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The Latest Information on the Ozempic Lawsuit: March and April Update

As of April 5, 2024, The legal proceedings concerning Ozempic are at an early stage, with ongoing discussions and developments in the litigation process. The number of cases is expected to grow, and the focus remains on addressing the injuries associated with the use of Ozempic and similar medications. The warning label for Ozempic did not correctly notify patients or doctors about the risk of gallbladder disease until March 2022, and now there are lawsuits involving Ozempic, Rybelsus, Wegovy, Trulicity, and Mounjaro that, as of February 2024, is an MDL class action lawsuit.

This article will provide an update on the latest developments in the Ozempic lawsuit as of April and March 2024, including insights from the initial status conference and the potential surge of Ozempic lawsuits in New Jersey. It will also delve into understanding Ozempic and its alleged risks, such as the significant association between the use of contemporary weight loss and diabetes medications, specifically glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic, and the occurrence of psychiatric and gastrointestinal side effects.

March and April 2024 Ozempic MDL Developments

March 14, 2024:

The first status conference for the Ozempic litigation was held in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Lawsuits involving Ozempic, Rybelsus, Wegovy, Trulicity, and Mounjaro have been consolidated into an MDL class action lawsuit. The MDL has been established for federal court lawsuits concerning Ozempic and similar medications, with the Panel denying Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly’s request to move the cases to alternative jurisdictions.

March 15, 2024:

The initial case management conference for the Ozempic class action lawsuit took place in a Pennsylvania federal court. The conference addressed organizational and procedural aspects of the case, including leadership structure for the plaintiffs, motion practice, and the development of fact sheets. The case involves allegations against GLP-1 receptor agonist medications, focusing on issues like inadequate warning, design defects, and various other legal claims. The discussion also emphasized the importance of setting up a process for filing motions and the development of plaintiff fact sheets.

March 18, 2024:

In 2022, Novo Nordisk allocated $11 million towards covering meals and travel expenses for physicians as a strategy to market Ozempic and its portfolio of diabetes medications that facilitate weight loss. The President and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans criticized this expenditure, highlighting studies indicating a heightened risk of intestinal obstruction associated with the use of GLP-1 RA medications.

April 2, 2024:

When the Ozempic class action MDL was created in February, there were a total of 55 cases consolidated in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As of April 1, 2024, the number of pending Ozempic cases in the MDL has grown to 74, with expectations for further growth due to the widespread use of Ozempic.

April 5, 2024:

Injuries associated with Ozempic, such as gastroparesis, ileus, and bowel obstruction, have been identified as defining factors in the litigation. These injuries significantly impact the digestive system’s function, leading to severe symptoms and potentially permanent harm.

Initial Status Conference Insights

The first status conference in the Ozempic class action lawsuit took place on March 15, 2024, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, with 18 lawsuits consolidated under the oversight of Judge Gene E.K. Pratter. The litigation comprises approximately 55 individual lawsuits, with 54 claims against Ozempic and one against another manufacturer, primarily involving “on-label” usage and about 10% prescribed off-label for weight loss . The lawsuits encompass various claims, including:

  • Failure to warn of Ozempic injuries
  • Issues related to the drug’s design
  • Violations of state consumer protection laws

Judge Pratter, known for being a no-nonsense judge, discussed the possibility of establishing separate tracks for the litigation to manage diverse issues effectively and emphasized the need for swift progress, in line with section 21.272 of the Manual for Complex Litigation. Plaintiffs will be required to submit detailed Fact Sheets, providing essential biographical, medical, and case-related information 7.

The court addressed preliminary motion practice, including 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss based on grounds such as preemption, failure to warn, and personal jurisdiction, and plans to hold monthly status conferences to ensure the litigation’s steady advancement. Out-of-state attorneys have the option to participate in the litigation by filing pro hac vice motions through Pennsylvania attorneys. The main docket for this litigation is numbered 2:24-md-03094-GEKP, with an additional 37 lawsuits pending consolidation, mostly focusing on the failure to warn of the risk of gastroparesis. The first milestones in the Ozempic lawsuit will be selecting lead counsel, filing a master complaint, and establishing a preliminary discovery schedule for document production.

