Our lawyers handle Elmiron vision loss lawsuits throughout the country.
This page provides the latest news and updates on the Elmiron class action lawsuit and provides our prediction of the settlement amounts, vision loss, and blindness victims who bring an Elmiron lawsuit will ultimately receive.
Elmiron settlements are happening in 2023. Many victims have agreed to settlement amounts and will receive settlement checks shortly if they have not already. Many Elmiron lawyers – probably most Elmiron lawyers if our experience is reflective – have stopped taking new Elmiron clients.
Our law firm is still taking new clients looking to file an Elmiron lawsuit. If you have a potential lawsuit, call our attorneys lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation. There may be a deadline to file your Elmiron lawsuit, so act now. We know there are more viable claims that have yet to be brought and you may have one. You can also reach out to us online. You pay no cost or fee unless our law firm gets a jury payout or settlement compensation for you.
Elmiron Side Effects
Elmiron is the brand name of a popular prescription drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Millions of people take Elmiron every day to treat chronic bladder conditions.
Elmiron is the first line of defense from most interstitial cystitis (IC) patients. The medication seems to have few side effects. Janssen was making a fortune from the drug. But then a research study raised the concern that prolonged use of Elmiron can cause severe damage to the retinas in the eyes. Further studies have established that extended use of Elmiron at high doses has caused permanent blindness and impaired vision.
After the release of these findings linking Elmiron to eye damage, a steady stream of dangerous drug lawsuits have been filed against Janssen alleging vision loss or damage caused by Elmiron. More than 1,740 people have filed an Elmiron lawsuit in federal court. More of these bladder medication lawsuits have been filed in state courts.
Typical Elmiron Lawsuit Plaintiff
Our Elmiron lawyers are getting calls every day from victims. Here is the classic case we are seeing:
- You have a chronic condition called interstitial cystitis for which there is no cure
- Your doctor told you there are few side effects and few risks to Elmiron
- You started taking Elmiron, and it works magically in dealing with IC.
- Mindful that your doctor has not expressed concern to you about any significant risks with Elmiron, the number of Elmiron pills you need to take keeps increasing over time.
- At some point, you started noticing loss of vision, lighting adjustment problems, color discernment loss, loss of nighttime vision, or loss of balance.
- Your condition got worse.
- You are ultimately diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy, toxic maculopathy, or another vision-related injury.
- You did not connect the dots to Elmiron and continued using the product.
- You discovered on the Internet or in television commercials the connection between Elmiron and your eye injury.
Elmiron MDL Class Action Lawsuit Update
Let’s get you up to speed on the latest news and updates in the Elmiron class action lawsuit.
September 2023 Update
The Elmiron class action MDL now has 1,915 cases pending. 3 months ago there were 1,925 cases pending in the MDL. As more settlements get finalized we will see this number continue to decrease.
The updates are slowing as these cases settle. Nothing new is happening. Lawyers are negotiating Elmiron settlements. The settlements are not global. Janssen is settling with individual law firms.
July 2023 Update
July 18, 2023 Update: Only 3 new cases were transferred into the Elmiron class action MDL over the last month. That is the lowest monthly volume since the start of the litigation and it is a reflection of the fact that this class action is rapidly winding down. Most of these cases have already agreed to settlements, but they will remain pending until for months while the settlements are finalized.
July 7, 2023 Update: After the cancellation of the last two, the next Case Management Conference is June 14, 2023. The focus of this litigation has moved from trial preparation to settlement.
July 1, 2023 Update: These cases are settling and many victims will likely receive a settlement check this year. If you think you may have a claim, now is the time to act.
June 2023 Update
June 16, 2023 Update: As the Elmiron lawsuits move through the settlement phase, new cases are still being added to the MDL. Over the last month, 32 new Elmiron cases were transferred into the MDL, bringing the total number of plaintiffs up to 1,923.
June 2, 2023 Update: If you want confirmation that the Elmiron litigation has transitioned into settlement and wind-down mode, all you need to do is look at the docket for the MDL. The MDL docket only had one entry for the whole month of May, and it was an Order canceling the monthly status conference with Judge Martinotti. This lack of activity is a reflection of the fact that Janssen is continuing to negotiate block settlement deals with plaintiffs’ firms.
