Originally published November 16 2012
Man prescribed Big Pharma combo drug for IBS gets leukemia instead of relief
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) If you suffer from ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or some other form of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and take multiple pharmaceutical drugs in combination with one another as treatment, you could be putting yourself at serious risk of developing leukemia. This is what happened to Joseph Phillips, an Illinois man who five years after beginning a treatment protocol involving the drugs Remicade (infliximab injection) and Imuran (azathioprine) developed chronic myeloid leukemia, a severe form of blood cancer.
Phillips says he was not properly warned by either his physician, Dr. Stephen Hanauer, nor the University of Chicago Hospitals (UCH) system where he received treatment, that the two drugs could cause serious complications. As a result, he is now suing UCH, Medical Specialist Inc. dba Ambulatory Infusion Center, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Janssen Biotech, Centocor, and GlaxoSmithKline, for the damage.
"Despite the fact that J&J, and/or its subsidiaries such as Janssen and Centocor, knew of the significant potential for the development of blood cancer and/or leukemia in patients taking Remicade in combination with other medications for ulcerative colitis, defendant, J&J, and/or its subsidiaries such as Janssen and Centocor, failed to timely and adequately warn physicians in the United States who prescribed Remicade about this significant risk to adult patients taking Remicade," says the suit.
Though not specifically intended for treating IBS, Remicade is often prescribed alongside other drugs like Imuran as a management protocol for the condition. But patients given these chemical cocktails are apparently not being told of the serious side effects that could result from their use, which include psoriasis, lupus, cancer, and even death.
"Joseph Phillips was infused with Remicade and Imuran in 2005 at the infusion center at U of C as well as at AIC (Ambulatory Infusion Center]," adds the filing. "On November 17, 2010 ... Joseph Phillips was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. Plaintiffs did not know of the product liability causes of action against these defendants until ... Phillips was diagnosed with [his condition]."
As a remedy, Phillips is seeking damages for strict product liability, breach of express and implied warranty, negligence, and loss of consortium.
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