What is Phen-Fen?
About PPH and Fen-Phen
Fen-Phen is a combination of two drugs: fenfluramine, an appetite suppressant, and phentermine, a mild stimulant. It was taken by 18 million Americans to aid weight loss until it was taken off the market in 1997. Its sister drug, dexfenfluramine, marketed under the trade name Redux, was also removed from the market that year by the FDA.
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Redux and fenfluramine were taken off the market after research showed an increased risk of heart damage among people taking the drugs. Eventually, an estimated 50,000 people filed lawsuits claiming heart damage by these defective diet drugs.
The attorneys of Hersh & Hersh filed and settled the nation's first case linking Fen-Phen to primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).
Making the Link Between Fen-Phen and PPH
A woman named Rose came to us wanting to sue her doctor. She suffered from shortness of breath, reduced energy and other troubling symptoms. Her doctor suspected primary pulmonary hypertension, although Rose had not yet received a firm diagnosis of PPH. Instead of focusing on the doctor only, we focused on the relationship of the diet drug she had taken to her symptoms and possible disease. This is what we always do with cases of first impression. We spoke with her doctor who believed there was a connection between Rose's condition and her use of the diet drug Fen-Phen. We researched the medicine and concluded that there was such a connection. No one else had made the connection at that time. We filed the case and then we learned that the drug manufacturer was aware of this connection and did nothing to warn the public or doctors.
Getting to the Truth of the Matter
Our lawyers went to federal court to force the disclosure of information on clinical trials of fenfluramine. The data included more than 100 adverse events and a list of 29 people who had died of PPH, a fact that had not been reported, as required, to the FDA.
Fenfluramine and Redux were marketed by American Home Products, now known as Wyeth. Phentermine continues to be marketed by SmithKline Beecham and other companies.
If you have been diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension and once took Fen-Phen, please contact Hersh & Hersh. Our PPH litigation attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your case and review your legal options. Clients pay no legal fees unless we win financial compensation for them.
From our offices in San Francisco, California, the lawyers of Hersh & Hersh represent PPH victims throughout the nation.