The multidistrict litigation (MDL) against the makers of the interstitial cystitis medication Elmiron has conducted a “science day” designed to educate the court on how the drug allegedly causes vision damage in long-term users. The science day, which was held at the end of September, is a valuable procedure for plaintiffs hoping to recover damages for their alleged injuries.
The lawsuit, filed against both Teva and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alleges that Elmiron, the only oral medication for treating interstitial cystitis, causes serious vision damage in long-term users. On December 15, 2020, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) redirected all Elmiron lawsuits and commanded that they be consolidated in the U.S. District Court of the District of New Jersey. The cases were placed under the control of District Judge Brian R. Martinotti.
This MDL has expanded significantly since then. As of September 2021, there have been 523 cases alleging Elmiron vision damage claims. According to the Court, there have been 465 federal lawsuits and 58 state lawsuits filed in the MDL.
In the most recent public case management order, released September 2021, the court announced its plans to hold a science day to educate judicial officers on the medical and scientific facts behind how Elmiron works. Officers were educated about how Elmiron works, the flaws in the current scientific understanding over how it functions, the length of time Elmiron’s approval studies lasted and how long real-life patients use the drug.
According to the court, due to the global pandemic and the District of New Jersey guidelines and policies to deal with it, the science day was moved to a virtual platform.
With the science day completed, judicial officers have now been briefed on the mechanisms of Elmiron’s interaction with patients and the effects of long-term exposure. This gives plaintiffs a stronger stance in presenting their case about the inadequacy of research surrounding Elmiron and the studies that demonstrate a strong correlation between long-term Elmiron use and vision damage.