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January 27, 2022

Lawsuit filed against J&J and Janssen for eye damage caused by Elmiron drug

Clinical trials started in 2018 recorded a link between Elmiron’s key ingredients and pigmentary maculopathy.

The Lanier Law Firm’s trial lawyers have filed a $10m lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and other parties for eye damage caused by the extended use of the drug Elmiron.

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a woman from New Hampshire, who suffered damage to the eye following the use of Elmiron, which is prescribed to treat bladder pain.

Filed on 10 January, the product defect lawsuit joins over 600 such claims combined in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court in the US on behalf of people with retina damage and vision issues due to the usage of Elmiron for treating interstitial cystitis.

Interstitial cystitis causes chronic bladder pain.

The lawsuit claims that Janssen became aware of the reports shortly after Elmiron was introduced in the market in 1996. 

Clinical trials commenced in 2018 recorded an association between crucial ingredients of Elmiron, pentosan polysulfate sodium or PPS and an ailment called pigmentary maculopathy. 

Despite this, the firm noted that the drug did not receive a warning label until 2020.

The lawsuit stated that Beverly Frizzell’s injuries were ‘preventable and resulted directly from defendants’ failure and refusal to conduct proper safety studies, failure to properly assess and publicise safety signals, suppression of information revealing serious risks, willful and wanton failure to provide adequate instructions and willful misrepresentations concerning the nature and safety of Elmiron.’

Lanier Law Firm founder and Houston trial lawyer Mark Lanier said: “J&J and Janssen looked the other way when reports started coming in about Elmiron’s dangers. 

“We’re looking forward to asking a jury to hold the company accountable and to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

The only known cause of pigmentary maculopathy, which is frequently misdiagnosed as age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy, is PPS.

Dark spots in the field of vision, trouble in reading or adjusting to dim lighting, loss of perception in colour, continued eye strain while reading and other activities, blurred vision and blindness are all included as the side effects.

In October last year, J&J and Janssen signed a $297m settlement agreement with the State of Texas to resolve opioid claims.

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