May 2023 Update
May 19, 2023 Update: The next Case Management Conference is June 14, 2023
May 16, 2023 Update: Only 3 new cases were transferred into the Elmiron class action MDL over the last 30 days. That is the lowest monthly increase since the Elmiron litigation began. The drastic slowdown in new case filings in the MDL is not surprising since Janssen is currently working out large block settlements with plaintiffs’ firms behind the scenes, leaving the MDL in somewhat of a lame-duck phase.
May 1, 2023 Update: You may heard the horror stories in Roundup about how it takes the victims years after the settlement to get their money. The Elmiron litigation is very different for many reasons. It will be months – not years – to settlement check in hand for most victims.
April 2023 Update
April 27, 2023 Update: With Janssen pursuing its strategy of settling large blocks of Elmiron cases behind the scenes, the plaintiffs’ lawyers are seeking to establish what percentage of the gross settlement proceeds should be held back to pay those attorneys who worked on the plaintiff leadership committee (PLC) in the MDL. The PLC lawyers are asking for a 11%% holdback. This would reduce the amount of fees left over for plaintiffs’ lawyers who were not on the PLC. One of the non-PLC firms has filed an opposition, arguing that 11%% is unreasonably high in comparison to holdbacks in other MDLs that were more complex than Elmiron.
April 18, 2023 Update: The Elmiron class action MDL has seen a rise in the number of vision damage lawsuits over the last 30 days, with 10 new cases added to the pending plaintiffs’ list, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 1,889. This number will fall off a cliff when Elmiron settlements lead to dismissals.
April 1, 2023 Update: Over the last monthly period, another 5 new Elmiron vision damage lawsuits were added to the class action MDL. That increases the total number of pending cases in the MDL to 1,879. The first bellwether test trial is still set to begin in less than 2 weeks. Again, the smart money is on a settlement.
March 2023 Update
March 18, 2023 Update: This post explains where we are with an Elmiron settlement in March 2023.
February 2023 Update
February 26, 2023 Update: Over the last month, 31 new Elmiron vision damage lawsuits were filed in the class action MDL (or transferred in from other districts), bringing the total number of pending cases in the Elmiron class action up to 1,872. Over the last six months, the Elmiron MDL has been averaging 22 new cases each month. Again, an Elmiron settlement is expected soon. If you have a claim, now is the time to call a lawyer.
February 3, 2023 Update: An example of an Elmiron lawsuit that was recently transferred into the MDL is Padelford v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al. (2:23-cv-265) which was filed directly in the Elmiron MDL on January 18, 2023.
The plaintiff is a resident of Izard County, Arkansas. She took Elmiron on a daily basis for treatment of her IC condition from 2001 to 2008. The Complaint alleges that neither she or her doctor had any warning about the risk of potential eye injury from Elmiron. Padelford’ lawsuit claims that as a result of her long-term use of Elmiron, she suffered serious damage to her eyes resulting impaired vision. The Elmiron lawsuit sets forth six separate causes of action, but the primary claim is strict liability based on failure to warn.
January 2023 Update
January 30, 2023 Update: A collection of pretrial motions have been filed and fully briefed in the Elmiron case which is currently slated for the first bellwether test trial at the end of March – Windham v. Jansen Pharmaceuticals, et al. (20-cv-14670). The defendants filed summary judgment motions and motions to exclude expert testimony, and the plaintiff made her own motion to block some of the defense experts. The motions were all filed under seal. These are typical motions filed in the months leading up to a bellwether trial.
January 17, 2023 Update: With the first Elmiron trial just two months away, the slowdown in new Elmiron lawsuits continues. Only three new cases were added to the Elmiron class action MDL this last month. That is the fewest number of new cases in a month since the MDL began two years ago. It could indicate that the Elmiron class action is advancing into a new phase in which we only see a small handful of new filings each month.
January 9, 2023 Update: The pace of new Elmiron lawsuits slowed down considerably in the second half of 2022, but new vision damage lawsuits continue to get filed.
Keys v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. (2:22-cv-07487) is an example of a recently filed Elmiron vision loss lawsuit. The plaintiff, an Arkansas resident, was prescribed Elmiron to treat her interstitial cystitis condition. After taking the drug for “many years,” she was diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy related to her Elmiron use. She now suffers from impaired vision. The Keys lawsuit was filed directly in the Elmiron class action in New Jersey.
January 1, 2023 Update: The Elmiron vision damage class action has been one of the least active mass torts over the second half of this year. In the first few months of 2022, over 200 new Elmiron lawsuits were being added to the MDL every month, and it was on pace to reach 2,000 total cases by mid-summer. But then everything slowed down. Over the last month, only 55 more Elmiron plaintiffs were added to the MDL, leaving the year-end total at 1,839. The MDL docket has been equally slow, with just a single entry for December (a notice that the monthly status conference was canceled).
