Pfizer Settles Dead Dog Lawsuit

Pfizer Settles Dead Dog Lawsuit

March 27th, 2013 // 3:38 pm @

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Two years after filing a widely publicized lawsuit, a Colorado couple has reached a settlement with Pfizer over allegations the drugmaker failed to sufficiently warn that its Rimadyl medication, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment for dogs, can cause severe harm. And now, the couple plans to take the proceeds to start a campaign to raise awareness about what they say are the dangers of the drug.

The settlement closes a chapter on a widely publicized controversy over Rimadyl, which has been one a popular and heavily promoted veterinary tool for dogs suffering from arthritic pain. However, serious side effects prompted a class action lawsuit that was filed in 1999 and resolved five years later. Since then, however, countless pet owners have complained they were unaware of the serious and specific nature of the potential adverse events (look here).

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The latest episode began in June 2009, when Chris Cooper and Shelley Smith gave Rimadyl to their golden retriever after undergoing surgery for a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture. Eleven days later, the dog, named Sophie, lost her appetite and began vomiting. Their vets contacted Pfizer, whose own vets confirmed the reaction appeared to be Rimadyl toxicity and they suggested hospitalization.

After two weeks in the hospital, tests showed severe liver degradation. By the end of July 2009, Sophie was dead. By then, the couple racked up about $30,000 in expenses and, after being alerted, Pfizer sent a check for $1,000, matching the average amount offered to pet owners who participated in the class-action lawsuit that was resolved in 2004. However, they rejected the payment (back story is here and you can click here for the lawsuit).

“I feel like I poisoned her, because nobody told me…

H/T: Pharmalot

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