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Pfizer Settles in Chantix Suicide Case

In 2007, Mark Alan Whitely took his own life after taking the mislabeled, anti-smoking drug Chantix. The maker of the drug, Pfizer, allegedly failed to sufficiently warn the users that the drug could increase the risk of suicide.

Pfizer has recently reached a settlement with Whitely's widow, the details of which remain confidential, just before the case went trial. This is the first of some 2,500 Chantix cases, which have been combined in a multidistrict litigation in Alabama for pretrial evidence-gathering and first trials.

The lawsuits claim that Chantix causes psyciatric disorders that in some cases are so severe they cause patients to attempt or commit suicide. Plaintiffs are claiming that Pfizer insufficently warned patients although they knew of a link between Chantix and suicide.

The FDA updated in 2009 the Chantix warnings that alerted patients to the risk of serious mental health events linked to use of the smoking cessation drug. Pfizer was required to include a Boxed Warning on the Chantix label that highlights the depressed mood, hostility and suicidal thoughts when using the medication. When the FDA changed the labeling in 2009, it had received 98 crude reports of completed suicide with Chantix (a crude report means the FDA had not examined each report in depth to ensure there were no duplicates). It also had 188 crude reports of suicide attempts.

No amount of money will ever make up the damage of the loss of a loved family member. Wrong medications, wrong amounts of medications or even just improper care and handling of an illness can and has caused deaths in the past. Medical malpractice is one of the types of wrongful death cases. If you have lost a loved one under such circumstances, it is crucial that you immediately contact a Martin County wrongful death attorney to assist you in your claim for compensation.

Contact a Martin County Wrongful Death Attorney from Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC, if you have lost a loved one due to negligence or a reckless act of another.