December 2022 Update
December 6, 2022 Update: Yesterday, we wrote a new Elmiron update page describing where the Elmiron lawsuits are in December 2022.
November 2022 Update
November 17, 2022 Update: The Elmiron class action lawsuit was a hot and fastest-growing mass tort at the start of 2022. Between January and July 2022, over 1,000 new Elmiron vision loss cases were added to the MDL, a growth rate of almost 300%.
Since the second half of July, just 59 new cases have been added to the Elmiron MDL, bringing the current total to 1,784.
Unless we see a sudden uptick in new Elmiron case filings over the winter, this MDL probably won’t surpass 2,000 cases before the first bellwether trial next year. Which is fine. As we have been saying, smaller litigation makes higher settlement payouts more affordable for defendants. So if you have an existing Elmiron lawsuit – as most people reading this do – this is not bad news.
November 7, 2022 Update: The much-anticipated opening bellwether trial in the Elmiron vision damage MDL had been set to start in just two months at the beginning of 2023. The outcome of this trial will considerably impact the valuation of these cases and get us moving toward a global Elmiron settlement.
But the MDL judge postponed the trial date from January to March 27, 2023. It is unclear what prompted the postponement, and there is no explanation in the Order.
October 2022 Update
October 28, 2022 Update: The much-anticipated opening bellwether trial in the Elmiron vision damage MDL had been set for January 2023. The outcome of this trial will significantly impact the valuation of these cases and get us moving toward a global settlement. Earlier this week, however, the MDL Judge postponed the trial date from January to March 27, 2023. It is unclear what prompted the postponement, and there is no explanation in the Order.
October 22, 2022 Update: Elmiron lawsuits in the MDL are now up to 1,784. Over the last month, only ten new Elmiron cases were added to the MDL. That marks the three month in a row of minimal new case growth.
Earlier in the year, Elmiron was one of the hottest MDLs in terms of new cases, with an average of over 100 new filings each month.
October 12, 2022 Update: The first Elmiorn lawsuit is right around the corner. First up is Windham v. Jansen, et al. – 2:20-md-2973. With the trial date just three months away, MDL Judge Martinotti recently issued a Case Management Order finalizing all of the critical pre-trial dates and deadlines. All briefings on expert witness challenges under Daubert will conclude by November 10, 2022. Both sides must submit their witness and exhibit lists for trial on 12/2/22, and objections must be filed by January 6, 2023. The pre-trial motions hearing will be held on 1/16/22, and the trial itself will begin on January 30, 2023.
September 2022 Update: The Elmiron class action judge issued a housekeeping order after the most recent monthly status conference. Nothing exciting in the order.
September 15, 2022 Update: The Elmiron class action MDL seemed to be on fire earlier this year, with 200 new vision loss cases added to the MDL every month. However, it looks like the pace of new Elmiron vision loss lawsuits has officially cooled off. In the last monthly JPML report, the total number of cases pending in the Elmiron MDL was 1,774, an increase of just 34 cases over the 30 days (August-September). Fortunately, lawyers are set for the first bellwether test trial to be held in January (just three months from now). The second and third test trials are set for March and May. An Elmiron settlement could come before trial in January. A large verdict will get people’s attention and many people who have not connected their vision impairment and Elmiron will take notice.
September 2, 2022 Update: After the most recent monthly status conference, the Elmiron class action judge issued a housekeeping order. Nothing exciting in the order.
But we are all systems go on the Windham case as the first bellwether trial and Manning will be the 3rd test trial next year. The defense will select a new bellwether case by the end of September 2022. That selection will be the second case to go to trial.
The pace of new Elmiron lawsuits has slowed over the last month. Only 15 new victims filed an Elmiron eye damage lawsuit over the previous 30 days. There are over 1,700 eye injury claims in the federal class action and approximately 170 lawsuits pending in New Jersey state court.
August 2022 Update
August 18, 2022: The IC drug market is expected to increase by more than 50% over the next six years and 6.6% this year.
August 17, 2022: Over the last month, only 15 new cases were added to the Elmiron MDL. As of August 15, 1,740 cases were pending in the Elmiron MDL, and another 169 cases pending in New Jersey state courts.
