Week Adjourned: 2.18.11

Top Class Actions

Now here’s a hairy situation—(or not…) Merck Frost and its affiliated companies are facing a Canadian class action over allegations that men who used Propecia or Proscar suffered continuing sexual dysfunction as a side effect of treatment.  

FYI—Propecia and Proscar are prescribed as a cosmetic treatment for male pattern hair loss also known as androgenic alopecia. The product monograph discloses that some men may experience sexual dysfunction but states that the symptoms disappear after cessation of the drug.

That, apparently, is not what happened in Michael Miller’s case—he’s the brave man who filed the suit. 

Mr. Miller, who is in his early 20s, was concerned when his hair started to thin in some areas. Completely understandable. So he went to his doctor who presumably prescribed Proscar in the hope that it would stop his hair from thinning. After about a month of use he noticed a drastic change in his behavior, “I lost my interest in sex and I felt anxious in social situations for no particular reason,” he says. While on the drug, his symptoms of sexual dysfunction increased as the months passed. When he could no longer bear the side effects, he stopped using Proscar but these symptoms didn’t go away: “My sexual functioning has not recovered, I have seen specialists and have tried treatments but nothing has worked,” says Mr. Miller. Not good.

Here’s hoping the courts can help. 

Top Settlements

What price diabetes? Continuing our theme of drug-related adverse events, a settlement was reached—another settlement I should say—between AstraZeneca, the maker of antipsychotic drug Seroquel, and about 6,000 individual plaintiffs who allege the drug causes diabetes.  

AZ has agreed to pay $150 million to settle the lawsuits. Rumor has it each case will reportedly be settled for roughly $25,000.

According to a report on Bloomberg, this court-ordered settlement leaves AstraZeneca facing about 4,000 outstanding Seroquel claims. In the summer of 2010, the UK-based pharmaceutical company said it had resolved about two-thirds of the 26,000 suits over the drug, suits that had been filed in courts around the U.S. 

CitiMortgage LPI Settlement: Citibank reached a settlement this week concerning a class action lawsuit against CitiMortgage, and allegations that, among other things, CitiMortgage allowed the assessment of excessive premiums (yes, that old chestnut) in its lender placed insurance (“LPI”) program on California properties, purportedly in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq. (the “UCL”). Now there’s a surprise.

The proposed settlement reportedly provides for, among other things, CitiMortgage to pay a total sum not to exceed $2,000,000 for settlement class members making valid claims, attorneys’ fees, costs and an incentive award to Plaintiff. Chicken feed. I guess crime does pay—white collar crime, that is.

If this settlement affects you—you can find out more about the “CitiMortgage Lender Placed Insurance LPI class action lawsuit settlement,” including information about how to participate in, be excluded from (or opt out of) or comment on or object to the CitiMortgage Lender Placed Insurance LPI class action settlement—visit the CitiMortgage class action settlement website at: bc386656.com.

Well—that’s it for this week—I’ll see you at the bar!

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