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Patients to sue over epilepsy drug

10 Sep 2002

Following the recent study regarding the link between the anti-epileptic drug vigabatrin and eye defects, BBC News Online reports that a group of patients are to sue the makers of vigabatrin (Sabril), claiming that the drug has damaged their eyesight and in some cases caused blindness.

Wolferstans Solicitors in Plymouth told the BBC that their clients, who currently number around 30, had a strong case:

"From the evidence obtained to date, the claimants appear to have a strong claim in relation to individual causation of injury. Our investigations are still continuing into when the manufacturer was aware or should have been aware of the risks associated with this drug. A decision will be taken in the next few months on when to proceed."

Manufacturers Aventis Pharma said clinical trials had shown that the drug was safe. A spokeswoman said: "Aventis intends to defend any lawsuits filed against it involving the product and will not comment further at this stage.

"An extensive and ongoing review of clinical data by the CPMP [Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products] has resulted in repeated endorsements of the risk/benefit profile of Vigabatrin when used according to labelling and in the labelled patient population."