A court order has postponed the first Elmiron bellwether trial to March 27, 2023. Elmiron is an oral drug used to treat interstitial cystitis, a chronic condition that results in excruciating bladder pain and pressure. While Elmiron appeared as a saving grace for many afflicted with this bladder illness, individuals claim to have developed vision damage after taking Elmiron. Many patients who took the bladder drug and subsequently suffered vision loss have filed lawsuits in state and federal courts.
Hundred Elmiron Patients Included in Federal Multidistrict Litigation
Interstitial cystitis (IC), or painful bladder syndrome, is challenging to treat, and currently, there is no medication to cure the underlying cause of the ailment. Therefore, the FDA offered a glimmer of hope for interstitial cystitis patients when it approved Elmiron in 1996, making it the only drug FDA-approved to treat IC. Elmiron prevents irritants from entering the bladder by creating a barrier that protects the bladder wall from inflammation.
However, several studies have suggested that Elmiron may damage the retinas. Elmiron plaintiffs claim that the bladder drug causes a rare progressive eye disease known as retinal maculopathy. This eye condition can lead to severe vision problems, including blindness, distorted or blurred vision, and eye pain.
Plaintiffs have filed lawsuits for vision injuries associated with Elmiron against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. In December 2020, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized Elmiron retinal injuries lawsuits into MDL-2973 in the District of New Jersey. Lawsuits allege Janssen Pharmaceuticals concealed the risk of potential eye damage from the public and appropriate agencies.
First Elmiron Lawsuit Bellwether Trial Scheduled for March 2023
As of November 2022, the Elmiron MDL contains 1,809 pending actions. Attorneys expected the first Elmiron vision damage bellwether trial to begin in January 2023, but the court delayed the trial for another two months. The case in question, Maria Windham v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, et al, will now occur on March 27, 2023. Louisiana resident Maria Windham claims she suffered retinal pigmentary changes and macular degeneration due to the bladder drug Elmiron. This case is a defendant-selected bellwether trial, with two other bellwether trials also scheduled to take place in 2023.