The Board of Directors for Abbott Laboratories, the Chicago-based pharmaceutical company that manufacturers Depakote, has been accused of ignoring the company’s illegal conduct in marketing the epilepsy drug. The current lawsuit stems from allegations that Abbott downplayed Depakote’s risks for years, which resulted in the company paying $1.6 billion to settle federal and state claims in 2012.
Stockholder Says Board of Directors Knew What Was Going On
A stockholder of Abbott Laboratories has alleged that a majority of the company’s Board of Directors knew that Depakote, the company’s best- selling drug approved for treating epileptic seizures in adults and in children over 10 years of age, as well as for migraine prevention and for treating the mania associated with bipolar disorder, was being marketed for off-label purposes.
According to a recent article in the Bloomberg News, the stockholder alleges that Abbott salespeople promoted the drug in nursing homes for the control of agitation and aggression in elderly dementia patients – without evidence that it was safe and effective for that purpose.
Abbott settled similar allegations against it made by the U.S. Department of Justice and several state agencies for a record $1.6 billion last year. The current lawsuit is against the company’s Board of Directors for knowingly allowing the illegal marketing practices to continue.
Depakote Side Effects
Depakote side effects can be very serious, especially in babies whose mothers used Depakote during pregnancy, and include:
- Cleft palate
- Hypoplastic right heart (a condition that results in an underdeveloped right side of the heart)
- Hand malformations
- Dysplastic (abnormally developed) ribs
- Hypospadias (a condition in male babies that causes the opening of the urethra to occur in the wrong place)
- Spina Bifida (a condition that results in the spinal column failing to completely enclose the spinal cord)
- Congenital cardiac defects
- Mental disabilities and lowered IQ
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration requires that Depakote contain a “Black Box” warning that its side effects may cause serious injuries or death. It is the most serious warning available to the FDA.
If your child was born with spina bifida or some other defect and was exposed to Depakote in utero, please contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, and let us evaluate your situation and determine if your family might be entitled to compensation in the form of medical bills, medical monitoring, physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of future wages, expenses related to future care and more.