A Class Action Lawsuit Against Chantix in Canada and an MDL in the United States
The Canadian class action lawsuit against manufacturer Pfizer filed by Chantix lawyers stems from two primary cases. In the first case, a woman sued after her daughter committed suicide, allegedly as a result of taking the anti-smoking drug Chantix for four months. In the other case, a plaintiff in Ontario sought relief after he tried to commit suicide after taking Chantix for only one month.
The drug is called Champix in Canada and the class action lawsuit is moving forward in an Ontario court.
The medication has been at the heart of a controversy due to its links to side effects like aggression and suicide after using Chantix. More than 275 Chantix cases in the United States have been combined into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), as people allege that the drug has caused depression and suicide.
The difference between an MDL and a class action
As hundreds of people in the U.S. have come forward alleging serious side effects resulting from Chantix use like suicide attempts, numerous cases have been combined into an MDL. An MDL is unlike a class action in that each case remains an individual case.
In an MDL, common findings of law are made at the outset to help expedite litigation. The first United States Chantix MDL case is scheduled to be heard in front of a judge in the Northern District of Alabama in October 2012. It is possible that, as more claims of damage arise, there may be a U.S. Chantix class action lawsuit in the future.
Pfizer accused of failing to adequately warn of serious side effects
The plaintiffs in the U.S. cases have alleged psychological side effects from the drug, citing defendant Pfizer’s failure to adequately warn the consuming public of potential risks associated with Chantix. First approved by the FDA in 2006, the drug acts to help cease cravings for nicotine by eliminating some of the feel-good qualities of nicotine from the user’s system. However, in doing this, it may also trigger aggressive behaviors and other psychological abnormalities, such as depression.
In 2009, the FDA issued a black box warning for Chantix, noting that it may dangerously affect users’ behavior.