The company had a $426.4 million net loss in the prior-year period, which reflected a $1.3 million after-tax charge related to the Redux and Pondimin
diet drug litigation.
As part of a multidistrict class action settlement between users of two appetite suppressants--fenfluramine (Pondimin
) and dexfenfluramine (Redux)--and the drugs' manufacturer, Wyeth, Inc., class members could opt out of the agreement at different stages.
million (after taxes) charge related to the Redux and Pondimin
The diet drug, sold under the brand names Redux or Pondimin
, came to be known as "fen-phen." The medication, prescribed for the treatment of obesity was voluntarily taken off the market on Sept.
Fenfluramine is sold under the trade names Pondimin
Table 1 Prescription Appetite Suppressant Medications Generic Name Trade Name(s) Dexfenfluramine Redux (Withdrawn) Diethylpropion Tenuate, Tenuate dospan Fenfluramine Pondimin
(Withdrawn) Mazindol Sanorex, Mazanor Phendimetrazine Bontril, Plegine, Prelu-2, X-Trozine Phentermine Adipex-P, Fastin, Ionamin, Oby-trim Sibutramine Meridia
The withdrawal of fenfluramine (Pondimin
) and dexfenfluramine (Redux) late last summer is due to increasing reports of heart-valve abnormalities in as many as 30 percent of persons taking these drugs, with or without phentermine (Adipex, Fastin, or Ionamin) to promote weight loss--and the earlier report of severe lung disease in a very small percentage of patients taking fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine together.
However, recent mass pharmaceutical tort litigations--such as those stemming from use of Baycol, PPA, Rezulin, and Propulsid and the diet drugs Redux and Pondimin
(5)--have proven that FDA-related issues are relevant to state tort law claims, even when these issues are not intended as private causes of action under the FDCA.
Her family accused the pharmaceutical company, based in Madison, N.J., of downplaying the possibility that Pondimin
, the brand name of the drug fenfluramine, one of the components of fen-phen, could cause primary pulmonary hypertension, an often fatal lung disease.
A jury has returned a unanimous verdict in Wyeth's favor in a case relating to the company's drug Pondimin
. In the dispute, a patient alleged heart valve injury from use of the diet medication.
The labeling for Pondimin
(fenfluramine) permitted prescription for "a few weeks," but some doctors allowed patients to take it for a year or more.
The company has been trying to improve its image in the aftermath of a controversy in the late 1990s over the diet pills Pondimin
and Redux (Wyeth was then known as American Home Products Corp.).