August 16, 2022: After the most recent monthly status conference, the Elmiron MDL Judge issued a housekeeping Order confirming that the Windham case will be the first bellwether trial and Manning will be the 3rd test trial next year. The defense will select a new bellwether case by the end of the month, and that will be the second case to go to trial.
August 8, 2022: In July, crickets in the Elmiron class action lawsuit. July proved to be an extremely uneventful month for the Elmiron MDL. This is not uncommon for a smaller class action lawsuit in the summer and, as I explain below, the small size of the Elmiron lawsuit might be a good thing for Elmiron settlement amounts for victims.
But it was quiet in July. After seeing record-high numbers of cases being transferred into the MDL recently, no new cases were added after July 7, 2022. A status conference was held by Judge Martinotti on July 13, 2022, resulting in an order regarding appointments to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. But there have been no additional docket entries since then.
July 2022 Update
The Elmiron vision damage lawsuits have been the hottest mass tort this summer. From June 15 to July 15 a total of 365 new plaintiffs with Elmiron vision damage claims were added to the MDL, bringing the number of total pending cases up to 1,725.
The addition of almost 400 new cases is the single most significant monthly increase since the start of the Elmiron MDL, and it was the most significant percentage increase of any mass tort during the period. We are only five months away from the opening round of Elmiron bellwether trials.
June 2022 Update
The Elmiron eye damage class action has 1,360 plaintiffs. Our Elmiron lawyers initially expected this litigation to be bigger. But so many people with eye damage are not connecting the injuries back to Elmiron.
But the last month, however, saw 326 new Elmiron eye damage lawsuits added to the MDL class action. This is the most significant monthly increase in new Elmiron lawsuits and perhaps a sign of increased awareness. It was also one of the largest increases in new cases of any mass tort MDL in the country.
May 2022 Update
Three Elmiron lawsuits have been selected for the first round of bellwether trials in the Elmiron MDL:
- Windham (20-cv-14670)
- Manning (21-cv-11942)
- Broussard (21-cv-2028).
Details on These Three Elmiron Bellwether Lawsuits
Broussard and Windham were defense picks, and the plaintiffs’ committee selected Manning. Broussard’s complaint is somewhat vague and does not clearly state how long she used Elmiron, just that she suffered “loss of vision.” So you can see why Elmiron defense lawyers jumped on this Elmiron vision loss lawsuit to push to trial.
Maria Windham, a 67-year-old from Louisiana, claims to have developed macular eye damage after taking Elmiron for two years.
Julia Manning is a Georgia resident. This is clearly the best Elmiron lawsuit of the three. Ms. Manning took Elmiron for six years and suffered damage in both eyes.
Elmiron Scheduling Moving Forward
The judge in the Elmiron MDL followed up his selection of the three bellwether trial cases by issuing a new Case Management Order revising the pretrial discovery and trial schedule for the 3 cases.
For all 3 cases, discovery must be concluded by September 9, 2022 and the plaintiffs will be allowed five depositions per case. Dispositive motions are due by September 20.
The first bellwether trial will commence in January 2023. The second bellwether trial will be in March and the third and final trial will be in May 2023.
Getting Close to 1000 Elmiron Lawsuits
There are now 900 Elmiron lawsuits in the MDL class action.
April 2022 Update
Following the March Monthly Status Conference, the Elmiron MDL Judge issued another Case Management Order (CMO No.27). The Order provides an updated status of the Elmiron litigation stating that as of March 9, 2022. One big question this court wants to keep a handle on is how many Elmiron lawsuits have been filed. The answer is 803 Elmiron product liability lawsuits 712 in the federal Elmiron class action lawsuit and 91 suits pending in New Jersey state court. The long-anticipated “Elmiron Science Day” was also rescheduled, for the third time. A new proposed date or time frame has not been discussed.
March 2022 Update
The judge in Elmiron MDL issued a series of Case Management Orders last week which set the stage for moving forward into the next phase of the litigation in preparation for the first bellwether trials next January. Judge Martinotti ordered the parties to submit a joint proposal for the final selection of the first bellwether cases. Fact discovery in the pool of bellwether candidate cases will conclude at the end of the month, and the initial bellwether trial pool cases will be picked by April 8. The long-awaited “science day” will take place next week (March 25), and a mandatory Case & Claim Data Form (“CCDF”) was approved and must be submitted by all plaintiffs within 30 days.
