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Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

Rare Ailment Linked to Pain Pumps

Posted on Apr 19, 2010
A series of studies conducted in 2006 reveal that pain pumps might be linked to chondrolysis. As a result, the first lawsuits started to surface against pain pump companies approximately two years ago.

The studies led to packaging changes by the I-Flow Corporation, which is the largest pump manufacturer. The I-Flow Corporation also modified its directions in package inserts to warn doctors about placing pump catheters in joints. The company also posted a bulletin on its website indicating the risks.

 I-Flow has reported that as of November 2009, the company was named as a defendant in 191 cases alleging that the pain pumps led to chondrolysis in patients who used their devices. According to reports, 80 of those cases have been dismissed.

Also, AstraZeneca has been listed as a defendant in 68 cases.  AstraZeneca sold the local anesthetic, bupivacaine, which was apparently used in the pain pumps by physicians.  According to AstraZeneca spokesperson Tony Jewell, the company did not promote or authorize the use of bupivacaine to be used in the pain pumps.

“We intend to vigorously defend ourselves in this matter,” said Jewell.

Attorneys representing patients say that the manufacturers were slow to respond to evidence indicating their products were potentially dangerous.

Indianapolis attorney Jeff Gibson cited that manufacturers hid information concerning the dangers instead of warning the public. Gibson’s firm is representing approximately 50 pain pump cases.

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