Actemra® is a drug designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Based on early testing, it was believed that this drug did not have the side effects of many competing drugs, like increased risks of heart attacks, heart failure, and dangerous lung damage. Since then, however, there have been hundreds of reports to the FDA of people who have died while taking the drug, yet there are still no warnings to patients about potential dangers. These new dangers include a higher chance of heart failure and pancreatitis, as well as possible strokes and lung disease.
If your loved one has fallen ill or died while taking Actemra, don't suffer in silence - you can do something about it. It may seem intimidating to try to fight a large pharmaceutical company, but that's what we do all the time. We understand what it takes to deal with these companies and take on injustice. Call a New York pharmaceutical litigation attorney today at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case and talk about your options going forward.
Actemra is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for release in the U.S. in 2010. It was created by Roche, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and is designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes stiffness in joints, pain, and swelling. One of the reasons many doctors and patients were excited about Actemra is that in early testing it did not show an increased risk of heart failure in patients, which many other rheumatoid arthritis medications have. Those tests, however, failed to find the danger.
There have been over 1,100 reports to the FDA of people who have died while taking Actemra, and while not all of those were caused by the drug, that is certainly cause for alarm. Additional testing and research since the release of the drug have shown there may be a connection between taking Actemra and increased chance of heart failure and pancreatitis. Experts who have looked at the data suggest that the FDA should require a warning on the drug for these two potentially fatal conditions.
More research is necessary, but there is some evidence to show that Actemra might also increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and interstitial lung disease or scarring of lung tissue. There have been fewer reports of these conditions in patients taking Actemra compared to heart failure and pancreatitis. But patients deserve to know the risks are there.
Currently, the FDA requires that many competing drugs for rheumatoid arthritis have warning labels about increased chances of heart failure and other conditions. No such requirement has yet been made for Actemra, which means many patients do not know that they are potentially putting their lives at risk by taking this drug. In recent years, laws have made it easier for drugs to be released onto the market after only short testing, but little has been done to properly monitor their use and warn patients about risks after release.
First of all, don't feel like you are standing alone against a massive multinational corporation, because you are not. However, don't try to deal with what has happened all by yourself.
Pharmaceutical companies like Roche have lawyers to defend them, and you need an experienced personal injury and dangerous drug attorney to fight for you. Call us at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, right now at (212) 986-7353 to tell us about what happened. We can sit down with you in a free consultation and talk about what we can do next.