Claiming he suffered chest pains and heart attacks from taking the arthritis pain-relieving drug Bextra, Maurice Dulle filed a $300,000 suit against pharmaceuticals Pharmacia & Upjohn, G.D. Searle, Pfizer and a Troy pharmacy, Prescriptions Plus, in St. Clair County Circuit Court April 29.

Represented by Todd Hageman of Simon & Passanante of St. Louis and James Onder of Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson of St. Louis, Dulle alleges Bextra posed cardiovascular risk to patients, but consumers were led to believe that it was safe.

“Dulle was injured in health, strength, and activity and suffered physical injuries as well as mental anguish, all of which caused intense anxiety, distress, fear, pain, suffering and distress to physical injuries and damages,” the complaint states.

Dulle was prescribed Bextra in February of 2003 by his doctor and took it for nine months.

Bextra is a Cox-2 inhibitor and was approved by the FDA on Nov. 16, 2001 for the relief of symptoms of osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis.

“As a result of the defective nature of Bextra as well as defendants’ failure to warn of the increased cardiovascular risk, those people who were prescribed and ingested or injected Bextra, including the plaintiff have suffered and may continue to suffer severe and permanent personal injuries, including an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and kidney disease,” the complaint states.

State Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Greenville) is an owner of the pharmacy.

Dulle also claims the defendants’ failed to conduct adequate post-marketing surveillance of Bextra, after they began marketing, advertising and selling the product.

“Bextra was reasonably certain to be dangerous when put to normal use; and the defendants failed to use reasonable care in designing and making Bextra,” the complaint states.

Dulle claims the defendants breached their duty to consumers by failing to:

  • Include adequate warnings;

  • Adequately test and inspect the drug before placing it on the market;

  • Conduct specific testing and inspection of the drug which would have shown the drug had serious side effects;

  • Provide adequate post-marketing warnings or instructions after defendants knew of the significant risks associated with the use of the drug;

  • Recall and remove the drug from the stream of commerce despite the fact that defendants knew of the dangerous nature of the drug; and

  • Encouraging misuse and overuse while failing to disclose the side effects of the drug to the medical, pharmaceutical, and scientific communities and consumers in order to make a profit from sales.

    Seeking a trial by a jury of 12, Dulle is seeking damages plus an unspecified sum of exemplary damages to be determined at trial.

    05 L 273 (20th Circuit)

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