Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary face a growing number of lawsuits alleging that their prescription interstitial cystitis drug, Elmiron, causes irreversible vision problems and blindness. Many of the product liability lawsuits tying Elmiron use to maculopathy and permanent eye damage have been filed in New Jersey, where Johnson & Johnson is headquartered, and the New Jersey Supreme Court recently determined that all Elmiron lawsuits filed in the state court system will be consolidated before one judge as part of a multicounty litigation (MCL). The Elmiron litigation is relatively new and product liability attorneys across the country are still investigating claims brought by Elmiron users who have experienced pigmentary maculopathy or retinal maculopathy. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today if you or someone you love has suffered blurred vision, blindness, or another potential side effect of Elmiron.
Elmiron, also known as pentosan polysulfate sodium or PPS, is a prescription medication widely used in the treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC), a chronic bladder condition causing bladder pain and pressure, sometimes accompanied by pelvic pain. Interstitial cystitis is part of a group of diseases known collectively as painful bladder syndrome, which affects millions of men and women across the United States. There is no known cure for IC, and because Elmiron is the only oral medication approved by the FDA to treat the painful bladder condition, many people prescribed Elmiron for IC end up taking the drug for years. Unfortunately, while Elmiron has been marketed as a safe and effective treatment for IC, recent research has shown that users may experience vision loss attributed to a rare type of eye damage known as pigmentary maculopathy. In fact, this novel eye condition is so closely tied to Elmiron use that it is often referred to as pentosan polysulfate (PPS) maculopathy.
Elmiron has been on the market since 1996, but users were not warned about the potential link between Elmiron exposure and retinal maculopathy until June 2020, when Johnson & Johnson finally updated the drug label to include a risk that the medication could cause pigmentary changes in the retina. According to the drug warning, these pigmentary changes “reported in the literature as pigmentary maculopathy, have been identified with long-term use of Elmiron.” However, while most reported pigmentary maculopathy cases occurred after three years of Elmiron use or longer, Johnson & Johnson noted in the warning that “cases have [also] been seen with a shorter duration of use.” Because information about the link between Elmiron and vision loss was allegedly withheld from consumers, many users continued taking the interstitial cystitis drug for years after developing vision problems, potentially worsening their retinal damage.
Emerging evidence indicating that Elmiron use causes pigmentary maculopathy will likely lead to a flood of lawsuits filed by people who took Elmiron and later suffered vision loss or other serious vision problems. Each Elmiron lawsuit that has already been filed against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals involves similar allegations that the drug manufacturers sold Elmiron without warning about the risk of vision problems associated with the interstitial cystitis medication. A group of plaintiffs in the Elmiron litigation filed a motion in October 2021 to establish an MCL for all Elmiron cases filed throughout the state. On February 10, 2022, Administrative Director of the New Jersey Courts Glenn A. Grant announced in a Notice to the Bar that the New Jersey Supreme Court had approved the creation of an Elmiron MCL in New Jersey. The MCL has been assigned to Superior Court Judge Rachelle Harz in Bergen County.
Despite scientific studies and adverse event reports linking Elmiron to life-changing and potentially permanent vision problems, the interstitial cystitis drug has not been recalled and is still available for consumer use. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with retinal maculopathy and you believe Elmiron use to be the cause, do not hesitate to speak to an experienced product liability attorney about your legal options. You may be eligible to file an Elmiron vision loss lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible to find out how we can help.