View Full Version : All who are on medication for ADD had better read this! important!

02-18-06, 01:04 AM
i found this article on cbs about add medications leading to health problems and even death. i am scared guys and read it!

"ADHD Drugs and Heart Risks

ADHD Medications allegedly linked to Sudden Death, Heart Attack, Stroke

Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) have substantially increased over the years. At school, children now line up to receive their daily ADHD medications. The National Institutes of Heath estimates that 2 million U.S. children are diagnosed with ADHD. Similarly, the numbers of adults diagnosed with ADHD and Adult ADD have also doubled in the last few years.

The FDA has announced that they have received reports linking ADHD drugs to cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, and myocardial infarction. In some reports these ailments led to death. With this alarming news, the FDA has challenged the Drug Safety and Risk Management committee to review the cardiovascular risks with ADHD drug treatments.

Several popular ADHD drug treatments prescribed to children, teens, and adults include: Adderall, Strattera, Ritalin, Concerta, Wellbutrin, Desipramine, Dexedrine, Prozac, Methylin, Metadate, Desoxyn, and Focalin. In the past, some of these drugs were in the news with allegations of cancer risks, liver damage, and heart damage.

See more information on [ADDERALL].
See more information on [RITALIN]

ADHD Drugs In the News

The FDA’s Drug Safety & Risk Management Advisory Committee rules that ADHD drugs should have a warning label which explains the risk of heart attack and sudden death. (Feb-10-06) [FDA]

FDA reports 51 deaths of children and adults taking ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall. The FDA plans to investigate a risk of sudden death, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes in patients taking ADHD medication. (Feb-08-06) [WASHINGTON POST]

The drug companies that make ADHD drugs will work closely with the FDA to analyze the risks of several ADHD drugs. Adderall will likely be one of the drugs under scrutiny as it contains amphetamine which has been known to cause heart problems. (Jan-03-06) [BLOOMBERG]

A New England study on ADHD shows that the number of adult women diagnosed with ADHD is 21% higher than adult men age 20-44. The study also reveals that there are 8 million adults with ADHD in the U.S. and 4 million children. (Nov-01-05) [NEPSY.COM] "

02-18-06, 02:12 AM
I'm scared too, that a lot of foolish people who couldn't research their way out of a paper bag may actually pay for such a lawyer.
"Lessons From the Ritalin Class Action Victories

Jim O’Neal led a Faegre & Benson team that served as national counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in five class actions around the country that attacked Ritalin, the well known medication for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Other team members included firm partners Joe Price, Linda Svitak, and Bruce Jones.

Despite a flurry of national publicity surrounding the lawsuits, and a high powered and well known collection of plaintiffs’ attorneys on the other side, all of the class action lawsuits were dismissed in less than three years.

In this interview with the publication Trends, Jim discusses how that result was achieved and suggests lessons for the defense of other complex litigation.

Trends: Let’s look at the history of the Ritalin cases. In the summer and fall of 2000, the drug's manufacturer was faced with five class action lawsuits, in jurisdictions from California to New Jersey to Puerto Rico. The plaintiffs claimed that the manufacturer conspired with the American Psychiatric Association to loosen the diagnostic criteria for ADHD and expand the market for Ritalin. This litigation got a lot of national attention, didn’t it?

O’Neal: Yes, it did. The national media was trumpeting this litigation as “the next tobacco.” It was one of the “Big Suits of 2000” in the ABA Journal. The lead plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Scruggs, famous for his role in the tobacco cases, was quoted in Newsweek magazine, and one of his fellow attorneys was on Good Morning America, promising there would be whistle blowers and bad documents and all the big problems associated with truly major litigation.

Trends: Now, less than three years later, the litigation is all done and the defendants have won. What happened?

O’Neal: What happened was that courts around the country agreed with us that these lawsuits never made any factual or legal sense. The diagnostic criteria for ADHD represent the consensus of the scientific community, and Ritalin has been around for decades as a safe and effective treatment for that disorder. Fortunately, the judges that were assigned the lawsuits saw through the emptiness of the plaintiffs’ case. Three of the class actions were dismissed on the pleadings before any discovery had to be done, and the other two cases were dismissed voluntarily when it was obvious there was no merit to the complaints.

Trends: Companies always argue that there’s no merit to the lawsuits against them, but they still spend years paying for discovery and defending the litigation. Why was this different?

O’Neal: I think a lot of the credit goes to the fact that the defendants were willing to spend the time and money up front to let their lawyers master the facts and do a detailed strategic analysis at the beginning, rather than learning the cases as the discovery process went along.

Trends: How was your strategic analysis helpful in getting the cases dismissed?

O’Neal: First, it seemed to us that the complaints were intentionally vague on a critical point. There are a small number of activists out there who, despite the best medical evidence to the contrary, advocate the view that ADHD doesn’t exist at all as a disorder – that hyperactive or inattentive kids just need good parenting to make these problems go away. Certain parts of the complaints suggested that this was the plaintiffs’ theory, and we figured we could completely discredit that theory with clear scientific evidence.