February 2022 Update
There are now 736 Elmiron lawsuits in the MDL. The Supreme Court of New Jersey ordered last month that all Elmiron vision loss lawsuits pending against Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the New Jersey state court system will be consolidated for pretrial administration. This is the New Jersey equivalent of an MDL. The New Jersey Elmiron lawsuits will be consolidated in Bergen County, New Jersey, the location of Janssen.
January 2022 Update
A new Elmiron MDL (In Re: Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium) Prod. Liab. Litigation, MDL 2973) was established in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey under Judge Brian Martinotti.
As of December 15, 2021, almost 800 Elmiron lawsuits are pending in the MDL. Judge Martinotti is an experienced MDL class action judge and has been moving these eye injury and blindness claims through pre-trial discovery. This litigation will slow down a bit as we head into Christmas. But lawyers will be pushing Elmiron lawsuits ahead full steam in January.
Early next year, Judge Martinotti is planning to hold a “science day” where lawyers on both sides will be given the opportunity to educate the court with an overview of their medical and scientific evidence. The first round of bellwether trials in the Elmiron litigation are set for January 2023 (now March 2023).
Given the strength of the scientific evidence linking Elmiron to pigmentary maculopathy, it is possible that a global settlement of these cases could happen before a single bellwether case goes to trial.
- Drugs cause more vision complications than people realize – Beovu can also cause blindness
- Elmiron’s label change in June 2020 (what is needed is a black box warning)
- Video explaining the science and current status of the Elmiron class action lawsuit
Is There an Elmiron Recall?
No, there has not been an Elmiron recall. Although new evidence has shown that long-term use of Elmiron may cause certain people to develop macular eye damage, Elmiron has not been recalled and is still prescribed for treating IC. However, following the publication of the new research, the FDA forced Janssen to change the warning label on Elmiron.
Elmiron now has a “black box” warning that explicitly warns patients and doctors about the potential risk of macular eye damage from long-term use of the drug. A black box warning is the most severe type of warning label for pharmaceuticals. The addition of this new, heightened warning to Elmiron clearly indicates just how strong the causation evidence is in the Elmiron cases.
You would think our Elmiron lawyer would advance the argument that there should be an Elmiron recall. We are not. Janssen did the right thing in 2020 when it changed the warning. Patients have the right to make a choice and assess the risks. Elmiron lawsuits are about the harm that was caused before the Elmiron warning change in 2020.
How an Elmiron Settlement Would Work
The scientific evidence linking Elmiron to a unique type of vision damage is very strong. Past mass tort cases involving dangerous drugs have resulted in massive settlements based on much weaker medical evidence. Our Elmiron lawyers are bullish on these lawsuits and, while there are no guarantees in litigation, we believe large settlement amounts may be offered to Elmiron victims in 2021.
The Elmiron class action MDL will almost invariably end in a settlement. The big question is how much and what will the Elmiron settlement arrangement look like.
Global settlement amounts in mass tort cases usually involve a structured payout arrangement with individual lawsuits are ranked in tiers based on a points system. Thinking of an Elmiron settlement in tiers is an excellent way to conceptualize what compensation payouts might look like
Elmiron lawsuits in the highest tier get a higher settlement payout, and cases in the lower tier get the lowest payout. Ranking in tiers is based on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries.
For example, a plaintiff with 100% vision loss would be in the highest tier and a plaintiff with only partial vision impairment would be in the lowest tier.
How Do You Know if Elmiron Damaged Your Vision?
Research has conclusively linked Elmiron use to a very specific type of eye damage that is ONLY known to be caused by the active ingredient in Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium). The unique type of eye damage caused by Elmiron is called pigmentary maculopathy.
Anyone who has been on Elmiron for one year or longer should have their eyes examined for signs of damage to the retinas. The eye damage linked to Elmiron is often misdiagnosed as age-related macular deterioration, so make sure to tell your eye doctor about your history of Elmiron use.
What Are the Symptoms of an Elmiron-Induced Eye Injury?
The symptoms of an Elmiron-induced eye injury include:
- blurred vision and distorted vision
- muted colors
- changes in eye color
- increased light sensitivity
- dark spots, blind spots, and floaters
Based on settlements in prior mass tort drug cases and the strength of the case in this litigation, our lawyers anticipate the following Elmiron settlement amounts:
What Elmiron Settlement Amounts Should We Expect in an Elmiron Lawsuit?
