Pharmaceutical Interference Leads To Lawsuits Over Exjade

Exjade is a drug prescribed to people who have too much iron in their blood, a condition called hemosiderosis.

When people have this condition, the excess iron gets stored in the liver and heart, harming those organs.  Generally, people who have high iron levels are those who are receiving regular blood transfusions.

Exjade was approved in 2005, and not long after, in 2007, Norvartis Pharmaceuticals – the company that manufactures and markets the rug – noticed that refill rates were low because of severe side effects like renal and hepatic impairment and gastrointestinal hemorrhaging.

To increase revenue and refill rates, Norvartis entered into a kickback scheme with three main pharmacies: BioScrip, Accredo and US Bioservices. These pharmacies were encouraged to emphasize the benefits of Exjade while understating the drug’s potentially life-threatening side effects and switch transplant patients from competitors’ brand to Exjade. In exchange, Norvartis would give patient referrals and rebates to the pharmacies.

Since 2013, Norvartis has been involved in litigation with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney for violating the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute.  In November 2015, Norvartis settled the suit, agreeing to pay $370 million to the government, with over $83 million going toward individual states where lawsuits have been brought.

If you were prescribed Exjade and feel you were encouraged to continue taking the drug when there were potentially other options or have suffered from the side effects of Exjade, contact a personal injury lawyer at Roberts & Roberts for a free consultation.

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