The federal litigation established earlier this month for Invokana lawsuits is beginning to move forward. According to an Initial Order issued in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, earlier this week, the proceeding will convene its first Case Management Conference on January 12, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
More than five dozens cases are pending in the Invokana litigation, all of which were filed on behalf of patients who suffered diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney damage and other side effects allegedly associated with use of the Type 2 diabetes medication. The claims were centralized by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on December 7th in order to allow the federal docket to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings, so as to improve judicial efficiency and preserve the resources of the courts, parties and witnesses involved in the lawsuits.
The Court’s Initial Order indicates that a number of matters pertaining to pretrial and discovery proceedings will be addressed at next month’s conference. Plaintiffs and defendants have been directed to submit via email Position Statements to the Court by January 6th outlining their preliminary understanding of the facts involved in the litigation and the critical factual and legal issues.
The Order also indicates that, going forward, the Court intends to convene regular Case Management Conferences every 30 to 45 days. Liaison Counsel have been directed to email the Court a joint proposed agenda and updated case list no fewer than five days before any scheduled conference.
Invokana belong s to a class of Type 2 diabetes medications called SGLT2 inhibitors. Like other medications in this class, it lowers blood glucose levels by preventing the absorption of sugar by the kidneys, thus allowing its elimination via urine. In December 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) required that the manufacturers of all SGLT2 inhibitors implement label changes to reflect the potential for diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous disorder that can lead to coma or even death. The drugs’ labels were also updated last December to include information about life-threatening blood infections (urosepsis) and kidney infections (pyelonephritis) that originate as urinary tract infections.
In June, the FDA ordered the manufacturers of several SGLT2 inhibitors, including Invokana, to strengthen label warnings regarding kidney complications, after the drugs were cited in more than 100 reports of acute kidney injury.