Rezulin, a prescription medication used to treat diabetes, first gained prominence in June 1996, when the National Institutes of Health announced a $150 million clinical study to test the medication’s effectiveness. Warner-Lambert marketed Rezulin aggressively, and priced it at nearly three times the cost of appropriate treatments by other medicationss. It touted Rezulin as “the first anti-diabetes drug designed to target insulin resistence.” That statement prompted the FDA to accuse Warner-Lambert of making “false and misleading” claims, and to recommend that the company “immediately discontinue” circulating new releases containing the claim. Warner-Lambert described Rezulin as a medication with breakthrough effectiveness, and “Side Effects Comparable to Placebo.” The company allegedly made this statement while knowing that its own clinical trial data showed Rezulin users were three to six times more likely to suffer liver injury than patients taking the placebo.
By July 1997, seven people receiving Rezulin had died from the same side effects that Warner-Lambert had observed in its pre-market Rezulin tests. By the fall of 1997, the FDA began to receive reports of Rezulin patients suffering serious liver injuries, including death following liver failure.
On March 21, 2000, Warner-Lambert withdrew Rezulin from the U.S. market. The withdrawal was at the request of the FDA, which had concluded that “continued use of Rezulin now poses an unacceptable risk to patients.” Since then, the FDA has acknowledged reports of liver damage occurring after patients were taken off the medication, which indicates that the risk of harm does not disappear with the withdrawal of the drug.If you have taken Rezulin and have experienced liver problems, contact your doctor and/or an attorney, as you might have a claim against the manufacturer.