Autonomy over our bodies is a fundamental human right. We have full power to decide what to do with our bodies, and how and when to do it. When pharmaceutical companies withhold the risks of their medications, they are hijacking this right. We are then unable to make educated decisions on whether a medication is worth taking, and this can lead to tragedies which would have otherwise been completely avoidable. Janssen Pharmaceuticals has a history of misleading the public and understating the risks of its medication. The result: a threat to public health, and thousands of injuries that could have been prevented had these risks been disclosed when the company learned of them.
Elmiron treats Interstitial Cystitis (also known as Bladder Pain Syndrome), a urinary tract issue causing abdominal and pelvic pain. This condition leads to frequent urination and disproportionately affects women. More than 1 million people throughout the United States suffer from Interstitial Cystitis. It has no known cure, and as a result many patients take doses of their medication over the course of years. Elmiron was introduced in 1996 by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The active ingredient in the drug is pentosan polysulfate sodium. The way the drug operates in the body is unclear, even to the manufacturer of the drug.
Recent findings have uncovered that patients who have taken the drug are at increased risk for Retinal Maculopathy, an eye disorder that can lead to slow vision loss and in extreme cases, blindness. Early symptoms include: blurry vision, loss of night vision, reading difficulty, eye adjustment issues, difficulty seeing close objects, vision dimness, and blank spots in field of vision. It is recommended that all patients who have used Elmiron get an optical exam to detect Maculopathy. There is also evidence that the use of Elmiron triggers other retinal diseases now referred to as “Elmiron Maculopathy.” These include: Macular Degeneration, Macular Retinopathy, Retinal Deterioration, Pattern Dystrophy, and other Atypical Maculopathy.
Many individuals who identify the issue early can prevent lasting damage, but in some cases, the optical problems may continue to worsen for years, even after you stop taking the drug. Evidence has come to light that the pharmaceutical company knew of the worrisome effects of the drug back in the 90s. Although problems increasingly became apparent with the drug, the company did not issue any warning until 2020. Thousands of users had already experienced irreversible vision loss and eye damage. Patients ailments were often misdiagnosed and not linked to the drug, causing even further damage. Some studies indicate that up to 25% of people who took the drug saw decline in their eyesight, while others posit that it could actually be over 50%.
If you have taken Elmiron, you should have your eyes checked by your optimologist. If you and your doctor determine that your use of the drug has affected your eyesight, contact one of experienced Elmiron lawyers to discuss your next steps.
You may be eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The manufacturer could have prevented your injury by simply warning the public of the public of the risk or recalling their product. As a result, it took away your ability to make a fully informed medical decision.
At Altman & Altman LLP, we have an experienced team of attorneys ready to defend your rights. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week - including nights and weekends. To schedule a Free Initial Consultation with one of our Elmiron attorneys, call us at 617.492.3000 or Contact Us Online. All Consultations are completely confidential. You will be charged no fee unless we recover money on your behalf.