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Litigation Update: Potential End to Viagra MDL

Litigation Update: Potential End to Viagra MDL

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California, who is presiding over the Viagra MDL, has ruled that the plaintiffs’ causation experts must be excluded. In an Order filed on January 13, Judge Seeborg pointed out that the plaintiffs had been unable to find any experts other than their own to support the general causation argument that Viagra increased the risk for the development or progression of melanoma. The Judge’s order could put an end to about 1,000 Viagra lawsuits filed in 2016.

Viagra, a brand name of the generic drug sildenafil, is manufactured by Pfizer and is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

Although the judge agreed with some of the points made by plaintiffs’ experts, the studies they relied on to demonstrate the Viagra-melanoma connection only showed an increased risk of 1.2%. The judge recognized that although that number showed a possible risk, the connection wasn’t strong enough.

In an effort to retain their causation experts’ testimony, plaintiffs’ lawyers cited a 2018 Roundup ruling where experts’ testimony that relied on studies demonstrating similar relative risk results for the Roundup users developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma was admitted in court. In addressing that issue in his order, Judge Seeborg mentioned that although the testimony in the Roundup case might have been similar, it had the validation and support of national and international health agencies and research institutions who had already identified Roundup as a dangerous product.

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