Invokana Lawsuits May Now Be Filed Directly in Federal Multidistrict Litigation

Published on March 16, 2017 by Sandy Liebhard

The U.S. District Court Judge overseeing pretrial proceedings for more than 100 Invokana and Invokamet lawsuits centralized in the District of New Jersey is now allowing plaintiffs to file their claims directly in the proceeding. Per an Order dated March 10th, direct filing is intended to promote judicial efficiency and eliminate delays associated with the transfer or removal of cases from other federal district courts.

At least 126 claims have been filed in the District of New Jersey on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered ketoacidosis, kidney damage and other serious complications due to treatment with Invokana or Invokamet. The multidistrict litigation was established in December to allow all federally-filed cases involving the Type 2 diabetes medications to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings before a single judge. Fifty-five lawsuits were initially transferred to the multidistrict litigation at the time of its creation. However, plaintiffs who sought centralization of the federal docket predicted that the litigation could eventually grow to include hundreds of claims.

Side Effects Associated with SGLT2 Inhibitors

Invokana (canagliflozin) and Invokamet are both SGLT2 inhibitors. These drugs lower blood glucose levels by its inhibiting  absorption by the kidneys, resulting in the elimination of sugar via urine. Launched in March 2013, Invokana was the first SGLT2 inhibitor approved for use in this country. Invokamet is a combination drug that contains canagliflozin and metformin. Other SGLT2 inhibitors marketed in the U.S. include:

  • Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
  • Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin and metformin extended-release)
  • Jardiance (empagliflozin)
  • Glyxambi (empagliflozin and linagliptin)

Less than three years after approving Invokana, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the manufacturers of all SGLT2 inhibitors to include information about diabetic ketoacidosis on their product labels. This potentially fatal condition occurs when toxic acids called ketones are able to accumulate in the blood. If not treated quickly, ketoacidosis can progress to diabetic coma and death.

Last June, the FDA ordered the manufacturers of Invokana, Invokamet, Farxiga and Xigduo XR to include stronger kidney warnings on their product labels. The agency acted after the four drugs were implicated in more than 100 reports of acute renal injury.

Plaintiffs pursing Invokana and Invokamet lawsuits in New Jersey claim that the drugs’ manufacturers were aware of these and other dangerous side effects, but failed to provide appropriate warnings o patients and doctors.

Farxiga Litigation

Similar lawsuits have also been filed against the manufacturers of Farxiga and Xigduo XR. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is now considering a proposal to centralize these claims in a single U.S. District Court, possibly the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, or Southern District of Illinois. The Panel will hear oral arguments on the matter during its March 30th Hearing Session in Phoenix, Arizona.

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