Drug Known to Cause Suicidal Thoughts Results in Death of 16-Year-Old Boy
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 4, 2013 – Some drugs help. Other drugs, like Cymbalta, have the potential to kill, as they did in this case.
“Wrongful death, defective product lawsuits involving the suicide of a young teen are particularly hard to deal with. The family is distraught and in shock. They want to know that what happened to their son will never happen to anyone else. The drug Cymbalta is at the center of the storm in this lawsuit and eventual settlement,” indicated Austin injury lawyer Brooks Schuelke, with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P.
Cymbalta was approved for use in the U.S. in 2004, and was usually prescribed for depression. Over time, physicians used it for other off-label purposes and the drug maker, Eli Lilly and Co., started to promote its use for other conditions. In 2012, Lilly made $5 billion on this one drug alone. As ironic as it may seem, this drug, prescribed for depression, actually perpetuated it and was well known to cause suicidal thoughts in younger individuals.
“The 16-year-old in this shocking case was given the drug to take in November 2004. One month later, he shot himself,” said Schuelke. The parents elected to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Eli Lilly and their marketing partner, Quintiles Transnational. The suit alleged that neither company adequately warned patients that the drug could cause suicidal thoughts —- often acted upon —- in some users.
Evidence that would have been presented at trial, had the case not been settled out of court, showed the drug maker hid the fact that during a patient trial of the drug, a 19-year-old male hung himself. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration recommended a “black box warning” about the drug’s dangerous side-effects. It was not added to the drug packaging until 2005.
This is not the only drug with dangerous side-effects that Eli Lilly has been sued over. Consider the mass tort litigation involving Prozac. A large number of those cases were also settled out of court, as the company did not want to deal with its dirty laundry in the legal arena in a public manner.
“Those facing the death of a loved one as the result of a dangerous drug need to reach out and discuss their situation with an experienced injury attorney,” stated Schuelke. “You need a voice in court on your side to obtain not only justice, but to be able to send a message to drug makers that their actions are not acceptable and they must take responsibility for them.”
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944
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