Allergan Hit With $212M Jury Verdict Over Botox Treatment Report DOW JONES NEWSWIRES A U.S. District Court jury in Virginia awarded $212 million Thursday to a man who sued Allergan Inc. (AGN), claiming injections of its wrinkle-smoothing drug Botox to treat hand tremors and writer's cramp left him brain-damaged and disabled, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported online. After a nearly two-week trial, jurors awarded 67-year-old Douglas Ray Jr. of Fredericksburg $12 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. Allergan, of Irvine, Calif., is exploring bases for a possible appeal, the newspaper quoted spokeswoman Caroline Van Hove as saying. While expressing sympathy for "Mr. Ray's condition and suffering," she asserted the company's view that facts in the case showed there was no evidence to suggest Allergan failed to make available information to Ray's treating physician about the potential risks associated with Botox. Allergan last year agreed to pay $600 million to settle a years-long federal investigation into its marketing of Botox. The company agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of misbranding, in which its marketing led physicians to use Botox for unapproved uses including headache, spasticity and cerebral palsy in children. Full story at: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2011/apr/28/federicksburg-area-man-awarded-212-million-botox-s-ar-1003310/
With all do respect, compassion and concern for the afflicted gentleman and his family and a jury caught up in emotion for the aggrieved: this lawsuit and resulting verdict raises serious questions as to whether Allergan or, any other pharma company can get a fair treatment of the scientific evidence in any court of law under these circumstances. In fact this case seems to open the door for any "shrewd attorney" who can skillfully bring a case to court, with loose and "distorted facts", before a jury of lay-people, can win the day. This despite decades of data and mountains of incontrovertible scientific evidence that attest to the efficacy of drug science.