According to a recent San Antonio Express-News article, a Corpus Christi woman who participated in an experimental hepatitis drug trial sponsored by drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb and drug trial administrator Alamo Medical Research suffered such serious heart damage due to the drug that she is now in need of a heart transplant. Janet Schaefer Vella, a nurse at Bay Area Hospital, found out that she was infected with Hepatitis C in spring, 2012. Seeking to remain a pediatric nurse, Vella sought a cure for the disease through the clinic drug trial. The drug trial involved an experimental hepatitis drug commonly referred to as BMS-986094.
Soon after Vella began taking the drug, her test results became abnormal, but Alamo doctors advised her to continue taking the drug. On July 28, 2012, however, Vella became ill, and she discovered that she was on the verge of both heart and kidney failure.
Aside from Vella’s medical issues, one person died during the drug trial and eight others were hospitalized, reportedly with medical issues related to heart and kidney toxicity. These incidents caused Bristol-Myers to completely stop the clinical drug trial last week. Over 100 people were involved in the drug trial at the time Bristol Myers halted the trial.
One day later, Vella filed a products liability lawsuit against Bristol-Myers and Alamo in Nueces County, alleging that the companies went ahead with the clinical trials “without fully evaluating the risks and benefits of the drug.” Although the consent form signed by the participants in the drug trial warned of possible side effects such as headaches and nausea, as well as a general warning about unknown risks, there was no mention of potential heart or kidney damage from taking the drug. A knowledgeable defective products lawyer can help you understand what you are or are not entitled to.
Bristol-Myers and several other drug companies are all seeking to create an effective new treatment for Hepatitis C, which affects about 3.2 million Americans. In its haste to find such a treatment, Bristol-Myers paid $2.5 billion to purchase Inhibitex Inc. earlier this year, which created BMS-986094, the drug that Vella and others in the drug trial used. As a result of the unsuccessful drug trials, Bristol-Myers now claims that it will lose $1.8 billion on the acquisition deal.
Unfortunately, people are often exposed to medications and other products that are defective in a way that ultimately causes them serious injuries. When this occurs, the injured persons may be entitled to compensation for their losses through a lawsuit. As your experienced New Braunfels defective products attorneys, we can help. Contact our office today for a thorough consultation regarding your injuries, and let our personal injury lawyers help you discover whether you are entitled to compensation for those injuries.