Vision Impairment Level
80% – 100%
$750,000 – $1,000,000
40% – 80%
$350,000 – $700,000
20% – 40%
$75,000 – $200,000
$25,000 – $50,000
Based on settlements in prior mass tort drug cases and the strength of the case in this litigation, our lawyers anticipate the following Elmiron settlement amounts:
These numbers are utter speculation. So why am I posting estimated settlement numbers that are nothing more than a guess? Victims understandably want to know what lawyers who have looked at these Elmiron cases think about their settlement value. Could I be 1000% wrong? Of course I could. But on January 30, 2023, this is my thinking. I think the average Elmiron settlement will come in between $350,000 and $400,000 with some settlements over $1 million.
How Long Will an Elmiron Settlement Take?
A final settlement in the Elmiron class action MDL will probably resolve shortly before or shortly after the first trial in March 2023.
Global settlements in most big defective drug cases take time. If a lawyer tells you she will get you a quick Elmiron settlement, you normally want to run the other way. But… the Elmiron lawsuits are ripe for settlement in 2023, and the pre-trial discovery is mainly done. So this is a unique moment where if you have an Elmiron claim and bring it now, there is a possibility of a settlement coming quickly.
New Jersey Class Action Elmiron Lawsuits
In addition to the 1,800 Elmiron lawsuits pending in federal court in the Elmiron MDL class action, there are also a growing number of Elmiron cases in state court in Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ home state of New Jersey. The New Jersey Supreme Court granted a motion to consolidate these Elmiron cases into an MCL (New Jersey’s state version of an MDL). There are about 175 of these claims pending in January 2023.
Now every Elmiron lawsuit in state courts across NJ will be consolidated for pre-trial proceedings before a single judge.
- There are also Elmiron claims in Canada – we add this because we get so many calls from Canadians asking if we handle Elmiron lawsuit there
Example Elmiron Pigmentary Maculopathy Lawsuit
An Oregon woman, Deborah Quick, became one of the most recent plaintiffs in the Elmiron eye damage litigation. Quick filed her Elmiron lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Quick initially filed her Complaint in U.S District Court in Oregon and it was subsequently transferred into the Elmiron MDL.
Quick was first prescribed Elmiron for treating her interstitial cystitis condition in 2002. She took Elmiron every day, as prescribed by her doctors, from 2002 until March 2020 without interruption. This Elmiron eye damage lawsuit alleges that after taking Elmiron for an extended period, Quick began to experience problems with her vision, which gradually worsened.
Quick’s Complaint claims that it was not until 2019 that her doctor first informed her that her vision problems could potentially be related to her prolonged use of Elmiron.
Quick was eventually diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy, a unique type of macular eye damage that is only known to be caused by long-term Elmiron use. Quick’s Elmiron pigmentary maculopathy lawsuit alleges, at its core, failure to warn. In other words, Janssen knew about the dangers of Elmiron and deliberately concealed them from doctors and patients. There are a bunch of counts pled in the Elmiron lawsuits. But the crux of it all is that you knew of the risk and did not allow people to make their own choice.
Research Linking Elmiron to Eye Damage
Elmiron was assumed to be entirely safe until a chance discovery by a team of eye doctors at Emory Eye Center in Atlanta discovered the link between prolonged Elmiron use and a new type of macular eye damage.
Unusual Retinal Pigmentary Changes
In April 2018, a team at Emory Eye Center submitted a letter to the editor of the Journal of Urology reporting findings of unusual retinal pigmentary changes or maculopathy (i.e., any condition affecting the macula at the center of the retina) in 6 female patients on long-term Elmiron treatment (median use of 15.5 years) that did not resemble any other type of retinal disease.
That case series was published online at the end of April 2018. None of the patients had a family history of retinal disease or any pathogenic process predisposing them to such a disease. Of the six , five had received 400mg daily of Elmiron, and one received 300 mg daily. The youngest patient was 23 years old when diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, began showing visual symptoms at 30, and by 37 had the most severe eye damage in the study.
Pigmentary Maculopathy Research at Emory
The Emory researchers also presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting at the end of Spring 2019. They reported results from a retrospective cross-sectional study that included all Emory Eye Center patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis within four years.
The authors found 14 cases of Elmiron-related maculopathy in 80 patients exposed to Elmiron and no cases in 139 unexposed patients. The authors concluded a strong association between Elmiron exposure and this specific type of vision-threatening maculopathy.
