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Darvon (dextropropoxyphene) is a pharmaceutical drug prescribed to treat mild to moderate pain. Manufactured by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Darvon received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1972. There are many dangerous drugs containing propoxyphene, including Darvocet, a combination between acetaminophen and the drug.

The popularity of the pain medication that spanned over four decades came crashing down after revelations surfaced regarding the drug’s severe and fatal side effects. In 2010, the FDA required manufacturers to recall all drugs containing propoxyphene.

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Darvocet and Darvon linked to severe heart arrhythmia

The recall came after the FDA determined that, after reviewing data from a new study, propoxyphene drugs caused severe heart disorders. At therapeutic doses, these dangerous drugs could significantly change the electrical activity of the heart. These changes, which were seen on an electrocardiogram, could increase the risk of developing a serious and deadly abnormal heart rhythm.

In effect, the agency concluded that the drug’s benefits no longer outweighed its risks. The recall in the United States came four years after propoxyphene-containing drugs were discontinued in Great Britain. In a separate study, propoxyphene drugs were linked to a higher sudden death rate than other more effective painkillers such as tramadol and hydrocodone.

Public Citizen petitioned the FDA in 1976 and in 2006, claiming drugs containing propoxyphene were unsafe. The health research group claims that between 1,000 and 2,000 Americans died due to the drug between 2005 and 2009. The recall was announced over a year after the FDA included a black box warning on Darvocet regarding an increased risk of fatal heart rhythm disorders.

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A tort is a civil wrongful act committed by a person or company that results in harm to another person. A mass tort is when multiple victims are injured by the same single tort.
A court will consider if a mass tort lawsuit is permissible by determining:
  • whether a large number of plaintiffs are involved
  • whether the plaintiffs are located near or far from each other;
  • whether the injuries sustained are similar among the plaintiffs;
  • whether the claims arose from the same cause (defective toy, car part, oil spill, etc.)
  • Defective products, such as car parts, toys, or other consumer goods.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs, such as those that are later linked to severe or fatal health consequences
  • Environmental hazards, such as polluted water sources contaminated by nearby industrial sites or an oil leak.
Thousands of lawsuits across the country may be filed with a mass tort. These lawsuits are filed in numerous federal district courts. In a mass tort, federal judges will consolidate the thousands of lawsuits into a single proceeding. One judge in a single federal district court will oversee litigation, allowing for consistent rulings and a more expeditious process for the plaintiffs.
In a mass tort, each plaintiff (injured person) has an individual claim resulting from their unique damages. In a class action, many plaintiffs are considered collectively. Similarly, in a mass tort, each individual's claim "value" is unique to the severity of their injuries. In a class action, plaintiffs generally suffer injuries of similar severity, resulting in the same amount of compensation value.
If you have been injured or suffered illness due to a recalled drug, having an expert witnesses can be essential to proving your claim. Thomas J. Henry has spent decades building professional relationships with leading experts including:
  • Pharmacologists
  • Toxicologists
  • Regulatory Compliance Consultants
  • Forensic toxicologists
  • Drug Injury Causation Experts
  • Biomechanics

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No matter the injury or the accident, if you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of an individual or company, Thomas J. Henry is here to assist you.

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