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Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical

Court Case Involving Dangerous Drug

We help victims of dangerous drugs obtain compensation for their injuries. Our attorneys are highly trained in this area of the law. We work hard on your case so you don't have to. Below is an example of one case we took to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Woman Suffers From Dangerous Solodyn Side Effects

Solodyn Side Effects

Medicis is responsible for failing to warn of the dangerous side-effects of Solodyn if they failed to give a patient's prescribing physician and other health-care providers who were in a position to reduce the risks of harm complete and adequate warnings.

Medicis may be liable for consumer fraud for affirmatively misrepresenting the safety of using Solodyn "by stating that '[t]he safety of using [Solodyn] longer than 12 weeks has not been studied and is not known' even though they knew (as Medicis' full prescribing information material states) that taking the drug longer than twelve weeks can cause drug-induced lupus."

Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical

Arizona Supreme Court Oral Arguments - Court Case Involving Dangerous Drug

Background

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Arizona Supreme Court Opinion of
Watts v. Medicis

In April 2008, Watts, a minor at the time, sought medical treatment for chronic acne. Watts's medical provider prescribed Solodyn®, a prescription oral antibiotic with active ingredient minocycline. Medicis, an Arizona corporation, manufactures and distributes Solodyn®. After receiving a prescription, Watts used Solodyn® as prescribed for 20 weeks. When Watts returned to the same medical provider in May 2010, again with concerns about acne, the provider again prescribed Solodyn®, and Watts took it as directed for another 20 weeks.

Before using Solodyn®, Watts received two informational publications providing details about the drug, neither of which disclosed any link between Solodyn® use and the development of autoimmune diseases. The first was a "MediSAVE" card, which her medical provider gave to her, that outlined a discount purchase program for Solodyn®. The MediSAVE card and its accompanying information indicated that the safety of using Solodyn® for longer than 12 weeks "has not been studied and is not known." Additionally, when she filled the prescription at a local pharmacy, Watts received an informational insert about Solodyn®'s possible side effects and safety considerations. That insert warned that patients should consult a doctor if symptoms did not improve within 12 weeks.

Watts does not allege that she received either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") approved patient labeling or the full prescribing information for Solodyn® that is provided to physicians. The FDA-approved patient labeling states that possible side effects of Solodyn® use include joint pain and effects on the liver. Contrary to the MediSAVE card and insert Watts received, the full prescribing information warns specifically that lupus-like syndrome and autoimmune hepatitis are possible results associated with the "long-term" use of minocycline. It also warns, in a section labeled "Patient Counseling Information," that patients should be advised:

Autoimmune syndromes, including drug-induced lupus-like syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, vasculitis and serum sickness have been observed with tetracycline-class drugs, including minocycline. Symptoms may be manifested by arthralgia (joint pain), fever, rash and malaise. Patients who experience such symptoms should be cautioned to stop the drug immediately and seek medical help.

In October 2010, Watts began to suffer from debilitating joint pain. After being hospitalized, Watts was diagnosed with drug-induced lupus and drug-induced hepatitis, both allegedly side effects of her use of Solodyn®. Although she has recovered from the hepatitis, doctors predict that she may suffer from lupus for the rest of her life. Watts filed a complaint against Medicis, alleging consumer fraud, product liability, and punitive damages claims. She alleged that Medicis knowingly used false pretenses and omitted material facts from the information presented to her regarding Solodyn®'s risks in order to induce her to buy and use Solodyn®. She also alleged that the drug was unreasonably dangerous because Medicis failed to provide adequate warnings of its known dangers.

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