HOUSTON, Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a jury trial must decide whether Eli Lilly and Company's ["Lilly"] prescription antidepressant medication Cymbalta (duloxetine) caused the death of a 16-year old. Peter Schilf died of a self-inflicted gun wound on December 24, 2004, at his home in South Dakota.
Shortly before Peter's prescription for Cymbalta, the FDA found that "causality has been established" with respect to antidepressant-induced suicidality in children and teenagers. It also required that the makers of such medications, including Lilly, include a Black Box Warning about this risk and advise patients and caregivers to monitor patients for the abrupt onset of suicidality. During the same period of time, Lilly launched a follow up to its blockbuster medication Prozac (fluoxetine). This new drug, named Cymbalta, was launched by Lilly with no warning about the risk of suicidality on the website or in marketing materials. They failed to alert patients or physicians that there were five completed suicides in the Cymbalta clinical trials, one of which happened in the dormitory housing Lilly's own study subjects.
Thus, when 16-year old Peter received a prescription for Cymbalta and decided to research the medication on Lilly's website, there was nothing there to alert him or his parents about the risk of suicidality or any information regarding the FDA's recent Black Box Warning requirement. Plaintiffs Paul and Cynthia Schilf, Peter's parents, said that if they had known about the risk of suicide, they would not have allowed Peter to take Cymbalta. Peter Schilf committed suicide on Christmas Eve 2004. Lilly revised the Cymbalta literature to include the FDA-approved Black Box Warning one month later.
Andy Vickery of Houston's Perdue Kidd & Vickery, lead counsel for the Schilf family, said today in the aftermath of the opinion of the Eighth Circuit, "We are very excited about presenting Peter's case to a jury of his peers and are looking forward to this family having their day in court."
Perdue Kidd & Vickery is a national law firm of Personal Injury Trial Lawyers. The law practice is based in Houston, TX.
SOURCE Perdue Kidd & Vickery