Bladder Drug Elmiron Linked To Permanent Vision Loss & 2020 Ballot Victories For Consumers

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Published on 18 Nov 2020, 19:00
Via America’s Lawyer: Attorney Tim O’Brien joins Mike Papantonio to discuss sweeping lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson over the bladder drug Elmiron, which has been found to cause vision and hair loss among other horrific side effects. Also, we need to talk about the real victories that happened across the country, consumer and worker friendly ballot initiatives, they were important. Mike Papantonio explains more.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

A bladder drug called Elmiron is causing serious and irreversible eye problems in patients. And I'm joined by attorney Tim O'Brien, who is leading the fight against this whole problem. Thank you for doing that. Tim, first of all, tell us who makes Elmiron and what is it used for?
So the drug is made now by Janssen, which is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. And it's used for a condition called cystitis in the bladder, it's a painful bladder syndrome. So it's primarily given to women, not exclusively, but primarily given to perimenopausal women.
Okay. And so the problems that we're seeing that you're identifying, and again, I want, I, I want to point this out, but for your efforts, this story may never be told. And so I hope viewers will listen very carefully. What did you find?
Well, I had a client of mine, a former client of mine call me. She had, I had represented her in Georgia and she said, I've got a doctor up in Emory who says I'm going blind because of this drug Elmiron, will you take the case? And nothing had been discussed about it in the literature at that point in time. And so I took it in, got her records together and it turns out she was part of a major study that this researcher at Emory was putting together and was revealing that, yes, hey, once you get over about six months or nine months of taking this drug, it actually damages your retina. It damages, your macula. And that's the part of the eye, Pap, that when you're looking out, we've got lenses and then in the back of the eye, we've got things that make sense of all the light that's coming in. And so that part of the retina that focuses everything, that makes it all make sense to the brain, that's called the macula and it was destroying the macula. It's what happened to her and it's what's happened to thousands of other women.
Okay. And so, so this is, this is something that if this is a typical kind of case that you and I have probably handled so many of these cases, pharmaceutical, probably the clinicals gave some indication that there was a problem here.
Yeah. The clinicals gave not only an indication of a problem, we're talking about the clinical trials that the FDA was reviewing, but not only was there a problem, but there was no benefit. The, these clinical trials that the sponsor of the drug put the patients through, two times the FDA say, FDA looked at these clinical trials and said, there's no benefit. There's no benefit at all. And so they let them backdoor some clinical use of it in some actual, not clinical trial evidence, but in the same time, all of these reports were starting to coming in about all kinds of adverse events, many of which were problems with the eyes.
The FDA, again, it's the most dysfunctional government agency, maybe SEC FDA EPA, put them in a bag. None of them do their job. Is that the case here with the FDA?
Yeah. It's like, remember the movie, Bonfire of the Vanities, a Tom Wolfe novel.
When it said a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich. Well, the same is true of the FDA. I think the FDA would improve for marketing in the United States as a drug, a ham sandwich. If they approve this without any evidence of efficacy, their own reviewers said, this is not an approvable drug and the FDA approved it anyway.
Well, people get this notion, don't they, Tim that the FDA is doing their own testing. That if the FDA approves it, it's going to be okay. That's so far from the truth. Isn't it?

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