Potential Surge of Ozempic Lawsuits in New Jersey

A recent lawsuit, Tinsley v. Novo Nordisk, was filed under the New Jersey Products Liability Act by a plaintiff who suffered a gallbladder injury after using Ozempic. This case is just one of many lawsuits being filed by people who developed severe gastroparesis after using Ozempic, a type 2 diabetes and weight loss medication linked to severe gastrointestinal issues, including stomach paralysis and intestinal blockage.

The FDA has received over 8,500 reports of gastrointestinal problems associated with Ozempic, including:

  • 33 cases of intestinal blockage 
  • Updated labels for Ozempic and related medications to include new warnings about delayed stomach emptying and reduced gastrointestinal tract mobility

Several lawsuits have been filed against Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, alleging failure to warn about the potential risks of stomach paralysis. A multi-district litigation (MDL) has been created to handle the hundreds or thousands of cases expected to join the litigation in the coming months and years. The first lawsuit was filed in Louisiana by a plaintiff who experienced severe gastrointestinal medical issues caused by taking Ozempic and Mounjaro. Judge James D. Cain Jr. ruled that Novo Nordisk AS and Novo Nordisk North America Operations AS have sufficient ties to Louisiana to permit jurisdiction over these companies in an Ozempic lawsuit.

Understanding Ozempic and Its Alleged Risks

Ozempic (Semaglutide) is a medication used for Type 2 diabetes and off-label for weight loss. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation. Serious side effects include allergic reactions, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, kidney problems, and gallbladder problems. The FDA is investigating reports of suicidal thoughts, hair loss, and aspiration.

Recent scientific studies have shown that taking Ozempic, particularly at higher doses, can cause:

  • Gallstones and gallbladder disease, which frequently results in surgical removal of the gallbladder 
  • Psychiatric side effects, specifically with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists such as Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy 
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and other digestive disturbances 
  • Stomach paralysis, a symptom of gastroparesis, can be a side effect of Ozempic and similar drugs 
  • Ileus, a lack of movement in the intestines, can lead to partial or complete bowel obstructions 

The warning label for Ozempic did not correctly notify patients or doctors about the risk of gallbladder disease until March 2022. European regulators are investigating to determine if there’s a link between the use of certain diabetes and weight loss drugs, including Ozempic, Wegovy, and other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harm .

If you are interested in pursuing a claim today, contact Nigh Goldenberg Raso & Vaughn. There are no upfront fees. Call us at (202) 792-2927 or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

Conclusion

As the Ozempic lawsuit continues to unfold, it is crucial for individuals who have experienced adverse effects, such as gallbladder disease or gastrointestinal issues, to stay informed about their legal rights. The ongoing litigation against Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, aims to hold the company accountable for allegedly failing to adequately warn patients and healthcare providers about the potential risks associated with the medication. With the consolidation of multiple lawsuits into a multi-district litigation (MDL), the legal process is expected to progress more efficiently, potentially leading to a resolution for affected individuals.

If you or a loved one has suffered from Intestinal Obstruction (Ileus), gastroparesis, or other severe side effects after using Ozempic or similar medications, it is essential to seek legal guidance. If you are interested in pursuing a claim today, contact Nigh Goldenberg Raso & Vaughn for a free consultation, with no upfront fees, by calling (202) 792-2927 or filling out the form on their website. As the lawsuit moves forward, it is hoped that justice will be served for those who have been harmed by these medications and that stricter regulations will be put in place to ensure patient safety in the future.

FAQs

1. How much time is required to resolve the Ozempic lawsuit? The time frame for settling an Ozempic lawsuit is not fixed and can range greatly depending on individual circumstances. Some cases may conclude swiftly, while others could extend over several months or years. Factors such as the complexity of the case, the evidence available, and the legal process involved will affect how long it takes to settle.

2. Does Ozempic cause permanent gastroparesis? There is insufficient evidence to conclude that gastroparesis caused by Ozempic is permanent. In most cases, symptoms may subside once the medication is discontinued. However, in severe instances, some patients may require surgical procedures, such as gastric bypass surgery, to correct the damage and regain normal bodily function.

3. What is the latest safety warning issued for Ozempic? The latest safety warning for Ozempic is due to the FDA mandating a new label warning about the risk of intestinal blockage. This warning has also been extended to the weight loss drug Wegovy, which is the same company that produces Ozempic. The FDA’s decision to add this warning has brought the issue into the public spotlight.

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