September 22, 2016 — Lawyers for dozens of people who were injured by Invokana have asked a panel of federal judges to centralize the cases in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in New Jersey.
In a motion (PDF) filed on September 20 with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), lawyers asked to transfer the cases to the U.S. District Court of New Jersey under Judge Brian R. Martinotti.
There are currently at least 56 lawsuits pending in 11 district courts nationwide. All of the lawsuits accuse Janssen Pharmaceuticals of downplaying the risk of kidney damage and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Judge Martinotti already presides over 36 Invokana lawsuits in New Jersey. Furthermore, Janssen is headquartered in the state. Most of the relevant documents, as well as depositions, will be in New Jersey.
Centralizing the lawsuits in a MDL has many advantages — eliminating duplicative discovery, preventing inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserving the resources of everyone involved.
Invokana is a new type-2 diabetes drug that has only been on the market since March 2013. It works by forcing the kidneys to remove more sugar from the body in urine.
The FDA has issued multiple safety warnings in the last three years. In June 2016, the agency strengthened warnings about acute kidney injury, a serious condition in which the kidneys suddenly stop working.
The FDA has also issued multiple warnings about diabetic ketoacidosis, another life-threatening side effect that causes too much acid in the bloodstream.
The most common side effects of Invokana (dehydration and infections) increase the the risk of kidney injury and ketoacidosis. Invokana has also been associated with bone fractures, blood infections (urosepsis), kidney infections (pyelonephritis), toe amputations, and other severe side effects.
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