Ozempic Lawsuit Updates & News | May 2024

Editorial Team


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


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The Ozempic lawsuit has become a prominent issue in media coverage, drawing attention for the considerable compensations and settlements linked to these cases. Key recent developments include:

  1. In the ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL), defendants Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly have disputed plaintiffs' allegations linking GLP-1RA medications to severe gastrointestinal conditions like gastroparesis. The defendants argue that no conclusive evidence exists to connect these drugs to the reported issues, suggesting diabetes, which many plaintiffs have, could also cause these conditions. Additionally, the plaintiffs accuse the companies of misleading marketing strategies, particularly concerning the promotion of drugs like Ozempic for uses not specifically approved by the FDA. The court will examine whether the drug companies' marketing misrepresented the severity and risks of side effects.

  2. Novo Nordisk has allocated $11 million towards promoting Ozempic for weight loss, specifically covering travel and dining for doctors. This strategy included sponsoring 12,000 physicians with 457,000 meals and travel to destinations such as Honolulu, Paris, London, and Orlando.

    Critics argue that these funds could have been more effectively used for researching the drug's potential severe side effects and long-term health implications, including stomach paralysis and other digestive issues. This expenditure may also challenge Novo Nordisk's ability to claim financial constraints in covering settlements or judgments related to patient injuries caused by the medication.

  3. During the first hearing of the Ozempic lawsuit MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Judge Pratter emphasized the importance of efficiency and clear communication among all parties. She discouraged any unnecessary delays and requested focused progress in the litigation, which consolidates 72 lawsuits with potential to include over 20,000 cases. The lawsuits allege that GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic and others increase the risk of severe gastrointestinal issues, including stomach paralysis. Some plaintiffs report severe side effects requiring emergency or surgical interventions. The legal proceedings also address claims that patients were not sufficiently warned about the risks of using these medications off-label for weight loss.

  4. Judge Gene E.K. Pratter is set to define key aspects of the Ozempic lawsuit, including discovery timelines and case eligibility, ahead of a landmark trial. The first status conference is scheduled for March 14, 2024.

    • MDL Formation: Federal Ozempic lawsuits and related medications consolidated into an MDL.
    • Inclusion of Similar Drugs: Wegovy, Mounjaro, Rybelsus, and Trulicity included.
    • Jurisdiction Chosen: Eastern District of Pennsylvania selected, close to Novo Nordisk’s New Jersey headquarters.
    • Major Drug Manufacturers Involved: Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly initially objected, proposed alternative jurisdictions.
    • MDL Approval: Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) approves consolidation of Ozempic lawsuits into an MDL.
    • Streamlined Process: Centralization aims to enhance pre-trial efficiency, including evidence gathering and discovery.
    • Impact on Plaintiffs: Expected to accelerate settlement processes for those affected by Ozempic side effects.
    • Case Filed: Sandra Linney from Bonneville County, Idaho files a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.
    • Complaint Focus: Alleges inadequate safety labeling by Novo Nordisk on Ozempic, failing to adequately warn of severe gastrointestinal risks.
    • Company's Potential Response: Novo Nordisk expected to deny liability and possibly move to dismiss the case.
    • Growing Legal Pressure: The increase in Ozempic lawsuits may prompt the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consider consolidating these cases for more efficient pretrial proceedings.
    • Initial Lawsuit: A lawsuit filed in Louisiana at the end of 2023 accuses diabetes drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro of causing severe health issues, including extreme vomiting and tooth loss.
    • Request for MDL: Plaintiffs, including the Louisiana complainant, seek to form a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) for all federal cases involving Ozempic and related drugs.
    • Drug Makers' Stance: Initially, both Novo Nordisk (Ozempic's maker) and Eli Lilly & Co. (Mounjaro's maker) were reluctant to submit to jurisdiction in Louisiana, but Novo Nordisk now supports the MDL idea, suggesting either Louisiana or California as suitable venues.
    • Eli Lilly’s Objection: Eli Lilly opposes being included in the Ozempic MDL, citing the relatively fewer lawsuits against Mounjaro. They propose Indiana or North Carolina as possible venues if an MDL for Mounjaro is considered.
    • EMA Inquiry: The European Medicines Agency is examining a potential link between diabetes and weight-loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy, and an increased risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
    • New Concerns: This investigation adds to existing concerns about Ozempic, such as stomach paralysis, cyclic vomiting syndrome, and gallbladder issues. The possible connection with suicidal tendencies represents a significant new area of concern.

