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Steve Thomas
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Zoloft sales, increased risks a contradiction

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Rising revenues derived from the sales of the antidepressant Zoloft accompany the continued filing of Zoloft lawsuits — litigation triggered by birth defects in babies born to mothers who took the drug during pregnancy.

The national law firm of Reich & Binstock [www.reichandbinstock.com] represents plaintiffs in Zoloft lawsuits, and the firm continues to offer free consultations to patients who may be entitled to compensation.

Pfizer Inc., the maker of Zoloft, as it has prepared its earnings report for all of 2012, already has reported increased third-quarter and nine-month domestic Zoloft revenues. Third-quarter 2012 Zoloft revenues increased 13 percent from 2011 to $17 million. Zoloft revenues for the first nine months of 2012, in comparison to the same period in 2011, rose 7 percent to $49 million. But those gains belied U.S. revenue declines hovering in the neighborhood of one-fifth, during both periods, for all of the corporation’s biopharmaceuticals combined.

Contrary to the financial upside, Zoloft can have a devastating downside for expectant mothers and their children. The bad side of Zoloft use among pregnant women leads to the central issue in many Zoloft lawsuits, increased risks of complications that with more diligent premarket investigation could have been substantially minimized if not averted. Unfortunately, this lack of diligence applies also to the use of other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants.

A study published in a February 2006 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that a serious and life-threatening neonatal lung condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension, or PPHN, “was six times more common in babies whose mothers took an SSRI antidepressant after the 20th week of the pregnancy compared to babies whose mothers did not take an antidepressant,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration summarized.

The FDA issued a public health advisory that year in accordance with those findings. Although the administration in 2012 expressed uncertainty as to a causal relationship between the drug and birth defects, an association between the two nevertheless was established in a 2012 review of recent studies by researchers from Boston IVF, Tufts University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The authors of that 2012 study concluded the following in regard to the heightened risks of birth defects in babies born to mothers who took Zoloft or any of its sibling antidepressants during pregnancy: “Pregnant women taking antidepressants have been shown to have higher rates of miscarriage, preterm birth and neonatal health issues.”

For the record, “babies with PPHN have high pressure in their lung blood vessels and are not able to get enough oxygen into their bloodstream,” according to the FDA. Additionally, according to a March 2010 article submitted to the journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) complicates the course of approximately 10 percent of infants with respiratory failure, and is a source of considerable mortality and morbidity in this population.”

Representing plaintiffs nationwide, the pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock vigorously pursue compensation, for medical expenses and for other losses, for the victims of Zoloft and other SSRIs. These drugs are linked to serious congenital abdominal and craniofacial defects as well as to cardiopulmonary abnormality.

Although there are no guarantees in litigation, victims can count on the Zoloft attorneys at Reich & Binstock to help ensure that the culpable parties are held accountable for the drug’s proven unreasonably dangerous risks and for the damage plainly associated with those risks.

Reich & Binstock may be reached toll-free at 1-866-LAW-2400 for a free consultation. State of residency does not matter. The law firm operates in all 50 states.