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Vigabatrin court case deadline extended

2 June, 2004

The deadline for
new cases to join the legal action being taken in the UK by people who
claim their damaged eyesight was caused by the anti-epileptic drug
vigabatrin (Sabril) is has been extended.

Tim Roper, from Wolferstans
solicitors in Plymouth, told Epilepsy Action that the court-imposed
deadline for new claimants had been extended to 17 September 2004.

He
called for any potential new claimants who had developed a visual field
problem as a result of vigabatrin to contact him. To date, over 100
people are involved in the action.

In October 2002 Aventis Pharma,
the manufacturer of Sabril, the brand of vigabatrin available in the
UK, issued a statement saying it intends to defend any lawsuit against
the product.

They added:

"In
cooperation with the European Commission, the company modified the
summary of product characteristics regarding warnings to potential
development of field disorders and the need for systematic visual field
disorder screening of patients upon starting vigabatrin and at regular
intervals thereafter."

Research undertaken at The Walton Centre in Liverpool suggests that vigabatrin can cause eye problems in over 40 per cent of those who are prescribed it.