Metabolife and Ephedra Stroke and Heart Attack Lawsuits
Metabolife, the popular weight loss product is now the subject of a US Justice Department criminal investigation (16 August 2002). The FDA believes that the manufacturer, Metabolife International, Inc, the largest maker of ephedra products, may have withheld important records about the numbers of people killed or injured by its products.
The products at issue contain Ephedra and ephedrine, central nervous system stimulants that may be related to more than 50 deaths according to the FDA. The products cause high blood pressure potentially leading to bleeding in the brain, a strokes and heart attacks. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded the products are dangerous and should be regulated. Currently, they fall outside the jurisdiction of the FDA.
The FDA had asked for records made by Metabolife, which contain thousands of health problems reported directly to the company by consumers. The FDA says it has been trying to obtain more than 13,000 records since 1997. Head of the FDA, Lester Crawford stated: "Metabolife has refused and resisted us at every step."
"Since at least 1997, the FDA has tried to get these adverse event reports from industry. We also unsuccessfully sought these reports through litigation. Metabolife has refused and resisted us every step of the way," the agency said in a statement.
Metabolife said 400,000 people had called the company between 1997 and 2001 and received 13,000 reports of health-related issues.
The FDA has set up a special task force to review the records and believes these numbers are more disturbing than reassuring.
If you or someone you know has taken Metabolife or a product containing and have suffered any serious side effects, such as stroke or heart attack, please contact us for a rapid response regarding your rights and information about compensation for injuries.
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