Many newer rheumatoid arthritis drugs have strong including black box warnings about the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, lung disease, and other injuries but Actemra Serious Heart and Lung Injuries warning was not issued by the drug maker when the medication was introduced.
Actemra Wrongful Death, Heart and Lung Injuries
Actemra linked to increased risk of heart attacks and serious lung disease according to recent reports.
According to recent reports, Actemra Serious Heart and Lung Injuries may be the same, if not a higher, risk of these injuries. As a result of the failure to warn about these side effects, Actemra lawsuits may provide financial compensation for injured patients nationwide.
Actemra (tocilizumab) is a newer blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug introduced by Roche in 2010. It is given to patients as an intravenous (through the vein) Actemra infusion on a monthly basis or as a subcutaneous (under the skin) Actemra injection on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Actemra is a monoclonal antibody drug, approved by the FDA to treat autoimmune disorders including Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (PJIA), and Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) and was recently approved for the treatment of Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA).
In autoimmune disorders like RA, the immune system begins to attack and destroy the body’s own joint or other tissue. Actemra works to suppress the immune system by blocking interleukin-6, an immune messenger.
Actemra is a Blockbuster Drug
Roche touted their new rheumatoid arthritis drug as a “unique” breakthrough treatment, and it has since become a blockbuster drug, generating $1.6 billion in sales in 2016. Actemra competes with other popular and widely used rheumatoid arthritis drugs already on the market, including Enbrel, Humira, and Remicade.
Actemra Serious Heart and Lung Injuries Roche failed to warn
Enbrel, Humira and Remicade drugs contained strong warnings about the heart risks and other serious health problems, but Actemra warnings did not indicate that patients may develop a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, lung disease, pancreatitis or other serious side effects.
Unfortunately, many doctors and patients were falsely led to believe that Actemra was safer, and Actemra may actually cause the same, or even a greater risk of heart problems, lung complications, and other injuries.
Report Highlights Failure to Warn About Actemra Risks
In June 2017, the national publication STATNews.com released a detailed review of adverse event reports submitted to the FDA involving Actemra problems. The report raised a serious question about the failure to warn about the risk of cardiovascular problems, pancreatitis, lung disease and other injuries that have been experienced by users nationwide.
STAT News researchers examined thousands of serious adverse event reports filed with the FDA and found that 1,128 cardiac and respiratory deaths in Actemra patients had been reported to the FDA, along with thousands of other serious adverse events including heart attack, stroke, interstitial lung disease, gastrointestinal perforation and others.
STAT identified at least 13,500 reports of issues following an Actemra infusion or injection, which were submitted to the FDA between 2010 and 2016.
Actemra was linked to a higher-than-expected number of serious adverse event reports when compared with the more widely used drugs Humira, Remicade and Enbrel, which each have warnings about risks that users may face.
Actemra Serious and deadly Heart and Lung Injuries
Actemra patients were more likely to have a lung disease event than patients taking Remicade and just as likely as those using Humira.
Actemra patients were 1.5 times more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke as those using Enbrel.
Actemra Injury Lawsuit Allegations
According to allegations in pending Actemra lawsuits against Roche, the drug maker placed their desire for profits before patient safety by withholding important warnings about the risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, lung disease, pancreatitis and other harmful side effects.
The Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm is currently accepting and evaluating Actemra Injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured or died as a result of taking Actemra, you should contact our office immediately for a free case consultation. Please call or email our Actemra team toll-free 24 hours a day at 888-210-9693, or 214-390-3189.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a licensed Texas Medical Doctor and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.