Actemra is a prescription drug that is given to patients to treat rheumatoid arthritis. While the drug is supposed to help patients overcome their pain and limitations caused by the disease, Actemra (active ingredient tocilizumab) has been linked to serious side effects, and many affected patients have taken action by filing lawsuits against Roche., Actemra’s maker. Here’s what you need to know:
Dangerous Side Effects of Actemra
According to an article published in STAT News in June of 2017, the use of Actemra has led to hundreds of patient deaths across the United States. In fact, in the seven years since the drug was approved and brought to market in the states, there have been at least 500,000 side effect reports from rheumatoid arthritis drugs, with evidence showing that taking Actemra significant increases the risk of:
- Heart attack;
- Heart failure;
- Lung Disease;
- Pancreatitis; and
- Other medical conditions.
In addition to these risks, the FDA’s Actemra warning label also includes the following text – “Warning: Risk of Serious Infections.” The warning continues to explain that taking Actemra can lead to serious infection or death, including bacterial infections, invasive fungal or viral infections, and tuberculosis.
No Warnings for Serious Harm
While the FDA may warn against infections, neither Roche nor the FDA have taken action to add a warning label to Actemra that alerts doctors and their patients of the possible heart risks and stroke risks that have been associated with the drug, amongst other dangerous conditions. Yet Actemra has been prescribed over half a million times while generating over $1.5 billion in estimated revenue for manufacturer Genentech and its parent company, Roche.
Many patients have begun exploring natural alternatives for arthritis medications that do not have the dangerous side effects. One of the more popular alternative homeopathic remedies is a turmeric supplement. Turmeric, which is commonly found in curry, contains a chemical compound called Curcumin, which has been shown to help fight rheumatoid arthritis similarly to Actemra, without the dangers of Actemra.
Patients Seek Compensation for Harm
There is no excuse for the manufacture or approval of a prescription drug that is dangerous enough to cause significant patient harm or/and death. Many of those patients that have been affected, as well as the surviving family members of patients who have died from side effects linked to Actemra, have filed suit. These lawsuits claim failure to warn, manufacture of a dangerous drug, and marketing of a defective product.
We Are Here to Support You
If you or a loved one has taken Actemra and suffered any of the life-threatening side effects listed above, you may have a personal injury suit. To learn more and work with a legal professional who will put you first, contact the offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC for a free consultation today. There is no fee unless we win your case.