Canada Looks at Reglan

Canadian health officials are taking a closer look at Reglan’s risk of causing movement disorders that have been noted as a result of its use.

Reglan has been in the scopes of plaintiffs’ lawyers for years. Now Health Canada is taking a closer look at the facts because the evidence of the extent of Reglan’s association with tardive dyskinesia is reaching a critical mass.

Tardive dyskinesia is an awful condition. It is associated with involuntary movement, which is often repetitive and persistent. The affliction seems to target lower extremities including the lower parts of the face (jaw and tongue) and the lower portions of the limbs.

Reglan’s warning concurs with this assessment, by the way. It now says that tardive dyskinesia is a risk with Reglan, especially in elderly women. The severity or probability of affliction seems to increase with prolonged use and a major concern is that the dyskinesia seems to be irreversible after long-term use (defined as 12 or more weeks). The affliction can be noted in a temporary capacity and in such cases can lessen or disappear over time.

Reglan treats short-term gastrointestinal aliments such as gastroesphagela reflex, more commonly knew as GERD and gastroparesis, which is a condition that reduces the stomach’s ability to free its contents despite lack of blockage. Sure, this can be serious. The question is: are other drugs able to provide similar relief without the risk of tardive dyskinesia?
Where are we here in the U.S. on Reglan lawsuits? Good question. There is a problem. The Supreme Court recently took a crack at plaintiffs’ lawyers central claim: failure to warn. The Supreme Court strikes down a federal law on the power of bankruptcy judges and a state law on the government’s power to regulate marketing using prescription records, finding that federal law preempts state negligence claims against generic pharmaceutical companies for failure to warn of a drug’s risks.

So are Reglan lawsuits dead? No, I don’t think so. There are other non-failure to warn claims that can be made. But we can’t pretend this is good news for Reglan victims, either.

If you have a potential Reglan lawsuit you want to discuss, call 800-553-8082 or get a free on-line consultation here.