltose, is an IV medication administered in the form of a two-part injection that is used to reverse iron deficiencies and increase anemic patients’ quality of life. Instead, an increasing number of patients are reporting Severe HPP, a dangerous phosphorus deficiency, as a side effect of taking the medication Injectafer.
What is particularly appalling about this situation is that the involved pharmaceutical companies completely failed to warn Injectafer patients of their heightened risk of developing severe or prolonged HPP. In fact, the Complaint filed by lead counsel, Michael G. Daly, Esq., of Pogust Millrood, explains how severe HPP is not even noted once on the medication label as a potential adverse effect or warning; instead, only a transient or asymptomatic decrease in phosphorus levels is listed as a possibility.
The pharmaceutical companies implicated in these newer lawsuits include Japanese giant Daiichi Sankyo and its subsidiaries, Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and Daiichi Sankyo US Holdings as well as its other Pennsylvania and New York-based subsidiaries, Luitpold Pharma and American Regent. Vifor Pharma, the European-based company to initially bring ferric carboxymaltose to the market, is also a defendant. Each needs to be held liable for injustices including negligence in duty of care, failure to warn, design defect, misrepresentation and fraudulent representation about the risks associated with taking Injectafer.
As a result of severe phosphorus depletion, patients like Ms. Crockett can be hospitalized several times over the course of months, and in many instances, forced to stay for multiple days at a time.
Injectafer, which arrived in the United States in 2013, is the only iron deficiency medication of its kind to have an undeniable connection with the development of serious or severe HPP. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on Dec. 6 compared the side effects experienced by Injectafer patients with those of patients who received Feraheme, another iron-deficiency IV medication. A combined total of nearly 2,000 patients were included in the research, and the results were staggering: over half (50.8 percent) of the Injectafer patients had severe hypophosphatemia. Feraheme patients, on the other hand, had a HPP prevalence of less than 1 percent (0.9 percent).
Signs that you or a loved one may have hypophosphatemia include the emergence of symptoms such as severe weakness or exhaustion, bone pain or fractures, numbness and confusion. If HPP is left untreated for too long, serious complications such as respiratory failure, muscle weakness, cardiac arrest, seizures, coma and death can also occur.
It goes without saying that no patient should be prescribed any medication without being informed of its potential risks. It is completely unacceptable for these pharmaceutical companies to get away with mislabeling Injectafer for years, especially given the now irrefutable evidence that it is linked to Severe HPP. With a side effect as prevalent, long term and serious as severe HPP, being improperly informed becomes even more significant.
Pogust Millrood is experienced in helping clients to recover damages from pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. We will fight tirelessly to make sure you are treated fairly and receive the compensation you deserve if you have been harmed by using Injectafer to treat your iron deficiency anemia. Call us toll free at 888-348-6787, or direct to our Pennsylvania office at 610-941-4204, to see if you are entitled to seek damages.
Rachel Gore is a staff writer for The Legal Examiner, focusing on all things related to the law and current events.