STORY FROM: Drugs & Medical Devices

Learned Intermediary Doctrine Defeats Warning Claims in Aredia/Zometa Lawsuit, Judge Rules

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — The learned intermediary doctrine defeats claims that the inadequate warnings accompanying Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.’s Aredia and Zometa cancer drugs proximately caused a patient to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw, a Pennsylvania federal judge has ruled.

On Oct. 7, Judge Mark R. Hornak of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania noted that the prescribing doctors testified that they were aware of the risk of ONJ but still prescribed the drugs because they believed that their benefits far outweighed the risks.

William Bock was diagnosed with anemia, leucopenia, and hypercalcemia in August 2005. His oncologist, ...

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