Nearly 3 million Americans have the hepatitis C virus, which can lead to liver failure and cancer if left untreated. Many of those affected have no choice but to take some form of medication to treat their liver damage. In the past, hepatitis C treatments have required injections and commonly caused flu-like symptoms in patients. However, a new group of pill-only hep C treatments has recently entered the market, causing fewer side effects and eliminating the needle altogether. Pharmaceutical company, AbbVie, makes two of the pill-only treatments, but the FDA has recently linked AbbVie’s drugs to several cases of severe liver damage, the need for transplantation, and even death. Contact a Boston drug injury lawyer today.
AbbVie’s Viekira Pak and Technivie Linked to 26 Drug Injuries
Apparently, the majority of the AbbVie injuries occurred in patients with advanced liver disease, cirrhosis, or severe and irreversible scarring of the liver. In all, the FDA has linked 26 injuries and fatalities to AbbVie’s drugs. According to the FDA’s research, the liver damage usually begins within four weeks of the treatment start date. The AbbVie drugs linked to liver damage are Viekira Pak, and Technivie. The majority of the cases involved Viekira Pak and involved patients with decompensated liver disease.
In response to the release of this information, AbbVie issued a statement that it is adding an updated warning label to the drugs in question. The company is advising patients with moderate to severe liver impairment that they should not use the drugs and that, “Patient safety is of the utmost concern to AbbVie.” A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company said that the new labels will also warn of a contraindication for patients with Child-Pugh B cirrhosis, and will include a recommendation that medical professionals look for evidence of hepatic decompensation before prescribing Viekira Pak.
AbbVie’s Drugs Average $83,000 Per Treatment
In addition to AbbVie’s responsibility to update labels and provide warning of serious side-effects, healthcare professionals should also use extra caution when prescribing these drugs. Doctors should closely monitor patients for signs of worsening liver disease. Although physicians and patients have embraced the pill-only drugs, not everyone is as enthusiastic. The high-cost, typically more than $83,000 for one treatment, has caused some push-back from insurance companies.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Medical Malpractice and Drug Injury Lawyers
If you suspect that AbbVie’s Viekira Pak or Technivie drugs have caused liver damage in you or a loved one, seek medical attention without delay. The medical malpractice lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for victims of drug injuries. If you have been injured by any kind of drug or treatment, we can help. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and time off work. Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to distribute safe, effective drugs. They are also responsible for providing sufficient and clear warning labels that include contraindications, side-effects, and risks. Failure to do this can lead to serious, even fatal, consequences. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we believe that the grossly profitable pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable for their actions. We are as compassionate as we are aggressive. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.