The Emory research group then teamed with researchers at other institutions to conduct a multi-institutional case series published in September 2019 that analyzed 35 patients with Elmiron-associated maculopathy.
The median duration of use was 14.5 years at a median dose of 300 mg daily. The most common referral diagnosis was macular or pattern dystrophy and/or age-related macular degeneration, and the most common symptoms included blurred vision and prolonged dark adaptation. This study focused on diagnostic methods (i.e., multimodal imaging) and the presentation of this specific form of maculopathy, which proved distinctive from other retinal diseases and conditions.
In October 2019, a research team at Kaiser Permanente in California found that out of 140 patients currently using Elmiron for an average of 15 years (and a minimum of five years), 24% had eye damage that increased with the total amount of Elmiron taken.
That team presented their research at the 2019 Annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco. The researchers then performed exam screening on 117 patients exposed to Elmiron, of which 23% had definite indications of the unique Elmiron eye damage.
In November 2019, the Emory Eye Center team released results from a U.S. retrospective cohort study using a medical claims database comparing Elmiron users to matched controls at 5 and 7 years of use. At the 7-year follow-up, Elmiron users had a significantly increased risk of developing atypical maculopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
Therefore, this study concluded that ELMIRON “exposure was associated with a new diagnosis of macular disease at the 7-year follow-up in a large national cohort.”
Powerful Elmiron Case Study
Also, in November 2019, a researcher at Harvard published a case study of Elmiron-associated maculopathy that progressed over six years after discontinuing the medication.
The female patient used 200mg per day for 18 years. She presented with a year of visual symptoms at 62 and stopped using ELMIRON shortly after that. She continued to be seen for increasing visual damage throughout the next six (6) years. She was determined to have retinal atrophy and damage that could not be associated with any genetic or other potential cause.
Upon release of the Emory case study in 2018, her treaters determined her case was consistent with Elmiron-associated maculopathy. The authors stated that this case, “adds a new layer of concern by demonstrating progressive maculopathy continuing for up to 6 years after the cessation of [ELMIRON],” and called for screening that “balances the demands of patients and physicians with the importance of prompt identification of early toxicity.”
In July 2020, researchers from several institutions published a retrospective case series to evaluate the disease course of retinal pigmentary changes/maculopathy associated with Elmiron use (referred to as “PPS-associated maculopathy”).
None of the 11 patients included in the study with confirmed PPS-associated maculopathy exhibited demonstrable improvement after discontinuing Elmiron. Nine of the patients reported worsening visual symptoms.
Imaging confirmed an expansion of the affected areas of the retina over time and even atrophy encroaching on the foveal center, which suggests that eye damage continues even after patients stop using Elmiron.
Why Do I Need FAF Testing for My Elmiron Lawsuit?
Fundus autofluorescence (FAF) testing is a way for doctors to check the health of the back of the eye, called the retina. This incredible technology uses a special camera to take pictures of the retina that show how it naturally glows in response to light.
In the Elmiron lawsuit, lawyers are using this as a confirmatory test for an Elmiron related vison loss.
Example Elmiron Lawsuit
Let’s look at a somewhat typical Elmiron lawsuit. An elderly woman, Joanne Williams, in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, was prescribed Elmiron. For five years, Williams took the prescription to treat pain associated with her interstitial cystitis (a bladder disorder that makes the bladder hold urine long after the kidneys have filtered it). As a result of her vision loss from her usage of Elmiron, Williams filed her Elmiron lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
At 79 years old, Williams suffers from avoidable vision loss from retinal pigmentary degeneration. As anyone can imagine, this vision injury severely diminished her life. Her Elmiron lawsuit alleges Janssen Pharmaceuticals marketed Elmiron to her and her healthcare providers with complete knowledge of the associated risks. Still, the company did nothing Defendants did nothing to change its product, packaging, guidelines, instructions, and/or warnings.
This Elmiron lawsuit, like every Elmiron eye damage lawsuit, boils down to Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ refusal to warn doctors and patients that this IC medication might have life-altering side effects that could cause eye damage and blindness.
Interestingly, Ms. Williams’ Elmiron lawyer contacted Janssen Pharmaceuticals to see if the company might offer a reasonable settlement amount to resolve her Elmiron case without filing a lawsuit. Janssen never bothered to respond.
Elmiron Class Action Lawyers
My firm, Miller & Zois, is currently accepting new Elmiron cases from individuals diagnosed with Elmiron-related eye damage. Contact our Elmiron class action lawyers today to get your case started. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.