American Home Products Corporation (NYSE:AHP) will appeal today’s ruling in the case of Deborah Lovett vs. American Home Products Corporation in Van Zandt County, Texas District Court.
“We are disappointed by today’s ruling,” says Bob Schick of Vinson & Elkins, a Houston-based attorney for American Home. “We feel the evidence presented in this case demonstrated that the company acted responsibly and lawfully in marketing and monitoring the safety of the diet drug Pondimin.”
“There simply is no scientific study that has established a causal link between the use of Pondimin and the heart problems claimed by Mrs. Lovett,” Mr. Schick adds.
Deborah Lovett’s longstanding history of heart problems began in 1980 when she was 17 years old. In 1990, prior to her use of the diet drugs, she was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse syndrome with recurrent symptomatic palpitations, a condition caused by myxomatous degeneration of the mitral valve. In fact, her treating cardiologist, the only physician who actually examined Ms. Lovett as a patient, testified that her heart valve problems were caused by myxomatous degeneration and not by use of phen-fen. She had this condition prior to treatment with phen-fen, has evidence of it today and will not require surgery in the future.
Pondimin and another diet drug, Redux, were voluntarily withdrawn from the market in September 1997 by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. Wyeth-Ayerst did not make or market the drug phentermine, which also was taken by the plaintiff in tandem with Pondimin as the so-called “phen-fen” combination.
Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, the pharmaceutical division of American Home Products Corporation (NYSE: AHP), is a major research-oriented pharmaceutical company with leading products in the areas of women’s health care, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease therapies, central nervous system drugs, anti-inflammatory agents, vaccines, and generic pharmaceuticals.
American Home Products Corporation is one of the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. It is also a global leader in vaccines, biotechnology, agricultural products and animal health care.