Actemra, a medication indicated to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, has been linked to serious and life-threatening side effects, including:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Lung disease
- Gastrointestinal perforation
Actemra lawsuits accusing Roche and its Genentech subsidiary of failing to warn patients and doctors about these risks have begun to mount in courts throughout the country. You may be able to take similar legal action if you or a loved one were harmed by this medication.
The attorneys at Gilman Law LLP are committed to ensuring that the victims of dangerous drug side effects obtain the justice they deserve. Filing an Actemra lawsuit may be the only way for you and your family to hold Roche and Genetech accountable and recover compensation for the medical bills and other damages related to your injuries.
What is Actemra?
Actemra (tocilizumab) is a prescription drug approved to treat several autoimmune disorders, including:
- Moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults.
- Giant cell arthritis (GCA) in adults.
- Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA) in children ages 2 and older.
- Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in children ages 2 and older.
Actemra is administered as an intravenous infusion in patients with RA, PJIA and SJIA. The drug is given as a subcutaneous injection when used to treat RA and GCA.
Unreported Actemra Side Effects
Actemra first became the subject of safety concerns in 2009, when 15 people died in Japan while being treated with the medication. The patients were participating in an Actemra clinical trial that involved 5,000 patients. The drug’s manufacturer was unable to rule out the possibility that Actemra was to blame.
Unlike other RA drugs, including Humira, Enbrel and Remicade, Actemra’s label does not warn of serious side effects like heart attack, stroke, lung disease, and pancreatitis. However, a recent investigation by STAT suggests that thousands of Actemra patients have suffered from these types of complications.
According to the STAT report, more than 13,500 possible Actemra side effects were reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) between 2010 (the year the drug was approved for U.S. sales) and 2016. The reports included more than 1,100 deaths, the majority of which involved heart disease, lung disease, and stroke.
STAT’s analysis also suggested that patients taking Actemra were more likely to suffer life-threatening complications compared to those using other RA medications. For example, one study cited in the report found that, compared to Enbrel, rates of stroke and heart failure were about 1.5 times higher in Actemra patients.
Experts interviewed for the STAT report maintained that the Actemra label should be updated with new warnings to notify doctors and patients about the risk of heart failure and pancreatitis. However, Roche and Genetech have yet to make any changes to the drug’s label.
Legal Help for Victims of Actemra Side Effects
The attorneys at Gilman Law LLP are available now to provide free legal consultations to the victims of Actemra side effects.
For a free, no-obligation review of your potential Actemra lawsuit, please fill out our free consultation form or call us direct to speak with one of our attorneys at (888) 252-0048.