The first of hundreds of Elmiron vision loss lawsuits consolidated in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) is scheduled for trial later this month. The case marks the first bellwether trial involving claims that the interstitial cystitis medication may cause users to suffer pigmentary maculopathy and other irreversible vision problems that could lead to blindness. If you or someone you love experienced vision problems during or after Elmiron treatment, contact Consumer Safety Watch right away. You may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and other losses related to your injuries, which you may be able to pursue by filing an Elmiron lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit.
We will see some new developments in the Elmiron litigation in 2023, including three bellwether test trials meant to gauge how juries will respond to evidence and testimony that will likely be repeated throughout the Elmiron litigation. The first Elmiron bellwether trial involves claims by a Louisiana woman who is suing Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceutical subsidiary for allegedly manufacturing and selling a dangerously defective medication, and for failing to provide consumers and medical professionals with adequate warnings about the potential for Elmiron to cause irreversible vision damage. The case, Maria Wyndham v. Janssen et al. (20-cv-14670), was initially scheduled for January 2023, but the bellwether trial was postponed until later this month. The second bellwether trial was scheduled for March 2023 and the third for May 2023.
So far, J&J and Janssen face upwards of 2,000 product liability lawsuits currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, each involving similar claims that prolonged exposure to Elmiron can cause a novel type of maculopathy that only occurs in Elmiron users. Some of the first studies linking Elmiron to pigmentary maculopathy were published in 2018, and since then, the Elmiron maculopathy research has snowballed. In June 2020, Janssen finally updated the Elmiron drug label, including a warning about “Pigmentary changes in the retina, reported in the literature as pigmentary maculopathy.” It was shortly after the Elmiron label change that the first Elmiron lawsuits were filed. These lawsuits center on claims that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals knew or should have known that long-term Elmiron use could cause permanent vision loss, and should be ordered to compensate patients who have suffered devastating vision damage allegedly caused by the interstitial cystitis drug.
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder condition causing bladder pain, bladder pressure, and sometimes pelvic pain. Interstitial cystitis can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable, and Elmiron, or pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), is the only oral drug approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of IC. However, researchers have found that prolonged Elmiron use may cause a unique type of maculopathy called pigmentary maculopathy, which has only been observed in Elmiron users. Maculopathy is a progressive eye disease, and patients suffering from Elmiron-related maculopathy may experience permanent vision problems that can lead to blindness. In one Elmiron study published in March 2022, researchers from Canada found that patients taking the interstitial cystitis medication for more than three years had a 9.5-times increased risk of developing maculopathy. According to reports, Elmiron-related vision problems may progress even after the patient stops taking the IC medication.
The vision loss side effects allegedly associated with Elmiron treatment can be debilitating and irreversible. If you took Elmiron long term and subsequently suffered vision changes such as distorted vision, blurry vision, vision disturbances, or difficulty reading, do not hesitate to speak to an experienced Elmiron vision loss attorney about your legal rights. These eye issues could be the result of Elmiron-related side effects and they may qualify you to file an Elmiron injury lawsuit against the manufacturer.