The federal court overseeing dozens of Invokana and Invokamet lawsuits will soon delve into the scientific and medical issues at the heart of those cases. According to court documents, the parties have been directed to agree on a date for “Science Day,” which will be convened sometime in May or June.
The U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey currently houses more than 110 cases filed on behalf of individuals who suffered ketoacidosis, kidney damage and other side effects allegedly associated with Invokana and Invokamet. Last year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all federal claims involving the Type 2 diabetes medications be transferred to New Jersey for coordinated pretrial proceeding. Since being established in December, the federal Invokana litigation has doubled in size.
Science Days are common in large, complex litigations of this nature. The event will allow both sides in the Invokana litigation to apprise the Court of important medical and scientific issue via non-adversarial, off-the-record presentations. Per an Order issued on February 24th, the Court has proposed several dates for Science Day, including May 25, 2017; June 28, 2017; and June 29, 2017. The parties were to have submitted a final date and parameter for the presentations to the Court by March 3rd.The Order further notes that judges presiding over Invokana lawsuits in various state courts will be invited to Science Day in the District of New Jersey.
Invokana and Invokamet belong to a class of Type 2 diabetes medications called SGLT2 inhibitors, which inhibit the absorption of sugar by the kidneys. In December 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the manufactures of all SGLT2 inhibitors to update their labeling with information about a potentially deadly side effect called diabetic ketoacidosis. At that time, the drugs’ labels were also modified to include information about life-threatening blood infections (urosepsis) and kidney infections (pyelonephritis) originating as urinary tract infections.
Last June, the FDA ordered the manufacturers of several SGLT2 inhibitors, including Invokana and Invokamet, to strengthen label warnings regarding kidney complications, after the drugs were implicated in more than 100 reports of acute renal injury.