    MDL Motion: A group of plaintiffs using Ozempic has filed for the consolidation of all federal cases into a Multi-District Litigation in the Western District of Louisiana. The aim is to centralize related cases for efficient discovery, consistent court rulings, and shared evidence.

    • Court Ruling: Louisiana Federal Judge James Cain, Jr., rejected Novo Nordisk's motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Jaclyn Bjorklund.
    • Lawsuit Focus: The suit accuses Novo Nordisk of failing to adequately warn about the risk of gastroparesis, or stomach paralysis, associated with the use of their drug, Ozempic.
    • Case Advancement: This decision allows Ms. Bjorklund's case to proceed further in the legal process.
    • Objective: Lawyers seek to combine federal lawsuits against Ozempic, Mounjaro, Trulicity, and Wegovy producers into a single Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).
    • Claims: The suits allege the drugs cause severe stomach issues, like gastroparesis, without adequate warnings from manufacturers Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.
    • Current Status: Approximately 20 lawsuits filed in U.S. Federal Courts.
    • Proposed Location: Advocates for consolidation suggest the Western District of Louisiana under Judge James Cain.
    • FDA Position: No comment on the rising Ozempic lawsuit numbers.
    • Issue: Ozempic users experiencing complications like regurgitation during surgery under anesthesia.
    • Warning: The American Society of Anesthesiologists advises against using Ozempic and similar drugs on the day of surgery and seven days prior.
    • Cause: Gastroparesis, a side effect of Ozempic, leads to delayed stomach emptying, increasing risks during surgery.
    • FDA Response: Updated labels for Ozempic and related drugs to include new warnings about these risks.
    • Study Findings: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study revealing increased severe gastrointestinal risks in patients using GLP-1 agonist drugs, like Ozempic and Wegovy. These drugs can cause significant stomach pain and delay gastric emptying.
    • Drug Use: Initially approved for diabetes, GLP-1 agonists are now frequently prescribed off-label for weight loss.
    • Reports: Users of Ozempic and similar drugs report severe stomach and intestinal issues, likely linked to the medication.
    • FDA Action: In September, the FDA required warnings on Ozempic labels about the risk of intestinal blockage, including food or fluid getting stuck in the colon.
    • Common Legal Ground: The lawsuits in the Ozempic Multi-District Litigation (MDL) predominantly hinge on the allegation of a failure to warn consumers.
    • Plaintiffs' Claims: They argue that Ozempic's manufacturers were aware, or should have been aware, of the drug's potential to cause severe gastroparesis and other digestive problems. Manufacturers did not inform users for possible problems.
    • Role of Evidence: Scientific proof will play a crucial role in these legal proceedings.Top of Form
    • Current Lawsuit Count: Seven lawsuits filed against Ozempic for stomach paralysis.
    • MDL Creation: A Multi-District Litigation (MDL) is established to manage these and potentially hundreds or thousands more anticipated cases.
    • MDL Process: In the MDL, all cases will undergo collective evidence discovery and pre-trial motions, though individual trials will occur if necessary.
    • Plaintiff: Jaclyn Bjorklund filed the first lawsuit concerning stomach paralysis from Ozempic use.
    • Medical Issues: She experienced severe gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting and stomach pains, leading to a hospital emergency.
    • Condition Explained: Gastroparesis, a condition where stomach muscle contractions slow down or weaken, causing delayed food digestion and health risks.
    • Allegation: The lawsuit accuses Novo Nordisk of failing to provide adequate warnings about the risk of stomach paralysis linked to semaglutide drugs (Ozempic and Mounjaro).

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