Widow Says Drug Shortage Following Shutdown at Boston-Area Genzyme Plant Caused Husband’s Wrongful Death

A woman is blaming a drug shortage for the wrongful death of her husband. The plaintiff, Janet Schubert, is suing drug manufacturer Genzyme, its parent company Sanofi, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which holds the patents for the drug Fabrazyme. In her wrongful death complaint, Schubert says that rationing of the drug, following a shortage of supply, caused her husband’s passing.

The medication shortage occurred after Genzyme’s plant in Boston was forced to shut down because of a viral contamination in 2009. While the company worked to remedy the manufacturing issues, it established a rationing program for patients suffering from Fabry disease. The rationing involved partial dosing.

Schubert contends that Genzyme chose to go through with its rationing plan even though it knew that for some patients, not taking a full dose could cause serious health issues and possibly even death.

According to a Genzyme spokesperson, last week, US patients were finally able to start taking their normal dose. New Fabrazyme supplies are being shipped from Genzyme’s Food and Drug Administration-approved Framingham, Massachusetts plant.

Fabrazyme is the only drug approved by the FDA to treat Fabry disease. Other patients suffering from the disease have also come forward to sue Genzyme over the drug maker’s alleged mishandling of the extended medication shortage. They are claiming that at least three deaths occurred because the medication was rationed to patients.

Fabry disease, which is an inherited disorder, involves the buildup of the fat globotriaosylceramide in the cells of the body. Those suffering form this condition may experience pain, skin conditions, an impaired ability to sweat, corneal opacity, gastrointestinal issues, tinnitus, hearing loss, heart attack, kidney damage, and stroke.

If you believe that your injuries, health issues, or a loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of a drug manufacturer, you should speak with an experienced Boston injury lawyer to find out if you have grounds for a Massachusetts products liability lawsuit.

Widow’s lawsuit claims Fabrazyme shortage led to husband’s death, FiercePharma, March 12, 2012

Patients file suit against drug manufacturer, Post-Gazette, March 11, 2011

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