By Anne Kingston - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 0 Comments
Class-action suit puts a spotlight on the rising use of SSRIs among expectant mothers
Last December, the Supreme Court of British Columbia set a bold precedent: it green-lit the first class action suit in Canada alleging that an antidepressant taken by a woman during pregnancy caused a birth defect in her child. Faith Gibson of Surrey, B.C., named “representative plaintiff,” had been prescribed Paxil, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), in December 2002. Her daughter, Meah Bartram, was born in September 2005 with a hole in her heart. The defect was repaired months later, but Meah remains a “sickly” child, prone to infection. Two weeks after her birth, Health Canada and Paxil’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (GSK), issued an advisory stating that paroxetine (Paxil’s generic name) taken in the first trimester may pose “an increased risk” of cardiovascular defects.
Gibson’s lawyers allege GSK knew or should have known about the risks and that it failed to apprise Gibson or her physicians. Gibson had asked her doctor if she should go off the drug during pregnancy; she was told it was “100 per cent safe.” More than two dozen women have applied to be screened for class membership since December, says Vancouver lawyer David Rosenberg, who is representing Gibson.
GSK has appealed the decision to register the case as a class action; it contends it acted appropriately in its clinical trials, as well as in the safety monitoring and marketing of Paxil, updating pregnancy information as data became available, spokeswoman Michelle Smolenaars Hunter told Maclean’s.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM - 0 Comments
VANCOUVER – A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled a class-action lawsuit can go…
VANCOUVER – A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled a class-action lawsuit can go ahead against the maker of the antidepressant drug Paxil.
The allegations against GlaxoSmithKline Inc., are that the drug caused birth defects in children whose mothers used it during pregnancy.
The representative plaintiff in the case, Faith Gibson, says she started using the drug in 2002 and continued using it when she was pregnant through 2005, when her daughter Meah was born and later diagnosed with a hole in her heart.
Paxil issued a warning in September 2004 regarding respiratory complications in newborns whose mothers used Paxil during the third trimester of pregnancy.
It’s unclear how many people will join the lawsuit, but evidence put forward during the application asking for approval of the class action says almost six million Paxil prescriptions were written for women of child-bearing age between 1993 and 2009.
While the case still needs to go to trial, Justice Nathan Smith ruled there are enough common issues in the case to warrant a class-action proceeding.