Drug Company Stated in Document Filed with the FDA the Increase in Hepatitis C Outbreaks is Attributed to the 50mL and 100mL Infusion Vials of the Sedative Propofol

Oct 26, 2011, 11:23 ET from SCM

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- This is being released by SCM:

Mainor Eglet Attorneys Robert Adams, Artemus Ham and Robert Eglet on behalf of plaintiffs Joanne Allen and Kenneth G. Allen, and William Bilger Jr., began opening statements in the fourth hepatitis C trial in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada before Judge Jerry Weiss

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111026/LA93991)

During opening statements lead trial attorney Robert Eglet stated that in a document filed with the FDA by the drug company, the increase in outbreaks is attributed to the 50mL and 100mL vials of Propofol and that a 20mL vial is sufficient and the most commonly used vial and does not present the same opportunity for reuse. Further, there is no safety issue associated with the 20mL pre-filled syringes. According to Eglet, "In spite of what they told the FDA, production of the 20mL pre-filled syringes of Propofol was halted and the drug company continued to produce, market and distribute 50mL vials to the endoscopy centers because profit dictated the choice to produce the larger vials in spite of the knowledge that the 20mL vials were safer." 

The lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court states defendants Sicor Pharmaceuticals Inc., Baxter Healthcare Corporation and McKesson Corporation manufactured, marketed and or sold the sedative Propofol, and knew that the smaller vial sizes were safer for endoscopy surgical centers and given the amount of Propofol typically used by such centers there was an economic allure to such centers to use instead of discarding remaining Propofol in a larger vial. Defendant SICOR expressly stated, "A smaller vial size is safer in that it may reduce the temptation for dosing multiple patients from a single container," thereby reducing the same opportunity as the opportunities for microbial contamination.

The lawsuit contends, breach of implied warranty of fitness for particular purpose; negligence, and loss of consortium. Plaintiffs Joanne Allen and William Bilger were treated at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada; Joanne Allen in March 2007 and William Bilger in May 2007. Both contracted hepatitis C and are seeking special damages, general damages and punitive damages.

"The lives of thousands of Nevadans have been destroyed by theses companies. We will continue to pursue these cases as long as it is necessary," said Robert Eglet, lead trial attorney and senior partner Mainor Eglet Law Firm.

This trial follows the $505 million verdict in May 2010 and the $183.5 million verdict in October 2011 awarded to Mainor Eglet clients. This is a consolidated trial including plaintiffs Maria V. Pagan; Stacy Hutchison; James M. Williams and Heidi Hamilton.