Zofran, an anti-nausea medication also known as Zuplenz or ondansetron, is currently only approved for use by cancer patients undergoing treatments that cause nausea and vomiting. Yet, doctors have continuously prescribed the medication as off-label for pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. Consequently, many of these women are having infants with serious birth defects. In some instance, the birth defects are so dangerous that the infant dies, and in other situations, women are forced to terminate the pregnancy early due to life-threatening birth defects and abnormalities.
If either of the aforementioned situations apply to you, you have the legal right to seek compensation from the party responsible, which can help cover damages for funeral and burial expenses, pain, suffering, and much more.
Studies on Zofran and Birth Defects
A study published in the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates that over 97% of the medications in the United States prescribed for morning sickness are prescribed as off-label use, meaning that the drug prescribed is not approved nor intended to be given to pregnant women. This also means that these anti-nausea medications, including Zofran, have not been approved for safe use for pregnant by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In April, 2013, however, the FDA finally approved an anti-nausea medication that’s considered safe to use while pregnant: a combination medication of doxylamine and pyridoxine. Yet, even with an approved medication, doctors still continued to prescribe pregnant women Zofran, although it’s been linked to numerous types of birth defects, as well as fetal death.
The reason behind this is that GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Zofran, have been offering kickbacks to physicians who prescribe Zofran to pregnant women. In addition, GlaxoSmithKline has reportedly failed to perform the needed studies on the medication to ensure that its safe to take during pregnancy. Numerous Zofran lawsuits against the company indicate that they purposely neglected these studies in order to claim ignorance should severe birth defects or a wrongful death occur.
What is Zofran Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the negligence of another party. In the instance of a Zofran wrongful death case, the responsible party is the person or business/entity that put you and your baby in great risk, leading to infant death.
Since GlaxoSmithKline is the maker of Zofran and responsible for ensuring the medicine is safe for use by pregnant women before promoting it, the company would be the one responsible for the death of an infant, should it occur due to the mother taking Zofran while pregnant.
However, in order to prove your wrongful death case, you must first prove that GlaxoSmithKline was indeed responsible for causing your infant’s death. This is done via a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Unfortunately, even though Zofran lawsuits are still relatively new, a number of wrongful death lawsuits have already been filed against GlaxoSmithKline. All of the lawsuits closely resemble one another, in that the allegations state the GlaxoSmithKline knew about or should have known about the risks and dangers associated with pregnant women taking Zofran. Yet, even with the knowledge that Zofran poses significant risks to infants, including death, the company continued to market it as off-label use to pregnant women.
For instance, in 2006, Molly Reagan, a newborn, passed away from complications after her mother Valerie Reagan, took Zofran for morning sickness during her first trimester of pregnancy. On March 17, 2006, only nine days before Molly was due for delivery, a doctor confirmed that the baby girl had a decelerating heart. After she was born, Molly was diagnosed with right ventricle heart defect. She passed away three days later while in ICU.
Heart defects and malformations are among one of the many confirmed risks of taking Zofran while pregnant. Yet, Valerie Regan was never told she was taking a drug that carried such risks. It wasn’t until recently, however, that the Reagan family learned of the secretive plots of GlaxoSmithKline, and how the risks of Zofran were well-hidden. Armed with the knowledge that Zofran can cause infant, the Reagan family filed recently a wrongful death lawsuit against GlaxoKlineSmith. The lawsuit was filed the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Do You Have a Valid Wrongful Death Case?
If you were prescribed Zofran while pregnant, and in turn, your baby died of severe birth defects, there is a good chance that you have a valid wrongful death lawsuit. Drug manufacturers that promote medications without fully disclosing the risks should be held responsible for their actions.
It’s important to note, however, that wrongful death cases can be quite intricate. From medical documents, key witnesses, and more, you’ll need an experienced and reputable Zofran attorney to help you during this difficult time and assist you in getting the compensation you rightfully deserve for your tragic loss.
For more information on Zofran attorneys, including how to find the best attorney to suit your needs, refer to our article, Zofran Lawyer.