On the other hand, other parts of the complaints suggested a different theory – that some patients really do have ADHD and benefit from Ritalin, but that the medication is overprescribed. If plaintiffs committed to that theory, we didn’t see how this case could ever be a class action. You’d need separate trials for every class member to see if he or she was legitimately prescribed medication or not. So we figured we’d win either way, but we had to make the plaintiffs commit to a single theory.

Trends: How did you do that?

O’Neal: The cases were pled under various consumer fraud statutes. That gave the plaintiffs the benefit of the liberal standards in many of those statutes. But it also meant they were fraud claims that had to be pled with particularity under the rules. So in the Texas class action we moved for an order saying that the complaints weren’t specific enough. In other words, the plaintiffs had to state whether they believed ADHD didn’t exist, or whether they thought it did exist but too many people are diagnosed with it. The judge pressed for an answer to that question, and finally in oral argument, the plaintiffs agreed that some patients do have ADHD but they think the medicine is overprescribed. That was really the alternative they had to choose if they wanted to preserve any scientific credibility at all, but it hurt their class action arguments badly.

Trends: How did you use that against them?

O’Neal: One of our co-defendants’ counsel pointed out that California has a broad statute that allows for prompt dismissal of cases that aren’t brought for a proper purpose, like cases that are intended to intimidate defendants from exercising their rights to freedom of speech. That statute allowed us to show the Court, right away and before any discovery, that advocacy groups have been making these kinds of claims for years but that the consensus of the scientific community is clearly on the other side. So we made our next move in California and moved to dismiss under that statute. We also argued that their complaint failed to state any actionable claim, because they didn’t and couldn’t plead that anything our client supposedly did had any impact on particular members of the proposed class.

Trends: And you won?

O’Neal: We won. We got a well written opinion from the federal judge, ruling in favor of all the defendants and even awarding attorney fees. We were able to take that opinion and get similar dismissals in federal court in Texas and state court in New Jersey, even though those states didn’t have statutes comparable to California. The copycat class actions in Florida and Puerto Rico were then dismissed voluntarily. Just recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed all of the California trial court’s opinion, except a portion that basically related to product liability claims. The plaintiffs then voluntarily dismissed their case in exchange for our waiving the attorney fees we’d been awarded.

Trends: The bottom line is that all of these supposedly major class actions are dismissed and gone in less than three years, with no discovery at all.

O’Neal: Exactly.

Trends: Other than the need for “front end loading” major litigation with early case assessment and strategic analysis, should we take away any other lessons from the Ritalin cases?

O’Neal: I’m a great believer in early identification of your major themes. You can use these messages from the beginning to give courts, the media and all your other audiences a clear and convincing idea of why you should win the case. These themes have to be entirely true, and they have to be worded in a way that appeals to people’s common sense. Then people readily recognize the truth, because your message is consistent with what they already believe anyway.

Trends: Examples?

O’Neal: In these cases, we felt our key messages should include the fact that ADHD is a real and serious disorder that causes suffering if left untreated. Ritalin has been established as a safe and effective treatment for that disorder for more than 40 years, and both the medicine and the disorder are supported by the consensus of top scientific authorities. Whatever you think about whether any particular patient was properly diagnosed and treated, the court system shouldn’t be dictating to psychiatrists how to practice psychiatry. These are examples of messages that are absolutely true, and we believe they also resonate with people in a way that’s helpful to a litigation position. And it’s never too early to identify such messages in cases that are truly threatening. Doing it when you’re sitting down to write your opening statement for trial is way too late, because you’ve already lost in the media and in the mind of your judge.

Themes like this are also consistent with another of my most important principles in defending complex litigation: keep things simple. Occam ’s razor is the term for cutting away everything unnecessary so that only the essential remains. Litigators in big cases need to use that razor a lot. I don’t know who Occam was, but he’d have made a good trial lawyer! Too many litigators actually seem intent on making things more complicated than they already are. But it’s simplification and clarity that win cases.

Jim O’Neal’s practice focuses on the defense of class actions and mass tort litigation, usually involving product liability or consumer fraud claims. In addition to his Ritalin victories in 2003, he recently won dismissal at the trial court level of the wrongful death claims against the Minnesota Vikings arising out of the 2001 training camp death of Pro Bowl offensive lineman Korey Stringer. He is based in the firm’s Minneapolis office."


02-18-06, 02:36 AM
Thanks for the link, Scuro! I enjoyed reading it -- very good information!:)


02-18-06, 02:48 AM
Yes, a lovely read. :)

Moody Blonde
02-21-06, 04:17 PM
Darn lawyers! Always looking for something to sue over.

Half of them need ADHD meds. Trust me.

02-21-06, 04:23 PM
Darn lawyers! Always looking for something to sue over.

Half of them need ADHD meds. Trust me. they really? ;) :D :p