Mingo couple suing over drug's side effects

By Justin Anderson | Mar 25, 2009

WILLIAMSON – A Mingo County couple is suing a physician and the makers of a drug used to treat reflux, alleging the companies concealed the risk of side effects and the physician failed to recognize the wife was suffering from two of them.

Shirlean and Elmer Meade filed a lawsuit in Mingo Circuit Court Feb. 25 against Dr. Deidre E. Parsley; Wyeth, Inc.; Schwarz Pharma; PLIVA, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceuticals; and six unnamed defendants.

Shirlean says she can no longer control her facial expressions, mouth, tongue and jaw because she used a generic version of the drug Reglan for more than 12 months to treat her reflux.

The conditions the woman is suffering from are called Tardive Dyskinesia and Akathisia, according to the complaint.

Elmer claims he's lost the consortium of his wife, according to the couple's 14-count complaint.

The complaint says Parsley began prescribing a generic form of Reglan to Shirlean in January 2006 for her reflux.

After taking the drugs, Shirlean failed to notice she was starting to show the signs of the onset of the conditions described in the complaint.

The Meades claim that Parsley failed to diagnose Shirlean's worsening condition and continue to prescribe her the Reglan through the end of February 2007.

Shirlean's conditions, allegedly side effects of long-term use of Reglan, weren't diagnosed until April 2, 2007, the complaint says.

The Meades claim that the makers of the name-brand Reglan knew that long-term use could cause these side effects, but concealed this information.

The makers of the generic form should have known of the alleged dangers of the drug, but relied on the information from the name-brand manufacturers for the prescription insert, the complaint says.

The Meades are seeking various actual and punitive damages in addition to legal fees.

William S. Druckman and Madonna C. Estep are representing the Meades. The case is before Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury.

Mingo Circuit Court case number: 09-C-101

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