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  • Fen-Phen Heart Valve Damge: “A huge number” of false claims

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Sunday, September 28, 2003 11:37 am Email this article
    "A huge number" of people asking to share in the $3.75 billion trust fund for people who took fen-phen may not have suffered heart valve damage according to an attorney for the trust.

    More than 100,000 people have filed paperwork and echocardiograms suggesting they have heart valve damage caused by fenfluramine which would entitle them to a portion of the settlement.

    However a federal judge has thrown out hundreds of these claims when a sample audit found that a high percentage of these claims were not justified.

    The judge has ordered a review of all claims.

    U.S. District Judge Harvey J. Bartle III, who is overseeing the settlement, barred two New York law firms from collecting shares of the settlement after ruling that they had submitted unjustified claims.

    The trust has sued a doctor from Kansas City who had been helping with the filing of these claims saying that she diagnosed thousands as having heart valve problems without proper evaluation.

    The trust has also set up a toll-free hotline for people to report fraud.

    The trust has paid more than $1 billion so far.

    An estimated 6 million people took Pondimin (fenfluramine) and Redux (dexfenfluramine) before they were pulled from the market in late 1997.

    Wyeth Inc., the maker of Pondimin (fenfluramine) and Redux (dexfenfluramine), has paid more than $13 billion in claims related to the drugs.


    Caruso DB. Lawyers Fight Over Fen-Phen Settlement. The Associated Press. 2003 Sept 27; 12:22 PM.

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Sep 29, 2003 at 6:35 am dr s wrote:

    . . . . .

    larry, forbes magazine had a similar article @ imonth ago which basically stated that the defense attorneys for wyeth were going to be aggressive in going after the many attorneys and some physicians who were filing claims or interpreting echos without due diligence. there is an attorney from dallas (amy carter) who has filed multiple recent claims against me, mostly without ever having seen the charts. hopefylly she will be high on their list to investigate. robert

    On Sep 29, 2003 at 3:29 pm Admin2 wrote:

    . . . . .

    Dr. Skversky,

    Thanks for the letting me know about the Forbes magazine article.

    Interesting about Amy Carter, Esq.

    On Sep 30, 2003 at 10:48 am Admin2 wrote:

    . . . . .

    Here is the link to the Forbes article that Dr. Skversky referred to:


    Sept 1, 2003

    Bad Medicine
    By Robert Lenzner and Rob Wherry

    Plaintiff lawyers have squeezed Wyeth for billions over its faulty weight-loss drugs. Now the company is pushing back with allegations of greed and wrongdoing.

    On Sep 30, 2003 at 2:08 pm Admin2 wrote:

    . . . . .

    Here is an interesting email I received:

    "I feel that the drug company Wyeth, has gone way beyond where it should have gone with paying claims.

    "I used Fen-Phen on my patients who wished to take the combination after an explanation of the possible.deleterious effects, and to my knowledge, no one had any adverse effects. Yet, my office was bombarded with requests from lawyers who wanted my patient's medical records so they could bring suit.

    "The patients, to my knowledge, had no adverse symptoms of cardiovascular disease. They just jumped on the bandwagon of something for nothing. It is disgusting. Multiple that by thousands and you see what happened.

    "By the way, I rarely used more than 1 tablet of Pondimin and never more than 2.

    "Best regards,

    "Dr. RK"

    On Aug 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm David M. Odom, MD wrote:

    . . . . .

    Dr RK is suggesting that increased doses of Pondimin are responsible for increased side effects. That is my opinion also. Certainly matches our understanding and experience with drugs in general. I don't think that anyone is suggesting that heart valve damage from Fenfluramine was an allergic phenomenon.

    Back in 1997, I remember that the first cases of valve damage reported by the Mayo Clinic all came from the same weight loss clinic in Fargo, ND. Moreover, they were each taking 6 Pondimin pill daily. Is that true?

    My question is: Has anyone demonstrated that heart valve damage or pulmonary hypertension caused by Fenfluramine is dose related?

    -David M. Odom, MD-

    On Aug 30, 2009 at 5:02 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .

    Dr. Odom,

    Data from the original 33 cases reported that the dose of fenfluramine varied from 20 mg to 220 mg per day.

    All but 2 patients were taking between 20 and 60 mg per day with an average of 45 mg.

    The other 2 were taking 120 mg and 220 mg.

    I am not aware that anyone ever proved that it was dose related, but assume that it was.

    Valve damage was caused by D-norfenflurmaine, a metabolite of fenfluramine, directly stimulating serotonin receptors.

    Therefore, I assume higher doses were more likely to cause damage than lower doses.

    Please feel free to share your comments about this article.




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