Nevada woman seeks Supreme Court help in case against drug maker
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's a case involving a highly toxic drug that's been called overpriced poison by many women who've taken it.
Since Contact 13 began investigating in 2009, we've heard from women across the country. One local woman is hoping to take their fight to the nation's highest court.
"My future is destroyed. I have to suffer for the rest of my life," that was Karin Klein in 2011 after losing her federal case against the makers of the drug Lupron, which is primarily prescribed to deal with pelvic pain related to endometriosis.
Court records show Karin was prescribed Lupron in 2005 when she was 17-years-old. After taking it she began to suffer, "A series of debilitating illnesses and conditions, like significant bone density loss, neck pain, back pain and thyroid disease that were not warned in the packaging insert or labeling."
And she's not alone. Action News spoke with several women who said they suffered serious problems after taking Lupron.
Karin accused Illinois-based drug manufacturer Abbott Labs, of misrepresenting the fact that side effects are reversible. Her case alleged much is missing from the warning label and the drug is dangerous and ineffective.
When Karin lost her federal case in Las Vegas in 2011, she appealed to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. She lost there too, and is now hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case.
But the clock is ticking. Karen has until the end of November for her case to be considered by the high court and she can't do it alone. So she's reaching out to lawmakers to file what is called an amicus brief, a document which signifies to the court, it's a case worth looking at.
"We need amicus to fight for pubic justice and set an important precedent for patient's rights," explained Karin. "For all pharmaceutical victims and for all Lupron victims.
Karin's story is echoed by hundreds, if not thousands of women who've filed adverse event reports with the FDA. Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich has devoted a page on her website to their pain and begun a campaign to help patients' ongoing effort to recall the drug.
Since Contact 13 began reporting on Lupron, the FDA has issued additional warnings about dangerous side effects.
"It cost me disease of age at just age 17," said Karin. "Severe bone density loss. Spinal degeneration. Severe neck and back pain and outer immune thyroid disorder that's getting worse."
So Karin fights a battle on two fronts: The physical pain and the legal battle.
"We need to get a new trial and to get the evidence allowed at court, because the jury was deceived and mislead."
As we reported in 2011, some evidence was excluded from the first trial and Karin said the same thing happened during her appeal, "They decided to create a gift for the pharma-company and blame the victim, punish me for telling the truth. The truth that can protect patients."
Contact 13 has reached out to every federal lawmaker in the Nevada delegation, and only one responded. Sen. Dean Heller expressed concern and sympathy, but declined to file a brief saying he'll stay alert for other opportunities to assist at the federal level.
We also reached out to Abbott, who split in January. Lupron is now held by AbbVie.
They sent a written statement which reads, "A jury and an appellate court in this case have previously ruled in favor of the company. Lupron is an important medication for the conditions it treats and the therapeutic risks are disclosed to prescribing physicians in the product label."
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