Bextra

Update - September 19, 2011

A proposed Settlement has been reached in litigation across Canada dealing with the drugs Bextra and Celebrex. The Settlement, which requires the approval of the Ontario and Québec Courts, provides for the creation of a $12 million Settlement Fund from which eligible Class Members will receive compensation and from which administration costs and legal fees will be paid.

Class Members will be able to seek compensation for certain specific medical conditions, including myocardial infarction (heart attack), ischemic stroke, severe cutaneous adverse reactions and other cardiac or vascular events. Compensation may also be paid to class members for income losses, part of the costs of purchasing Bextra and/or Celebrex, and derivative claims of certain family members. A copy of the Settlement Agreement and exhibits, can be viewed by visiting the website of the Claims Administrator, Collectiva Class Action Services Inc (English, Francais).

Class Members may submit a claim under the proposed Settlement to the Claims Administrator now or they can exclude themselves from the proceedings by opting out. Class Members may also submit a written objection to the proposed Settlement and may attend at the Settlement Approval Hearings which are scheduled to proceed in Ontario, on November 29, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 361 University Avenue, Toronto, and in Québec on December 2, 2011 at 9:30 a.m., at the Superior Court of Québec, 1 Notre-Dame East, Montréal.

Class Members who wish to either opt out of the proceedings or submit a written objection to the proposed Settlement must do so to the Claims Administrator by no later than November 1, 2011. Further information relating to the proposed Settlement, including the Notice, the settlement documents, Claim Packages and Opt Out Forms, is available at: www.bextracelebrexsettlement.ca, from the Claims Administrator by phone at 416-548-9874  or by writing to the following address:

Collectiva Class Action Services Inc.
285 Place d'Youville, suite 9
Montréal, Québec H2Y 2A4
Attention : Canadian Bextra/Celebrex Settlement

The law firms of McPhadden Samac Tuovi LLP, Rochon Genova LLP and Merchant Law Group LLP represent the Ontario National Classes and the law firms of Lauzon Bélanger Lespérance and Merchant Law Group LLP represent the Québec Classes.

Background

Bextra is a "COX-2" selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Bextra was used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis. Bextra was also used to treat painful menstruation.

In 2005 however, Bextra was voluntarily taken off the market in both Canada and the U.S. due to safety concerns of an increased risk of cardiovascular events (including heart attack and stroke) in patients taking Bextra.

Bextra was first approved for sale in Canada in December, 2002. At about the same time, reports were surfacing linking Bextra to serious, potentially life-threatening skin reactions such as Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, as by 2004, there were also reports of adverse cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes, infections and other complications associated with using Bextra. It is alleged that Pfizer Canada, the drug's Canadian manufacturer, knew about these life-threatening risks much sooner, but failed to inform Canadian physicians and consumers.

Pfizer Canada is the Canadian operation of New York based Pfizer Inc, the world's largest pharmaceutical company. Pfizer Inc. reported revenues of 48.4 billion in 2007.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the use of Bextra and you would like to find out more information click here to contact us.