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Shezad Malik MD JD
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Effexor Birth Defect Lawsuits Moving Ahead

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The federal Effexor litigation is beginning to gain traction, as the coordinated pretrial proceedings are established for these antidepressant birth defect lawsuits.  These congenital birth defect claims are brought by injured families who allege that their children were born with birth defects after Effexor exposure during pregnancy.

ZOLOFT Birth Defect attorneyFederal Effexor MDL Established

In August, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated for pre-trial discovery all Effexor birth defect lawsuits as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation.

The cases are centralized before U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe for coordinated handling in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Effexor Birth Defect Lawsuits Growing

There are about 50 product liability lawsuits pending in the MDL involving families who allege that Pfizer failed to adequately warn about the risk of birth defects from Effexor pregnancy use.

Accord to experts, because of the common use of the antidepressant medication, there will be hundreds of claims centralized before Judge Rufe as Effexor claims continue to be filed.

What is Effexor?

Effexor (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This class of medications, are similar to the more widespread selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft. SNRIs are known to have many of the same side effects as SSRIs.

Effexor Lawsuit Allegations

These claims involve allegations that Pfizer’s Wyeth subsidiary failed to adequately warn patients or the doctors about the pregnancy risks with Effexor.

Plaintiffs claim that there were evidence of potential pregnancy birth defect side effects during clinical trials on animals. Also there were indications that Effexor may affect children during pregnancy following post-marketing data as well.

The plaintiffs allege further that Wyeth aggressively marketed the drug as safe for pregnant women, when no such claim could be made when analyzing the scientific data.

Following the coordinated pretrial proceedings in the MDL, there will be bellwether Effexor trials to help the parties determine how juries may respond to the presented evidence.
If a settlement is not reached, each case may ultimately be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for an individual trial date.