Abbott Laboratories is a U.S. based worldwide pharmaceutical and healthcare products company founded in 1888 with approximately 20 billion dollars in revenue (as of 2016). In 2013, Abbott Laboratories separated into two companies: Abbott and AbbVie.
AbbVie is responsible for research-based pharmaceuticals, while Abbott specializes in medical products. Abbott offers a broad range of branded generic pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, and nutrition products.
Since it’s initial release in 1978, Depakote® has been the subject to numerous lawsuits against it’s manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories. Depakote® was primarily marketed in the United States as a medication for the treatment of epilepsy, and has since been approved and prescribed for treating other neurological conditions.
Depakote®, also known as valproic acid, was originally designed for the treatment of epileptic seizures because it is an anticonvulsant and a mood stabilizer. Depakote® ultimately helps suppress the spread of abnormal electrical discharges, which can help treat symptoms of disorders like epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraine headaches.
Unfortunately, some people have had complications that weren’t originally indicated by Abbot Laboratories in the drug’s warnings. Depakote® was found to cause a series of problems including birth defects and lower IQ in the children of women who took the drug while pregnant.
Individual lawsuits are currently being filed over birth defects allegedly caused by the drug. Depakote® has also been the subject to other numerous lawsuits, particularly regarding the illegal marketing of the drug for off-label use. The U.S. Department of Justice found that Abbott, the manufacturer, violated several state, federal, and FDA regulations in the promotion of Depakote® for treating conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. In 2012, Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay federal and state governments $1.6 billion in criminal and civil fines for illegally promoting unapproved uses of Depakote®.
Since then, lawsuits filed against Abbott Laboratories alleged personal injuries to children of women who took Depakote® while pregnant. Some mothers who took Depakote® during pregnancy gave birth to babies who suffered birth defects.
We Can Help
If you or a family has experienced a birth defect as a result of taking Depakote® during pregnancy, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Recovery may include compensations for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of wages. To find out if you have a claim, please call Avram Blair & Associates, P.C. toll-free at (800) 648-2139 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.