Memphis Defective Drug Attorneys Handling Uloric Claims
Representing clients in West Tennessee who have sustained injuries after taking Uloric
Uloric (febuxostat), a medication prescribed to lower uric acid associated with gout, has been linked to heart failure, kidney failure, and death. The defective drug attorneys of Bailey & Greer, PLLC are currently accepting cases on behalf of victims and their families throughout West Tennessee. If you or your loved one sustained serious injuries, or if your loved one has died, after taking being prescribed Uloric for the treatment of gout, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
What is gout?
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis associated with high levels of uric acid. Per the Arthritis Foundation, “The acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.”
Gout in and of itself isn’t a deadly condition, but it has been linked to deadly conditions, such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes. If it is left untreated, the uric acid crystals can “clump” together, forming deposits called tophi. These tophi can break down the tissue in your joints, leading to permanent joint damage.
Did You Know?
“Perhaps the oldest known type of arthritis, gout or gouty arthritis, has a long and colorful history with some of the earliest descriptions dating back as far as the 5th century B.C. Historically, gout has been called ‘the disease of kings’ due to its association with rich foods and alcohol consumption.”
– Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center
What is Uloric?
Uloric, which is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor designed to help treat chronic gout. It does this by preventing the release of xanthine oxidase, an enzyme involved in the formation of uric acid. By blocking this enzyme, Uloric was designed to decrease the level of uric acid the body produces, thus decreasing the frequency of chronic gout attacks.
Uloric has been on the market for the last 10 years, but its history is telling. It took Takeda three tries to get Uloric approved for market, and even then, the company had to complete phase IV trials to ensure its safety:
“Phase IV trials consist of clinical research conducted after a drug has been approved. Due to the modest size of developmental drug programs, evaluation of a drug’s toxicity profile and overall understanding of its safety can only partially be determined prior to approval. The understanding at approval of [a new drug’s] toxicity profile and overall benefit–risk is best considered provisional. FDA [Food & Drug Administration] often imposes obligations on drug manufacturers, as a condition of FDA approval, to conduct one or more Phase IV postmarketing studies to fill important data gaps.” Toxicology Testing and Evaluation
To summarize, the FDA wasn’t entirely confident in Uloric’s abilities, so in order to remain on the market, Takeda had to undergo rigorous post-market testing and trials to ensure that the drug was safe.
As it turns out, it was not safe.
Uloric increases your risk of heart failure and death
Takeda reviewed data from more than 6,000 participants, all while steadily selling more and more of their drug. Compared to other brands, Uloric did not show any significant difference in controlling gout flare-ups. What it did show was a significant increase in cardiovascular deaths from Uloric, as compared to other medications, like allopurinol.
Furthermore, Uloric has also been associated with:
- Non-deadly heart attacks
- Non-deadly strokes
- Unstable angina
- Liver abnormalities
- Liver failure
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Pulmonary embolism
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Other causes of death
Remember that these trials were performed by Takeda, which has every motivation to put its best foot forward, and they still found a significant higher rate of fatalities resulting from Uloric use.
Did Takeda know that Uloric was dangerous?
Dr. Helen Ge, a former safety consultant for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company. She claims that Takeda failed to warn about potential risks associated with the drug, and the company failed to issue warnings regarding how Uloric interacts with other medications.
The FDA’s response
Because of the increased risk of heart failure and death, the FDA issued a Black Box warning in February 2019 as well as a new medication guide for using Uloric. The FDA also “limit[ed] the approved use of Uloric to certain patients who are not treated effectively or experience severe side effects with allopurinol,” and advises that doctors must discuss the cardiovascular risks associated with the medication with all potential patients.
I’m taking Uloric; what should I do?
If you have been prescribed Uloric as a first-line treatment for gout, you should immediately seek medical attention. You and your doctor should discuss other options for treatment. Some patients may still be at risk even after discontinuing use, so it is important that you keep in touch with your doctors about any symptoms you may experience.
Filing a product liability lawsuit in West Tennessee
When you have been hurt by a defective product, you can make a claim for damages through a product liability lawsuit. The same is true if you have been harmed by a dangerous drug. In the case of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, you would claim that the company failed to warn consumers about the potentially catastrophic and deadly risks its drug posed. Bailey & Greer has the resources, skills, and experience to help injury victims in West Tennessee seek damages from Takeda. Those damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of income potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
If your loved one died as a result of taking Uloric, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits can also seek damages for funeral and burial expenses. While no amount of money can ease the pain of your loss, it can help you protect your family’s future and ensure that they are safe. It will also ensure that Takeda is held accountable for its actions.
Schedule a free consultation with a Memphis defective drug lawyer today
If you or a loved one was prescribed Uloric as a first-line treatment, you may be entitled to damages. Bailey & Greer, PLLC wants to help protect your rights. Please call 901-680-9777 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment at our office in Memphis or Jackson. We represent clients throughout West Tennessee and will come to you if you are too ill to come to us.