The Garden State is already host to 24 Elmiron lawsuits. Plaintiffs allege that Elmiron, the pharmaceutical treatment for interstitial cystitis, aka painful bladder syndrome or bladder cysts, causes permanent vision or eye damage, and that the drug’s maker, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, concealed the side effects for many years.
An additional sixteen Elmiron users are asking for their cases to be heard in a New Jersey federal court, because of the existing Elmiron lawsuits filed there.
According to Law360.com, the 16 Elmiron users said collectively in a brief, “Since these actions involve the same or similar questions of law and fact, prompt action by the panel to transfer, consolidate and coordinate these actions in the District of New Jersey will promote their just and efficient prosecution, enhance judicial economy, and serve the convenience of the parties.”
In addition, the case for New Jersey being the site of the new Elmiron lawsuits was made because the state is conveniently located near three major airports and an Amtrak train hub. For Janssen, New Jersey is also a convenient place because the company maintains business operations there.
Furthermore, NJ has been the site of some of “The most complicated illegal corporate enterprise actions that have arisen in the past decade, and it is most suited to deal with this litigation in an expedient manner,” reads the brief.
The lawsuits allege that at least four independent studies, including those conducted by Emory Eye Center, Harvard Medical School, Kaiser Permanente and the Canadian Ophthalmology Society have found associations between Elmiron and vision complications.
Recently, Janssen added an eyesight damage warning to the drug’s package insert and product monograph. The plaintiffs maintain that the warning was only updated because of the notoriety caused by the lawsuits.
In an emailed statement to Law360.com, representatives for Janssen said, “We are reviewing the filing. Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is the only FDA-approved oral prescription medicine that has been helping patients with bladder pain or discomfort associated with interstitial cystitis for more than two decades. At Janssen, nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our patients who take our medicines and we are confident in the overall safety profile of Elmiron. We are committed to defending the allegations made in these lawsuits.”