Diet pills have been a source of high financial reward for companies capitalizing on the high number of diet conscience Americans. The introduction of fen phen to the market was met with anticipation and was immediately deemed as the "miracle drug". It did not take long for the estimated 6-7 million people that took fen phen to become adversely affected by the diet pill as fatal health complications were reported in high number.
On September 15, 1997, fen phen was recalled when new evidence from doctors evaluating fen phen patients with echocardiograms found that 30% of the patients had abnormal results. An echocardiogram is a test evaluating the functioning of heart valves and the findings were a much higher than expected percentage. The FDA had already issued to prior warnings concerning fen phen and the risk of heart valve problems.
A New England Journal of Medicine August 1996 publication included a study showing the use of fen phen for three months or longer had a twenty-three fold increase in the risk of developing primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). PPH is a potentially life threatening cardiovascular condition linked to fen phen that is not curable. Although advances in fen phen treatments like PPH have allowed a longer life expectancy for patients who develop the condition, there is still no cure for the heart condition.
The Nationwide Class Action Settlement Agreement with fen phen manufacturer American Home Products was made final on January 3, 2002. Fen phen, also marketed under the names Redux and Pondimin, has endangered the lives of the millions of patients taking the diet pill. Evidence of the serious and potentially fatal fen phen condition PPH had been showing for years prior to the fen phen recall.
American Home Products had knowledge that fen phen had links to PPH but never listed it under fen phen's adverse reaction areas of the drug labeling. The FDA found fen phen manufacturer had miscoded PPH reports after initially failing to have an official medical monitor back in 1995. The former FDA key reviewer of fen phen felt that fen phen was dangerous from the beginning and that the drug companies were covering up for the dangers.
If you have taken the weight loss pill fen phen, please contact us to learn more about your legal rights and options. Medical research had shown the impact of fen phen side effects, such as PPH were grossly underestimated. In 1996 alone, there were 18,000,000 prescriptions written for fen phen.