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Lawsuits Pile Up Over Claims That Viagra Causes Melanoma

Posted by Sarah Showard | Mar 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Lawsuits Pile Up Over Claims That Viagra Causes Melanoma

The makers of Viagra -- the “little blue pill” used to treat erectile dysfunction -- may be subject to new multidistrict litigation (MDL) if a judicial panel votes to approve the establishment of an MDL for a number of cases that charge Viagra causes melanoma.

In December 2015, Pfizer agreed that MDL coordination was appropriate to handle new litigation over Viagra. Pfizer introduced Viagra in 1998 and it is believed that over 35 million American men have taken the drug. Currently, Viagra has approximately 45% market share in the U.S. for ED drugs.

Like other ED drugs, Viagra works to inhibit the secretion of an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (“PDE5”). "PDE5" is responsible for degrading cyclic guanosine monophosphate (“cGMP”), which then allows for greater blood flow to the penis and provides the ability to maintain an erection.

However, this degradation process can also lead to cell mutation within the body, which can lead to the development of cancer, particularly malignant melanoma. A study of more than 25,000 patients over a 10-year period published in the June 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association showed an 84% increased risk of developing malignant melanoma for patients that took Viagra.  

There are currently lawsuits pending against Pfizer in federal courts in five states, and it is anticipated there could be hundreds more to come. The suits claim that Pfizer failed to adequately test the drug prior to its release, that the warning labels for Viagra are defective and that Viagra marketing materials are false and misleading, as well as other causes of action.

Pfizer was involved in MDL litigation over Viagra almost 10 years ago when a number of patients filed suit alleging that Viagra caused blindness and other eye injuries by restricting the flow of blood to the frontal portion of the optic nerve.

Showard Law Firm handles drug and medical device claims, including Viagra melanoma claims. If you or a loved one used Viagra and were diagnosed with malignant melanoma, contact us for a free consultation.

About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.

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Showard Law Firm is dedicated to compassionate representation for our clients who have been injured by defective products, dangerous drugs or the negligence of any individual or company. We are experienced in litigation and ready to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement for your injuries, medical bills, mental anguish and other losses.

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2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Showard Law Firm. After 18 years of practice, and a prior ten-year partnership, Sarah Showard and her longtime assistant, Maria De La Rosa, opened the doors of Showard Law Firm in October 2006. Sarah and everyone at Showard Law Firm is proud to serve Southern Arizona as the local law firm for defective drug and medical device claims and personal injury.