There is a December 31st deadline in the fen-phen litigation for certain individuals who may be eligible for additional cash payments from the $4.8 billion nationwide class settlement involving the recalled diet drug. Drug maker Wyeth has agreed to make payments to class members with certain qualifying medical conditions if those conditions occur and are diagnosed by the earlier of December 31, 2011, or 15 years from the date of their last diet drug use. Kip Petroff, a lawyer from Dallas, stated in a news release:
Unless class members see a physician to evaluate their heart health and have any necessary surgeries before the 2011 deadline, they could miss out on the money they deserve to deal with the debilitating, life-long health issues stemming from taking fen-phen.
The American Home Products Settlement Trust was created in September 2000 to resolve a nationwide class action brought by Claimants who suffer from valvular heart disease as a result of taking Pondimin and Redux, a diet-drug cocktail known as fen-phen. About six million prescriptions for the diet drugs were written before American Home Products (now Wyeth) pulled fen-phen off the market in 1997 after reports that the drug combination caused heart valve problems. The original $3.75 billion settlement became final in 2002. The settlement trust has been swamped with claims since that time.
Wyeth later agreed to pay more than $1 billion to address certain claims left unresolved by the original settlement. Class members who may be affected by the December 31st deadline include those who need heart valve surgery or have had valve surgery, those who are candidates for valve surgery but who may not know it, and the relatives or heirs of fen-phen victims who have died.
Source: Lawyers USA Online
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