Crestor wrongful death suit filed in federal court

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 31, 2005, 9:09am

Jeffrey Lowe

A woman's death which was allegedly caused by taking a cholesterol lowering medication, Crestor, prompted a 10-count federal lawsuit filed by her surviving mother.

Alexis Koenig of Pennsylvania claims her daughter, Amira Micklin, suffered kidney damage and muscle weakness from taking the popular drug which ultimately led to her death.

Seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Crestor’s manufacturer, AstraZeneca, Koenig filed suit exactly two years after Micklin collapsed on Oct. 24, 2003. At the time she was hospitalized. According to the complaint, the incident caused brain damage.

Koenig claims AstraZeneca encouraged the improper use of Crestor, misrepresented the safety and effectiveness and concealed or understated its dangerous side effects.

Crestor is in a class of drugs called statins that work to inhibit an enzyme in the liver which generates the kind of cholesterol that can clog blood vessels.

Koenig is represented by Jeffrey Lowe of St. Louis. The case has been assigned to Chief Judge Patrick Murphy.

“The cholesterol-lowering drug market is enormous, and AstraZeneca viewed Crestor as a blockbuster product with significant growth potential,” the complaint states.

Crestor became the sixth statin drug on the market when the FDA approved it in August of 2003.

Koenig claims that a major factor that distinguishes Crestor from the other five statins on the market is Crestor’s potential to cause kidney toxicity.

Koenig also claims the risk of muscle damage leading to rhabdomyolysis during treatment with Crestor may be increased when it is used together with other cholesterol lowering drugs and cyclosporine, a drug used after transplantation to prevent organ rejection.

“Crestor is the only statin that has shown life threatening rhabdomyolysis in pre-approved clinical trials,” the complaint states.

Koenig claims her daughter began taking Crestor in 2003, after which she developed microscopic hematuria, or blood in her urine.

Koenig claims AstraZeneca failed to perform adequate testing and study of Crestor, or ignored existing data, sold an unreasonably dangerous product which posed unacceptable risks to human health, and failed to act properly on adverse reports it received about Crestor.

“AstraZeneca’s conduct was done with conscious disregard for the safety of users of Crestor, justifying an award of punitive damages,” the complaint states.


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