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The Current Status of the Viagra® Lawsuit


Our legal team works tirelessly to update those who may be affected on the current status of the Viagra® lawsuit. Since the FDA approved Viagra® in 1998, the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, has been named in numerous lawsuits. The initial claims involved serious complications of heart attack and stroke due to sudden drops in blood pressure. The next phase of litigation was focused on patients who had experienced vision and hearing loss after taking Viagra®. Recently, many claims have been filed by patients who developed melanoma after being prescribed the drug. Pfizer has previously paid millions to patients who have suffered from adverse side effects associated with the drug. Current litigation surrounding Viagra® and Pfizer was prompted by a 2014 study that found a strong correlation between Viagra® and the development of melanoma.

Melanoma is a rare skin cancer, and due to its ability to metastasize and spread to other areas of the body, it is commonly referred to as the deadliest form of the condition. With early detection, melanoma patients typically have a 99 percent survival rate. However, that rate drops to just 15 percent if the condition goes undetected in its earliest stages. Many patients have already filed claims against Pfizer after being diagnosed with melanoma, and as further research is conducted, many more are likely to come forward. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with melanoma after taking Viagra®, contact a pharmaceutical attorney who can thoroughly evaluate your case and explain your legal options.  

A History of Lawsuits

The very first claims filed against Viagra® and Pfizer involved patients who had suffered a heart attack or stroke due to sudden drops in blood pressure that were caused by the medication. Lawsuits that followed these initial claims involved patients who had suffered some degree of vision or hearing loss after taking the drug. Patients diagnosed with melanoma after taking Viagra® are now beginning to take action and file lawsuits against the manufacturer. A man filed a claim in December 2014, after being diagnosed with melanoma while taking Viagra®. Another man filed a similar lawsuit in June 2015, after developing invasive melanoma. These lawsuits cite the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in June 2014, which found a strong correlation between Viagra® and an increased risk of melanoma. Claims filed against Viagra® and Pfizer allege that:

  • The company failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks of melanoma
  • Viagra® was falsely marketed as a safe drug
  • The drug was not sufficiently tested

Patients are seeking damages for their economic hardships, including medical expenses and loss of income, in addition to physical and emotional suffering.

Multidistrict Litigation

Due to the overwhelming number of lawsuits filed against Viagra® and Pfizer involving melanoma, a motion was filed in December 2015, to consolidate the cases into multidistrict litigation (MDL). This motion was later approved in April 2015, and the individual cases against Pfizer were consolidated under the US District Court for the Northern District of California. MDL groups together similar cases against a common defendant for the purposes of creating more efficient pretrial processes. It allows all parties involved to conserve their resources, and prevents duplications of evidence during discovery.

MDL vs. Class Action Lawsuits

Although the two share many similarities, MDL and class action lawsuits are quite different. While both group together similar cases against a common defendant, MDL only does so for the purposes of pretrial proceedings. After pretrial proceedings are complete, each case is treated individually. This allows each plaintiff to receive a settlement or verdict that is based on their individual injuries.

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Class action lawsuits, on the other hand, legally bind all plaintiffs in a single lawsuit. In addition to prohibiting plaintiffs from filing individual lawsuits against the defendant at a later date, it also requires the settlement or verdict be divided equally among all plaintiffs. While class action lawsuits often result in large verdicts or settlements, there is also a significant number of plaintiffs involved and the actual amount each plaintiff receives is relatively small.

Evidence and Discovery in Viagra® Lawsuits

During the discovery process, evidence is shared by the attorneys for both parties. Your attorneys will use this evidence to build a persuasive and compelling case in your favor. The defendant’s attorneys, however, will comb through this evidence to pinpoint information they can use against you in court. Some of the evidence, or documents, your attorneys may request from you in a pharmaceutical lawsuit may include:

  • Your medical records, which will detail your complete medical history. The attorneys will carefully review this history to determine if you were at a higher risk for developing skin cancer prior to taking Viagra®.
  • Your medical bills, which your attorneys will use to determine the appropriate amount of damages to pursue.
  • Tax forms and W2s are also typically requested, as most patients are rendered unable to work, either temporarily or permanently. Your attorneys will use this information to determine the amount of compensation you should receive for your lost wages and diminished earning capacity.
  • You, along with your attorneys, will also need to furnish proof of any claims you make. For example, to prove Pfizer did not provide warnings regarding the risk of melanoma, you would need to provide the original packaging that lacked such warnings.

Your attorneys will also obtain testimony and take depositions from any of your doctors, which could include your primary care physician, your oncologist, and any other healthcare providers that you saw for treatment. It is common for attorneys from both parties to also obtain additional testimony from experts in a particular field.

Updates in the Viagra® Lawsuit

The research regarding Viagra® and melanoma is relatively new, and current lawsuits have only recently been consolidated for MDL. As a result, much of the litigation involving Viagra® and melanoma is still pending. Our legal team continuously monitors these lawsuits as well as new research and studies that may be published regarding the link between Viagra® and melanoma. Our team will continually update this article as new information becomes available.

Speak with an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with melanoma after taking Viagra®, please contact an attorney today to schedule a complimentary case evaluation. A skilled pharmaceutical attorney with extensive knowledge and experience in this area will carefully review your claim and discuss your legal options with you.

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