Local firm sues drugmakers over disclosure:

August 8, 2005

An Indianapolis law firm is the latest in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the makers of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Price Waicukauski Riley & DeBrota LLC filed a suit July 27 in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis on behalf of 21 trade unions in Indiana and surrounding states against the maker and marketers of Celebrex: Pfizer Inc., Pharmacia Corp. and G.D. Searle & Co.

Celebrex, like Merck and Co.'s Vioxx, is alleged to pose a greater risk of heart attack and stroke. Merck pulled Vioxx from the market.

The Indianapolis suit alleges that medical risks of Celebrex were not adequately disclosed and that Pfizer wrongly touted its efficacy against gastrointestinal complications.

"Billions of dollars have thus been wasted because plaintiffs and class members have paid a premium price for a drug that is not a premium or superior product," the complaint said.

Pfizer recently revised its labeling to warn of cardiovascular risks, following a U.S. Food and Drug Administration request.

Plaintiffs in Indianapolis include Sheet Metal Workers Local 20 Welfare and Benefit Fund and Indiana Electrical Workers Benefit Trust.
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